Miles Teller, who will play Mr. Fantastic in this summer’s reboot of The Fantastic Four, was initially quite reluctant to hop on board the superhero craze – referring to the genre as "a whole different animal." So what was it that eventually changed his mind about doing the project? Apparently it was the fact that the movie wouldn’t be akin to starring in something like Spider-Man, which would feature him front and center and generate an insane amount of performance pressure.
In a recent sit-down with Digital Spy, the Fantastic Four star began discussing his place within the cast of the upcoming Marvel reboot, and explained that carrying the top-billing burden for a project like Spider-Man would have been too much to handle at this point in his career simply would have been too much to handle. Said Teller,
"If it was Spider-Man, that entire movie's on my shoulders and that's a more isolating experience. I don't know if I would be into it, but the fact that it's a movie that I knew we'd share... the superhero world, that's a whole different animal. That's a pretty serious commitment."
Of course, being in Fantastic Four presented him with another situation entirely, and that helped lift some of the pressure. He explained that his initial apprehension taking a part in the project was alleviated when he learned that his That Awkward Moment co-star, Michael B. Jordan had been cast as The Human Torch, and that Josh Trank - who mixed impressive visuals with prudent budgeting in his 2012 pseudo-vérité super-powers film, Chronicle - would be taking the director’s chair. With the addition of Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, both of whom he respected, it only became clearer that the project was be suitable for him.
Miles Teller's meticulousness in his choice of comic book roles is certainly understandable. While there certainly is a great deal of upside to starring in a big, anticipated blockbuster, a solo starring role in an A-list icon superhero film also carries the side effect of potentially defining an actor's career into an unfortunate spiral of typecasting well before it's really begun. Additionally, if things don't go your way, being the centerpiece of a big-budget dud also tends to make the Hollywood bean counters permanently make up their minds about an actor's box-office bankability. (Ryan Reynolds, anyone?) A situation like The Fantastic Four allows the burden to be shared and provides an easier dynamic in which to work.
Perhaps unfortunately for Miles Teller, however, there is still a good amount of pressure being placed on the Fantastic Four reboot. We shouldn't necessarily expect any kind of ambitious Marvel Cinematic Universe-type crossover with another franchise, but there are clearly big plans for this cast. The fact that Fox has already started development on a Fantastic Four 2 suggests that there are some big expectations for the upcoming movie to launch a whole new franchise, and that’s a pretty big deal when you consider how much stock is being put into superhero movies these days.
We’re excited to see how it all plays out when The Fantastic Four bombards us with what will hopefully be cosmic rays of awesomeness upon its arrival on August 7th.