Welcome to Casting Call! Where we pick our favorite comic books and do some fantasy casting for them! This week, Marvel's Fantastic Four!
Yeah, yeah, yeah...we know the much hyped/lauded reboot has landed, crashed, and burned. We've all heard the cries from fandom to "GIVE THE RIGHTS BACK TO MARVEL!!" Fox has recently announced that they plan to make a sequel to the biggest bomb of 2015.
Why? Well, the quick answer is they don't want the rights to revert to Marvel. They must figure that any dollars that come from a comic book movie based on the FF is better than no movie or money at all. They still have in their dreams a cohesive universe with the X franchise they are trying to build currently. If that will actually happen remains to be seen. I believe Fox had seen what happened when they allowed Daredevil to revert back to Marvel. Fox had failed to produce a decent Daredevil film and within a short time of receiving back the rights, Marvel produced an acclaimed Daredevil show on Netflix. Fox may be thinking that can do the same with FF.
In the meantime we're going to act like the FF rights will revert back to Marvel and we'll recast the franchise for the MCU. Granted, we have no problem with the actors that Fox got for the reboot, we just have a problem with how they were directed to act. Here's some bullet point that we'd hit in our FF film:
- It would be set in the MCU's past. With the Ant-Man film acknowledging that there was a Silver Age of Marvel heroes (with the Hank Pym Ant-Man and Wasp team), along with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark contributing; who's to say that the FF wasn't active back then?
- Our FF would begin with a quick recap of how Reed and Ben knew doom from college. We would show the accident that resulted in Doom's hatred for Reed.
- We would see the team take the test rocket to space where they gain their powers.
- Our Doom would not be a hacker or a business mogul, he'd be the vain genius that we know from the comics. He would be the sorcerer and dictator of Latveria. He would be the fearsome foe that the comics show us.
- The team would battle the Mole Man as their first adversary.
- They would battle with Annihilus in the Negative Zone (not the horribly named Planet Zero) and in order to save the Earth from the Annihilation wave they destroy the only way back and are thought dead.
- They would re-emerge in the present day MCU (thanks to Tony Stark screwing with wormholes into other dimensions) where they reveal they were just stuck for decades in the Negative Zone.
- We find out time is much different there and the team has only aged a few years while everyone else has aged decades.
- We find out that while there Sue gave birth to Franklin. Trying to help him adjust to normal life would be an ongoing storyline. Reed ends up coming to the conclusion that they need to teach powered children how to use their powers and be heroes in the Future Foundation.
- They could have Power Pack be part of them.
- The only villains to have battled the FF in the past could be Doom, Mole Man, and Annihilus. This leaves the rest of the FF villains open for use.
- Doom could have been sucked into Mephisto's (Marvel's version of the Devil) realm in an attempt to free his mother's soul and finally made his way out in present day as well. He would go back to claim the throne of Latveria only to see that his fail safe protocols have been put into effect and Kristoff Vernard (his young protege) has taken the throne and name of Doom.
Our timeline is set so here's our casting (warning, it's a long one) for the heroes and villains of The Fantastic Four!
Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic - John Krasinski
Yes, Jim from The Office. We know he hasn't been a lead in a major hollywood film yet, but this is his chance to shine. He has the chops to play the nerdy superhero. It would be a much cooler and less stiff version that what we saw from Ioan Gruffudd, and an older, confident, and actually have a personality than the version we saw from Miles Teller. In our film Reed would be the self absorbed genius we see in the comics. Being able to see Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner together on screen would be awesome; not to mention that fact that with Reed added we'd have almost the entirety of the Illuminati in the MCU. Some of Krasinki's best work was in Away We Go, Promised Land, and Nobody Walks; his first big action type film is 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Plus we think he's got the look for Stretcho.
Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman - Carey Mulligan
Aside from very much looking like Sue, Mulligan has the acting chops and combination of sweet and tough to play the Marvel Comics matriarch. You need an actress that's capable of playing smart, strong, sweet, and is believable as someone who could put the boys in their place. Our Sue would not be on the sidelines and marginalized, she would be front and center in the majority of the movie. She would be able to come into her own as a hero and show why she is considered one of the more powerful characters in the Marvel U. Look for Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, Public Enemies, Drive, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
Johnny Storm/The Human Torch - Zac Efron
We need an actor who can convincingly play the cocky, snarky, funny, ladies man of the team. We wanted someone who has had experience playing that type of character. Well, Efron was made for this role. See his performances in Neighbors, 17 Again, New Year's Eve, and That Awkward Moment (in which he coincidentally starred alongside FF 2015 stars Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan). Plus he and our next cast member could do a great job of antagonizing each other like Johnny and Ben should.
Ben Grimm/The Thing - Kellan Lutz
Big, strong, brooding, baby blues, and physically imposing. These are some of the traits shared by Lutz and Grimm. It seems like a very natural fit to play the sad outcast of the team. Lutz could easily do motion capture work for the part and not have to wear a rubber suit. He and Krasinski would make a convincing duo that was friends long before the team was formed. I would believe that Lutz was a pilot that could helm the rocket ship of destiny. For Lutz's action roles check out: The Legend of Hercules, The Expendables 3, Immortals, and Arena.
Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom - Ben Barnes
Mostly known from The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, Barnes is a terrific actor that has yet to stretch his legs playing the part of a bad guy. Since playing Caspian he has yet to land another big role that will catapult him into stardom. He's a great actor that could hold his own as Victor Von Doom against John Krasinski's Reed Richards. Our Doom would not be American as the last two were, he would be a student from Latveria hoping to use American tech to find a way to bring his mother's soul back to him. No campiness and no metal skin. Barnes would be wearing the Doom armor.
Alicia Masters - Brie Larson
The love of both Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm's lives needs a part in the movie. Who else to play the girl next door than Brie Larson. A great actress and she looks damn near identical to Alicia. Larson would be able to bring that calming presence needed to help tame the beast that is The Thing. We could even use Larson to play the Skrull imposter version of Alicia Masters that tricks Johnny to infiltrate the FF. To see Larson is action check out the following: Scott Pilgrim vs The World, 21 Jump Street, Trainwreck, and Short Term 12.
The Mole Man - Paul Giamatti
To play the FF's first villain and constant thorn in their side we chose Giamatti. He's played the bad guy before and done a bang up job at it. He has the smaller husky stature we'd need for the role. Normally folks would pick someone like Danny DeVito for the part but we feel that's a bit tired. Plus Giamatti is a phenomenal actor and has experience with comic movies. Take a peek at Paul in the following: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, American Splendor, Win Win, Shoot 'Em Up, and Straight Outta Compton.
The Red Ghost - John Malkovich
What part can't Malkovich play? Crazy? Check. Russian? Check? Astronaut? Check. Can talk to apes? Check. Perfect for this part? Check. More Malkovich: Red, Con-Air, Knock Around Guys, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Making Mr. Right.
The Puppet Master - Jackie Earle Haley
Aside from looking eerily like Masters, Jackie Haley has played the bad guy very convincingly before. The is his role to lose as far as we're concerned. See A Nightmare on Elm Street, Robocop, Watchmen, Shutter Island, and Little Children.
Annihilus - Diedrich Bader (Voice Over)
Not needing show his actual face for the role, we can get past the fact that Bader doesn't look evil at all. His voice however is another story. Using mocap and CGI, Bader's deep and menacing voice could be one to put fear into all who would oppose Annihilus! For some of his V.O. work see: Surf's Up, JLA: Trapped in Time, Bolt, Ice Age, and Lego DC Comics.
