Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Fantastic Four" reboot has been cast. Now what?

We have our official cast for the "Fantastic Four" reboot due out next year. It is supposedly set in the same cinematic universe as "X-Men" as Fox is trying to do the same thing that Disney/Marvel is doing. Normally, I agree with the casting choices. Normally. This time, I'm not sure I do. At least not 100%.

The confirmed casting is Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/Human Torch and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing. I'll just have to see the movie before I really judge, but here's what I think so far.

Miles Teller: I haven't really seen him in anything. The only thing I know that he was in was "21 and over." My brother noted that he's a fine actor but probably not mature enough as an actor to play Reed Richards. At least not the way Ioan Gruffudd (another actor I've met at a convention) was. Then again, it's based off the Ultimate imprint of the comic, so they're all probably going to have to be younger. We'll see.

Kate Mara: This is probably the only confirmed casting choice I'm supportive of. I haven't seen anything she's in, either, but I've heard she's really good in "House of Cards." She's also quite good looking, and that's a must for anyone playing Invisible Woman.

Michael B. Jordan: This one's been rumored as far back as I can remember. He's also been incredibly controversial because the fans cannot fathom a black Human Torch. I'm not racist. That would be hypocritical of me because I'm an Asian American. I enjoyed Michael B. Jordan's performance in "Chronicle," which was ironically directed by the same dude who's directing this reboot, Josh Trank. He's a good actor, and maybe this will work. They better find a way to make it work. Artistic license is one thing. Changing a 50-year-old, established character's race for the sake of progressiveness is another. The only reason black Nick Fury worked was because when they wrote him in the Ultimate Marvel universe, the creative teams wanted to use Samuel L. Jackson's likeness, which he agreed to on the condition that he star in a Marvel movie. Unfortunately, Human Torch is white in both the Ultimate and Mainstream universes, so it might be a little awkward and unfitting. Of course, we'll all get to have final say when they actually film then release a trailer.

Jamie Bell: I truly don't know how I feel about this one. I remember seeing him as a whiny young member of the ship in "King Kong" back when I was in high school. I also kinda remember him in "Flags of our Fathers" and "Defiance." Bell has been typecast in the past as somewhat more youthful characters. Of course, the most recent of those movies came out 6 years ago, and I'm sure Mr. Bell's matured as an actor. But he's also not Michael Chiklis, arguably the bright spot of the original "Fantastic Four" movies. Again, I'll have to actually see what happens when they film it, but I'll just say this. Jamie Bell doesn't strike me as ... masculine enough to play Ben Grimm. Michael Chiklis was spot on. Of course, if Jamie packs on more muscle and works on a rough-sounding and convincing Brooklyn accent that enables him to say "It's clobberin' time" effectively, I will eat my words.

So yeah, we'll see.

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