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Fox is in the final stages of finding its actors for Fantastic Four.
Fantastic Four was the very first comic produced by the Marvel Comics’ 1960s golden age and featured a brilliant scientist, his pilot best friend, his girlfriend and her brother — all of whom are turned into heroes: Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Invisible Girl and the Human Torch. They fought aliens and monsters, but their arch-foe was Dr. Doom, a one-time roommate of the scientist.
Fox has been working furiously on the reboot (slated for release on June 19, 2015), which almost came together with a cast last fall before rewrites delayed it. The project has gone through its fair share of writers but now has a script that execs and filmmakers are happy with. That generated a new round of tests and chemistry reads earlier in February.
Jordan, who is playing the Human Torch, has been involved with the project for a while as the studio has an option on the actor due to his starring in the found footage sci-fi hit Chronicle, also directed by Trank. (Jordan’s involvement, first revealed last year, initially rankled comic purists since the character, Johnny Storm, is a blonde-haired, white young man but is being re-conceived in this version.)
Mara won the role of Sue Storm, aka Invisible Girl, via a round of screen tests previously reported by THR.
The come-from-behind actor here is Bell, who emerged as the choice for the role of Ben Grimm, aka the forceful rockman named The Thing after initial tests failed to produce a candidate execs could agree on.
Teller, meanwhile, would play Reed Richards, aka the stretchable Mr. Fantastic, but that’s if scheduling issues can be worked out. Teller is coming off starring in the Sundance hit Whiplash but even before then was emerging as an in-demand actor. The John Belushi biopic, which is due to shoot this spring, is one of the projects vying for his attention.
This is Fox’s second round of making a Fantastic Four franchise. The first round, which consisted of two movies, released in 2005 and 2007, and saw Ioan Gruffudd play Richards, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm/Invisible Girl, Chris Evans as the Johnny Storm and Michael Chiklis as Grimm.
The new cast may not be household names or A-listers, but in terms of a next generation “best of” class it can’t be beat. Teller is on the rise and is fielding multiple offers; Jordan is nominated for an Indie Spirit for his acclaimed work in Fruitvale Station; and Mara has cachet due to co-starring in House of Cards. Brit thespian Bell is one of the stars of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
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