How Mole Man Fits Into Fantastic Four

It can't be a coincidence that Harvey Elder shows up in the new Fantastic Four. Actor Tim Blake Nelson portrays the character, who in the comics becomes the villain known as Mole Man. Though Toby Kebbell’s Doctor Doom is the main antagonist in this new cinematic take on Marvel’s first family, could Fox be laying the ground work to introduce Elder as his villainous self? While at San Diego Comic-Con, we spoke to the stars of Fantastic Four to find out what part he has to play in all of this. 

Miles Teller (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Sue Storm, Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm, Human Torch) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm, The Thing) spoke to us before entering Hall H for the studio’s panel, and they told us what to expect from Nelson’s pre-Mole Man character. 

Jamie: He has a pretty decent part in this movie, for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re [Fox] teeing something up, maybe. Mara: He definitely makes our lives difficult…Jamie: …but in a kind of ambiguous way. He’s not a straight-up bad guy, he’s just kind of put in an awkward position. 

In the comics, Elder is a man of high intellect who was shunned. He sought solitude in a rumored underground kingdom. In his pursuit to find it, he became trapped in a series of underground tunnels from where he launched attacks on the surface world. Nelson’s iteration doesn’t seem to fit this bill. Director Josh Trank has taken liberties with the source material, and we’ve seen this particular character in a suit and tie and having some role to fill in the lab where the Fantastic Four work together. 

Based on the actors’ comments, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing Elder become Mole Man in this film. The plot focuses more on the origin story of these characters as they discover their powers and team up to fight Doom. But Fantastic Four 2 is already slated for release on June 9, 2017. Bell also stated that this film nicely sets up a continuation, so keep an eye on Elder. We might not have heard the last of him. 

This version of Fantastic Four tells of how the Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben received their powers not by cosmic radiation, but by traveling to an alternate dimension. Along with their buddy Victor, the trip changes their physical makeup and, as Mara pointed out, they all react to this change in different ways. They have to learn the ways of their new abilities and to work as team fast, though, because Doom is coming. And by Doom we mean the electrically charged Doctor Doom.