The Super Skrull - Omari Hardwick
The role of Kl'rt the first Super Skrull and one of the few foes to defeat the FF singlehandedly, needs to be played by someone who is not only physically imposing but can portray an aura of royalty. Kl'rt becomes the Skrull Emperor and is more of an adversarial character than outright bad later on. This would also be a character who comes to blows with The Inhumans and Guardians of the Galaxy as well. Hardwick has the size and presence to play Kl'rt and would be a sure bet to appear in multiple Marvel films, a'la Sam Jackson. Hardwick can be seen in: Kick-Ass, Miracle at St. Anna, Linewatch, For Colored Girls, and The A-Team.
Thundra - Jessica Biel
Now wether Biel would take a smaller secondary hero's role is debatable, but what isn't is the fact that she is one of the most athletic, fit, and perfectly-built-for-this-part actresses out there. This part however could lead to a Lady Liberators or A-Force movie role and expanded parts in other Marvel films. She's shown she can kick ass in Blade: Trinity and Total Recall, so playing an ass kicking lady hero seems like a cinch. More Biel can be found in: Stealth, Home of The Brave, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Next.
Agatha Harkness - Judi Dench
The role of wise, mature, master witch could go to none other than Dame Judi Dench. After 7 turns as M in the James Bond movies she could move on to be Marvel's top resident mystic, just a skosh behind Dr. Strange. We need an actress who commands respect and awe, Dench seems like a natural fit. Dame Judi can be seen in: Philomena, Notes on a Scandal, Chocolat, Chronicles of Riddick, Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides, and J. Edgar.
The Impossible Man - Stephen Merchant (Voice Over)
Some more mocap and CGI here to enable Merchant to be himself and expand upon his quirkiness. All he would need to do is just be silly and a little threatening. Not such a stretch for the talented Brit. More Merchant at: Hall Pass The Office (UK), Hello Ladies, and Movie 43.
Wyatt Wingfoot - Adam Beach
The FF's handyman/assistant/exploring friend and one of the lone Native American characters with multiple appearances in a Marvel title. Wingfoot was a college friend of Johnny Storm and became almost a defacto member of the FF, joining them on many adventures. He was even engaged to She-Hulk at one point! Adam Beach just seems the logical choice for this part and would be a great supporting character in a She-Hulk movie as well. Beach can be found in: Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers, Joe Dirt, and Law & Order: SVU.
Blastaar - Dennis Haysbert (Voice Over)
Mocap and CGI along with Haysbert's deep voice would make for a very fearsome Blastaar, the other big bad from the Negative Zone. Another role that can be spread throughout the MCU. Haysbert has a long list of great parts in: Major League, 24, The Unit, Heat, and Jarhead.
Diablo - Esai Morales
Diablo is the alchemist that has lived since the 9th century thanks to a deal he made with Mephisto. Diablo is a mid-tier FF bad guy and would be a good second villain in one of their movies. Diablo also brings with him Dragon Man a robot he brought to life via alchemy, and later becomes part of the Future Foundation. Morales is one of the best hispanic actors out there and could go full bore with his villainy. Morales is best known for La Bamba, Caprica, NYPD Blue, Gun Hill Road, and My Family.
Uatu The Watcher - Michael Chiklis
Uatu has yet to make his presence known in the MCU. Many have theorized that Stan Lee is The Watcher due to his various cameos in MCU films. We'd actually like to see the big bald peeper standing silent as the big MCU events unfold. Chiklis is mainly and nostalgia choice for the role due to his being Ben Grimm in the early FF films. He has the look and can probably seem intimidating standing over 20 feet tall. Chiklis can be seen in: The Shield, Fantastic Four 1 & 2, Vegas, No Ordinary Family, and American Horror Story.
Trapster - Oliver Jackson-Cohen
More of a joke villain nowadays than when he first appeared, the Trapster was considered formidable when he debuted. A member of the Frightful Four team that took on the FF many times and a Spider-Man nemesis sometimes, we fell Jackson-Cohen could help to restore some of the shine to this baddie. See more of Jackson-Cohen in: Faster, The Raven, and Dracula.
