By: James Silverwolfe
The most surprising thing about this rumored short list for testing is how unsurprising some of the choices are. These are some of the very same people that are tested for seemingly every new franchise. Especially Saoirse Ronan. But this is a studio movie where every stage of development is tricky. With all the various factors (star appeal, box office draw, American-ness) it’s no wonder the same names keep appearing on H-wood’s (short for Hollywood, try to keep up) short lists.
The latest movie in question is of course the new (and improved) reboot of the FANTASTIC FOUR. This one is being directed by Joshua Trank. He’s only directed one movie (“Chronicle”) but there’s a strange universal feeling that he’s the perfect man for the job. He achieved greatness with so little, why not see what he can do with a lot? Hopefully he succeeds.
For the role of Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic the following are eyed for testing: Kit Harrington (“Game of Thrones”), Jack O’Connell (“300: Rise of an Empire”) and Miles Teller (“Spectacular Now”). Personally I’m rooting for Teller, especially if this ends up being based on the the Ultimate universe version of the Fantastic Four. And there’s a good chance it could since all these names are fairly young. He can play smart in a jerky way without going full Jesse Eissenberg and he can play it off like a joke at the same time. Granted, Reed isn’t a jokester but I would personally love to see Teller pull off some dad jokes while trying to impress.
For the role of Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman the following are being eyed: Saoirse Ronan (“Hanna”), Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”, “House of Cards”) and Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street”). At one point Allison Williams of “Girls” fame was reportedly being pursued but I guess that fizzled out. Of all these women, I find myself on TeamMara. Why? Well, first off, Kate Mara is the best Mara. Her sister Roony is great, but Kate is a cut above. Also because she looks like she could easily be a ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ but always manages to rise above. Unlike some people… *cough* Zooey Deschannel *cough*. She also brings an innate seriousness to her roles like in “House of Cards” or slightly unhinged like in “American Horror Story.” For a character who is tough smart and suddenly plagued with fluxuating invisibility, she seems like a great choice.
As I previously stated in the first rumor post, I would love to see Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch. The guy’s got range and charisma for days, what more could you ask for? He’s the one name that keeps popping up that I really hope sticks. He’s been a delight in everything he’s been involved in “The Wire”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Chronicle” and most recently “Fruitvale Station.”
There’s no word on who’s being eyed for Ben Grimm aka The Thing. However, if you can look past the obvious idea of “we need a big bald white guy!” than I would like to submit Dave Franco into the mix. I have almost no idea why, other than he would play off of Teller and Jordan wonderfully. Considering he’s not going to become an actual brick monster I’d say the banter is what’s truly important. And of the Franco’s, Dave seems to have been more blessed with the gift of gab. His brother obviously got that disarming smile.
When the great testing battles begin, I hope my favorites end up being victorious.