If It Was A Movie…Fantastic Four
By Kevin McVicker
With the repeated failure of the Fantastic Four movies it is inevitable whether Fox retains the rights or finally sells them off to Marvel that we will be seeing an eventual reboot again. With this in mind, I give you the IIWAM for the all new, all different next Fantastic Four franchise attempt. Will it crash and burn? Statistically, eventually it has to work, right? They say, “Third times a charm.” Oh course, this last one was the third reboot, so let’s just say, “Fourth times an actual watchable movie.”
The first and most important thing to this film is thinking about an actual direction for a trilogy. The idea would be building up to the third film being the coming of Galactus, and hinting at those ideas along the way in the other two films.
Another important idea in a new Fantastic Four film is that we’ve tried Doctor Doom as the villain four times and it hasn’t worked. Film goers expect it not to work, so the first film will be a pallet cleanser and a fresh start. Doom can be in the second one, and introduced similarly to the way he was in the comics; not as the fifth and disenfranchised member of the Fantastic Four. Hints and easter eggs can be added to make sure people know he’s coming and he’s already there like Stephen Strange in the second Captain America movie. We need a solid villain for the first film that will start a stepping stone of villainy to Doom for a second movie and Galactus in the third, building on each other in terms of the challenge. Pulling from the third string of FF villains for the opening movie, let’s go with the third greatest FF villain: Diablo.
Just kidding. It’s Annihilus of course.
The largest trick to this movie is going to be walking the fine line that the greatest Fantastic Four runs ever have had, which is humor and suspense. Marvel Studios has learned to do this extremely well in its movies, but Fox just can’t seem to create both.
Now on to the casting…
Reed Richards – Armie Hammer
This is going to sound strange, but I find Armie Hammer very uncharismatic, which is the exact reason I think he’d work as Reed Richards. The other three members of the Fantastic Four make Reed interesting. I’ve always found Reed to be the guy who is always right, but that you still don’t want to agree with; not because he’s attempting to be a jerk, but because he doesn’t have a lot of tact. Armie could pull this off exceptionally well.
Susan Storm – Yvonne Strahovski
If you watched Chuck or played Mass Effect you know about Yvonne. She’s a beautiful woman who is apt at playing smart and strong female leads. She’s incredibly charismatic and I believe could handle making the audience believe she is falling for Reed even with his apparently cold demeanor.
Johnny Storm – Ryan Hansen
This was the hardest one to cast, probably because I don’t know who the hot young guys are. I honestly also think that the last two castings for Johnny Storm were really great, so who do you get to top those two guys? Ryan not only has comedic chops, but knows how to play up charming arrogance from his role on Veronica Mars.
Ben Grimm – Michael Ealy
The trick to this was finding an actor who is not only strong (in terms of talent) but also has enough of a stature that you believe his size when he transforms into The Thing. For these reasons, Michael Chiklis was perfect for the role back in the day (even though we can argue the lack of perfection in his finished appearance). We also need someone apparently young looking enough that you would buy him and Reed in college together, and while Armie and Michael are more than ten years apart, luckily Michael looks much younger than he actually is and Armie looks slightly older than he actually is.
Jose Santini – Javier Botet
Dr. Jose Santini was an alias The Mad Thinker first assumed. It seems in all these movies that they want to rewrite Doom’s lore and make him working side-by-side with the FF when everything goes down and they’re transformed. Why rewrite such a classic villain backstory as trying to save his dead mother’s soul from hell? There are plenty of other smart villains we can insert in that place and not really ruin a villain’s motivation. Here is number one of two future villains they can give a cameo and make some honest contention between for Reed to deal with on a scientist level.
Bentley Wittman – Clifton Collins Jr.
My number two pre-supervillain scientist cameo to have Reed butt heads with is Wizard. He isn’t this most obvious choice, but I think he could pull it off along with any future action if they wanted to put him in the Wizard suit.
Alicia Masters – Lorenza Izzo
A bit of a throw away role in that we just need an attractive actress who could believably be blind and fall in love with a giant rock man. That’s actually a pretty tough role to make believable, but with the few roles I’ve seen of Lorenza, I think this up-and-coming actress has what it takes.
Philip Masters – Steve Buscemi
A third pre-supervillain cameo more for fun, but Puppet Master could be brought back as a first act villain in the third film. I can’t imagine anyone else in this role – at least I don’t want to.
Annihilus – Toby Kebbell
Watch the episode of Black Mirror with Toby or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Did you realize he was in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? He’s almost as good as Andy Serkis in terms of Mo-Cap performances. Annihilus would have to be 100% CGI, so let’s give this talented actor a shot in a FF movie that doesn’t appear doomed from inception (no pun intended).
Blastaar – Clive Standen
Blastaar will have to be a slightly depowered general of Annihilus’. He’ll be the one-on-one fist smashing final battle that The Thing can take part in to build up an action sequence. We want someone for this role that could play in practical with possibly a CGI “mask” or something to that effect. Not only can Clive actually act, but he’s good with action and has a powerful stature.
Stygorr – Doug Jones
An even lesser known ruler of the Negative Zone, he can be rewritten to be a second general of Annihilus’ who can be a final battle for the Human Torch to show off his abilities. This would probably be predominately CGI or a heavy prosthetics performance, so having a capable actor in that circumstance would be extremely important. This would also be a nice easter egg reference to the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Willie Lumpkin – Stan Lee
First, this was Stan Lee’s greatest cameo in a Marvel movie because he played a character he created. It’s probably the greatest thing about the mid-2000s Fantastic Four movie.
Victor Von Doom – Jeffery Donovan
Victor’s appearance will be an end of the movie or mid-credits cameo. He’ll already be in full armor and only in flashbacks in the second film will his face show. An all too important factor for Doom is his voice. It may sound strange, but from watching Burn Notice and the voice overs he gave in that film to the cold and dismissive cop in The Changeling, I think he could completely pull off this role. The cartoonish pompous and bombastic approach to Doom won’t work on film, but a cold, emotionless, and arrogant approach is the best route to take, and he could do that.