The Mad Thinker - Sean Bean
Finally a role that won't have to see Bean die. On the serious side, he has the look and the gravitas to play the FF bad guy that believes himself smarter than Reed Richards in every way. Thinker also brings us the Awesome Android who later on becomes an ally to many Marvel heroes. This is also the villain that brings us the Awesome Android. For more Sean Bean see: Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, National Treasure, Troy, Jupiter Ascending, and Legends.
The Molecule Man - Colin Hanks
Now this may seem out of left field but hear me out. Colin Hanks is a terrific actor. He has the look to play the unassuming Owen Reece and the understated evil of the Molecule Man. The sone of Tom is a highly underrated actor and deserving of that one breakout role. Allowing him to flex his bad guy side is also a way to open him up to other parts. See more of Hanks in: Orange County, Dexter, Fargo (TV), Untraceable, King Kong, and Parkland.
The Psycho Man - Doug Jones
Another part that would be heavily CGI and MoCap. Who else but one of the best actors known to work with costumes and makeup, Doug Jones. The Psycho Man is a more hands off villain than the FF are used to and prefers to deal with trying to dismantle them mentally. Jones seems the ideal fit for the part. Find Jones in the following: Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, Mystery Men, and Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer.
The Wizard - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
The ego, the attitude, the smarminess, the helmet. These are traits of the Wizard and Coster-Waldau...well, except for the helmet. Someone who is capable of playing a despicable asshat of a genius is needed for the part and Coster-Waldau is perfect; and he's believable as the leader of the Frightful Four. To see Coster-Waldau at his best check out: Game of Thrones, The Other Woman, Mama, Oblivion, and Headhunters.
Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk - Abigail Spencer
Ah, She-Hulk. The one and only member of the FF to actually make fans not miss Ben Grimm; that's a feat unto itself. However, Shulkie is one of the most beloved secondary members of the FF and a popular member of the Avengers too! She just happens to be Bruce Banners cousin who gained her powers through a blood transfusion. Though unlike her cousin she keeps her intelligence and sense of humor. We wanted someone who could play the role in multiple MCU films and pull off the lawyer side of Shulkie. Abigail Spencer is another underrated actress who would get her big break through a Marvel film (see Scarlett Johansson). For more off Spencer see: Cowboys & Aliens, Oz The Great & Powerful, The Haunting in Connecticut 2, This is Where I Leave You and Chasing Mavericks.
Sharon Ventura/Ms Marvel - Bridget Regan
Another female hero from the pages of FF (there were quite a few), Ventura was a one time girlfriend of Ben Grimm and eventually turned into a She Thing; she has been linked to Captain America as well. She served as a member of the FF with Ben, Johnny, and Crystal for a time and eventually turned bad. We wanted an actress who could play both sides of the coin and give us range. We went with Bridget Regan who had a brief part in Marvel's Agent Carter as a spy. For more of Regan see: The Legend of The Seeker, Agent Carter, and Beauty and The Beast.
Lyja - Yaya DeCosta
Now this is a role that starts out as the Brie Larson Alicia Masters character. At some point in the comic the Skrulls kidnap Alicia and replace her with Lyja and infiltrate the FF. Alicia was involved with Ben Grimm at the time and when he didn't come back from the Secret Wars she got involved with Johnny Storm instead. We didn't find out that she was really a Skrull until much later; and much to Johnny's chagrin she actually fell in love with him. Now having Brie Larson play Alicia up to her change into Lyja is fine, but after that point we would have Yaya portray the Skrull spy/warrior. For more of DeCosta see: Chicago Fire, Whitney, and the upcoming The Nice Guys.
Namor - Matt Bomer
Marvel's first Mutant and one of their earliest heroes (along with Captain America and the Jim Hammond Human Torch), Namor the Submariner is the one person that has Sue Storm's affections aside from Reed. This is much like the Wolverine/Jean Grey/Cyclops triangle. Bringing Namor to the big screen needs the acting ability to play royalty and the looks to make the women of the MCU swoon. Bomer is a great actor that has yet to have that breakout role and this is it. For more of Bomer see: White Collar, Magic Mike, American Horror Story, and The Normal Heart.
