The "Fantastic Four" reboot looks increasingly likely to be the mother of all train wrecks.
As information on the movie has leaked out, my once high enthusiasm has been worn down, stomped on and smashed to smithereens.
I am now actually hoping this movie never sees the light of day.
The recent report by "The Hollywood Reporter", on the casting news, which is topped off by FOX being open to a female Doctor Doom, is basically the last straw. Because even if they go with a male Doom, it is obvious FOX has no idea what makes these characters tick or why we love them so much.
Here are my leading indicators that the Fantastic Four reboot is going to suck.
1.) The Love Affair With Michael B. Jordan -
Forget for just a moment that by changing the race of Johnny Storm will make quite a few people feel this isn't the "real" Fantastic Four, meaning the one they grew up with and want to see on the big screen.
Focus more on the fact that Jordan is the ONLY actor currently attached to the film - and has been for months. No one is confirmed for Mister Fantastic - the genius behind the group - yet. Or the muscle behind the group and arguably it's most colorful, relatable character -The Thing. Or arguably their most powerful character and "mother" of the group - The Invisible Woman. Or their arch-enemy, Dr. Doom, who is arguably the best villain in all of comics.
But their first priority had to be - HAD to be - nailing down Michael B. Jordan, because he had worked with the film's director, Josh Trank, on "Chronicle"..a mildly successful film that we will talk more about further down the list.
But Michael B. Jordan brings nothing to the role or the franchise to warrant such a change. He is not a box-office draw, has very little name recognition and has no gold statues on his shelf.Hhe is not Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt. Nor is he Will Smith - or even Jaden Smith. He's no Kevin Hart either.
So FOX put the reboot of a major property with huge franchise potential in the hands of Trank, which means they must have been "stroking it" when they saw "Chronicle"; Trank in turn must have been "Stroking it" working with Jordan on "Chronicle" every day. Which is disappointing. Because the simple fact remains...
2.) "Chronicle" was not that successful a movie!
Yes, it was a nice little movie and scored 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. So what? "Gravity" scored higher. "American Hustle" scored higher. More importantly, both those films - along with many, many others the past two years- have been much more successful at the box-office than "Chronicle".
Though passing the $100 million domestically does not hold quite the cachet it once did, it is still a significant milestone. In 2013, 35 films passed the mark. In 2012, the year "Chronicle" was released, 31 films hit the mark.
"Chronicle" wasn't one of them. In fact, it didn't come close. Of all films released in 2012, "Chronicle" finished a rather unimpressive 50th at the domestic box-office, with $64 million.
That total is pathetic when compared to real franchises. It is less than one-third of what "Marvel's The Avengers" took in it's opening weekend. It is barely better than one-third of what "Iron Man 3" and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" did their opening weekends alone. It is barely better than one-half of what "Man of Steel" did it's opening weekend.
In fact, the "Chronicle" is considered a "hit" despite performing worse than supposed "bombs" like "The Lone Ranger" ($89 million domestically); "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" ($68 million); "Jack Reacher" ($80 million); "2 Guns" ($75 million); "John Carter" ($73 million) and "Battlsehip" ($65 million).
Hmmm. Maybe Rihanna would be a better choice for the Human Torch.
Seriously, though, this duo, based off of this film, is being given carte blanche with one of the most potentially lucrative franchises out there, one near and dear to a lot of people. They just don't get it, either..s evidenced by...
3.) There have been rumors that all four of the Four will not get their powers at the same time, and possibly even not from the same source. If true, this is another major change that will turn off fans.
4.) Then there are the other casting candidates so far.According to multiple insiders, Kate Mara and Emmy Rossum tested for the part of Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman, on Tuesday.
Uh, who are these people? I have seen pictures. None seem to be able to convey the strength the Sue Storm we all know and love needs.
5.) Insiders also say that Miles Teller, currently one of the town’s hottest young actors coming off of the Sundance smash "Whiplash", tested for the part of Reed Richards, the stretchable leader known as Mr. Fantastic.
Gee, that's great! Not only does no one know him, but he is way too young to be the gray templed, mature reed Richards we all know and love.
6.)Christian Cook, meanwhile, is said to have tested for Ben Grimm, the rock-skinned strongman of the group. Another nobody! Yay! These rumors have me tingling with anticipation!
7.) The only person attached to the reboot at this point is Michael B. Jordan. Yes, I've stated this already. Just had to emphasize once again how ridiculous THAT fact is.
8.) But this may be the kicker...Dr. Doom is said to be the villain of the reboot (the character appeared in Fox’s two previous movies and was played by Julian McMahon). "The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision" is hearing that the studio is likely to go for a BIG NAME and isn’t ruling out switching genders for the role.
So now the Fantastic Four's arch-foe, their most interesting and powerful and scheming villain, Joker and Lex Luthor rolled into one, the one with an intense history with and strong dislike for Reed Richards..well, he may be going through a gender switch because all of a sudden FOX is worried about having a BIG NAME to lure people to what is increasingly looking like a putrid film?
So the Powers That Be are luring younger actors with no marquee value even if their youth means the source material is not being adhered to..and then want a BIG NAME at all costs, even if THAT means taking a dump on the source material.
The way things stand now..this movie is going to suck. Hard. What a shame.