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Is New Cast of THE FANTASTIC FOUR Fantastic?

Today news hit that Fox has finally found their Fantastic Four, to say the casting was unexpected is an understatement. To find out more follow the link here. I’m here to help you through this tough period, to explain to you  why the casting is okay and how Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan will bring an interesting mix to comic books first family. Don’t worry everyone these will be the Fantastic Four.

Jamie Bell on the set of SNOWPIERCER.
Jamie Bell on the set of SNOWPIERCER.

Right so first off, the pedigree of the talent  on show. I’m going to go  with the biggest name in my opinion, Jamie Bell, who will be playing Ben Grimm (aka The Thing). Bell showed up on our screens years ago with Billy Elliot, garnering high praise from audiences and critics alike. Since then he has gone on to do other films like King Kong, The Adventures of Tintin, and most recently Filth with James McAvoy. With the Fantastic Four we have found out that Jamie Bell has been given the role of Ben Grimm, the most prolific son of Yancy Street. Ben and Reed Richards are best friends. It is on their space mission that Ben gains his powers: superhuman strength and durability, but at the price of a “horrible disfigurement.”  Ben was dubbed “The Thing” by Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch), Sue Storm’s younger brother. Jamie Bell is perfect to give Ben the proper depth his character needs. Michael Chiklis gave a decent performance but there was no real heart.

michael-b-jordan

Next we have Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. Jordan has been an actor for just over a decade now and he’s been in Friday Night Lights, The Wire, and then Chronicle where he played one of the three super-powered leads. It was in Chronicle that he came to my attention. Jordan had charm with an apparent humour and confidence that just oozed off the screen. Jordan can also pull off an inner strength that gives the characters he portrays an interesting and dynamic layer, and this is where I think he  will excel as the Human Torch. Everyone considers Johnny to be a hot head with pop culture references, though this is true he is so much more. Not a lot of people know this but Johnny has to constantly keep his emotions in check or he could incinerate all those around him. There is a hidden depth to Johnny and I think Michael B. Jordan has that X factor, and we’ve already seen him fly.

Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in THE HOUSE OF CARDS.
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in THE HOUSE OF CARDS.

Kate Mara is an interesting choice for  Sue Storm aka The Invisible Girl aka The Invisible Woman aka Mrs. Fantastic, she  has  so many titles I actually wonder what identity she will go under in this film. Kate Mara has some of the  more diverse roles in her CV than some of the other actors, she is a star of both television and film, starring in the critically acclaimed House of Cards and the upcoming Johnny Depp film Transcendence. Mara has the refined looks and dignified presence to bring Sue Storm to life before our eyes in a much more convincing manner than Jessica Alba ever did, in my opinion.

miles-teller-in-project-x
Miles Teller in PROJECT X

Finally we have Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, portrayed by Miles Teller. I have to be honest I  have not seen any of Miles Teller’s work. From what I’ve researched though he seems like the kind of actor that if you give a half decent script he’ll give you a pretty good performance. With mainly a comedy background, I’ll be interested to see if Teller can play the straight man.

Now what I’ve noticed is that a lot of people have a problem with the age of the characters. I will tell you right now that is not a problem. All you have to do is find out one thing, what is the studios source material? If FOX goes with the Ultimate universe of the Fantastic Four, they will be on to a winner. You have young Reed Richards who is desperate for his father’s approval, and a young hotshot Ben Grimm who has his whole life ahead of him. This is the relationship on which they need to hinge the film. There are many elements from the Ultimate universe that they can take from — one particular aspect is when Ben actually tries to commit suicide due to his disfigurement but because of his body he can’t actually finish the act. It was an interesting factor that added another layer to the  narrative that  could easily be in this film.

So there it is everyone, a rational look at the new film and for all you people out there having it out over Michael B. Jordan’s ethnicity, get over it. (Editor: Though we would like an explanation. Adopted? Different parents? Any relation at all?)

The Author

Graham Day

Graham Day

I am a geek first and foremost. I love animation, film and comics. I live in Dublin, Ireland and love it. I have met so many amazing people over the years, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Mark Millar and Scott Snyder to name but a few. I love to sketch, write and talk about geek news. I went to college for five years, three years animation and two years communication and media. All opinions are my own so I hope they're witty and original, I'm fairly certain they're not.

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