Nathaniel Richards - Bryan Cranston
The absentee father, the genius, the time traveller, the scientist, these are all words that describe Reed's father and roles that we can see Bryan Cranston filling. Richards left Reed when he was a child and randomly came back into his life at crucial times for him. He also raises Reed and Sue's kids, Franklin and Valeria in the future to be the saviors of humanity. Cranston is the ideal actor for this part. He brings the gravitas and seriousness needed for the part. For the best of Cranston see: Breaking Bad, Malcom in the Middle, Saving Private Ryan, Argo, and Trumbo.
Galactus - Ciaran Hinds
The world devourer Galactus. A part that was done as a damn space cloud in his only film appearance. Ugh... We want the giant guy in the purple and blue suit! I mean a 30 foot guy trying to destroy our planet with an even bigger piece of machinery. Preceded by the Silver Surfer, Galactus would be a foe for the entire MCU. Hinds has the intimidating stare and stern look on his face that would fit for the big guy. For more of Hinds work see: Game of Thrones, Ghost Rider, The Woman in Black, Rome, There Will Be Blood, and Munich.
Norrin Radd/Silver Surfer - Adrien Brody
Played prior by Doug Jones and Laurence Fishburne in the original FF films, we feel Norrin Radd, the tortured Surfer would be perfectly played by Adrien Brody. The herald of Galactus, Norrin gave his life to servitude to spare his planet from being devoured. Brody has the lanky but muscular physique for the role and plays tortured well. He would have the name recognition to be able to headline a solo film as well as bring a name to other MCU films he appears in. You can find Brody in: The Jacket, The Pianist, Predators, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Cadillac Records, and King Kong.
The Frightful Four (The Wizard, Medusa, Sandman, and Trapster) - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin McKidd, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen
In listing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Oliver Jackson-Cohen earlier we feel we need to cast the final two members of the first team that the FF encounters, The Frightful Four. Now there have been several incarnations of the team over the years but we'd stick with the original. Plus it gives us a chance to introduce Medusa to the MCU. Medusa would be played buy Evan Rachel Wood and Sandman would be played by Kevin McKidd. Wood eventually will of course be part of the Inhumans films and possibly make appearances in the Agents of SHIELD tv show. Wood has the acting ability to play royalty and villainess. McKidd we had mentioned playing William Baker in our Spider-Man Casting Call before. McKidd just has the look and can play the bad guy who turns good later. Wood can be seen in: Across the Universe and The Wrestler. McKidd can be seen in: Rome and Kingdom of Heaven.
The Inhumans (Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, and Maximus) - Vin Diesel, Evan Rachel Wood, Daniel Henney, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, Sendil Ramamurthy, Laura Vandervoort, and Iwan Rehon
Another group who got their start in the FF comics was the Inhumans. Now we mentioned Medusa starting out as a villainess, but Crystal (her younger sister) actually served as a member of the FF for a time. So we had our picks of who should play the rest of the royal family. Black Bolt played by Vin Diesel, Karnak played by Daniel Henney, Gorgon played by Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, Triton played by Sendil Ramamurthy, Crystal played by Laura Vandervoort, and Maximus played by Iwan Rehon. You can see more of them in the following - Diesel: Fast and Furious franchise and Riddick franchise. Henney: Big Hero 6 and X-Men Origins Wolverine. Bjornsson: Game of Thrones. Ramamurthy: Heroes and Covert Affairs. Vandervoort: Smallville and V. Rehon: Game of Thrones and Misfits.
The Black Panther - Chadwick Boseman
Already cast for the role in upcoming MCU films, Boseman would be able to make appearances in the FF films and show the friendship that exists between T'Challa and Reed.
Klaw - Andy Serkis
Serkis also already cast in the role will be able to play a part in the FF films too.
There you have it folks! The cast we would try for when FF joins the MCU! What do you think? What changes would you make? Let us know in the comments!