Fantastic Four ‘Fantastic Four’ Leaves Vancouver to Lens in Louisiana written by John Bierly July 24, 2013 The Wrap exclusively reported today that Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot from “Chronicle” director Josh Trank is moving production from Vancouver to Louisiana to take advantage of the state’s recently rescued film incentive program. The film is currently set for March 6, 2015, with production expected to begin in September. September! That’s soon, and we’ve yet to hear anything about casting beyond persistent rumors that Trank’s “Chronicle” star, Michael B. Jordan, is a major contender to be Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm. (This was also a Wrap exclusive.) (UPDATE! Looks like Michael B. Jordan may be too busy; Deadline says he’s nabbed the title role in “Creed,” in which he’ll play Apollo Creed’s grandson who’s trained as a boxer by Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa. Interesting.) I’m certainly not among the voices who feel a black man shouldn’t play Johnny Storm, though I’m interested in how they’d handle the family dynamic if Jordan’s casting happens. Does it mean that Johnny’s sister, Sue, will be black, too? Not that it matters either way. I’m just curious about how they’d handle it. What I truly do hope, for Jordan’s sake and the sake of anyone else cast in this film, is that they’re allowed to be who they are. If Fox really wanted to cast Jessica Alba for the first round of FF movies, for example, why didn’t they just let her be Jessica Alba rather than putting her under a ridiculous blond mop and blue contact lenses so intense they were creepy? Rather than making her look more like her comic book counterpart (and her movie brother, Chris Evans, whose charisma allowed him to escaped a cruel fate and become Captain America for Marvel), the crude cosmetics served only to distract from her performance (through no fault of Ms. Alba’s own; I’m in her corner here). Not to mention those scripts weren’t exactly mountains of magic. So far, the number of writers whose hands have reportedly touched the new FF screenplay stands at five: Trank, Jeremy Slater (“Reawakening”), Seth Grahame-Smith (“Dark Shadows,” “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter”), and the hot duo of Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, whom Badass Digest recently mentioned as joining J.J. Abrams’s third “Star Trek” film and who recently worked on “X-Men: First Class,” “Thor,” the “Top Gun” sequel that seems stalled after the passing of director Tony Scott, and a ton of genre television including “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Andromeda,” and “Fringe.” The biggest issue for me, at least, is that everyone here — Trank, the rumored Jordan, the craft services guy — seems too talented to be wasted on another Fox reboot of a property that would be far better served by going home to Marvel. As with anything, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and hope it’s good, but… eh. If you’re excited about another Fox attempt at Reed and Sue and Johnny and Ben, I’d love to hear why! ‘Fantastic Four’ Leaves Vancouver to Lens in Louisiana was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by John Bierly Related Fantastic Four 10 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest John Bierly previous post ‘Agent Carter’ Packs a Punch in First Clip next post RUMOR: A Long Time Ago, in a Gosling Far, Far Away? (UPDATED) You may also like Trailerpalooza 2015: New FANTASTIC FOUR Trailer April 20, 2015 FANTASTIC FOUR Falls Flat August 7, 2015 New FANTASTIC FOUR Images Include Thing First... April 9, 2015 FANTASTIC FOUR Pushed Back, But Don’t Worry September 18, 2014 Too Good To Be True – FANTASTIC... October 15, 2015 Trank & Kinberg Talk FANTASTIC FOUR January 26, 2015 New FANTASTIC FOUR Images March 12, 2015 FANTASTIC FOUR Trailer Confirmed For February January 16, 2015 Kebbell Spells Doom For FANTASTIC FOUR April 1, 2014 Open Forum: FANTASTIC FOUR (2015) August 7, 2015 Naes [Takes deepest breath known to man and releases a resounding meh]. Fox has already had two bites at the apple with this franchise. ROTSS actually managed to be worse than the first. They have never cared about this series. Why should anyone else care now? Let me guess the pitch they will using for fanboys at upcoming conventions: “We are going to do the origin story (again) with a more grounded, serious take focusing on the relationships between the characters.” Am I in the ballpark? This genre is crowded enough without also-rans. John Bierly I’m pretty sure Fox just cut and pasted your pitch into their first press release, Naes. 🙂 And I agree with you. The second one was even worse than the first, and I have little confidence Fox will ever do anything of quality with these characters. It’s really sad, too. Because even though Roger Corman’s FF movie was made for the same reasons of hanging on to the rights, at least it was made with heart despite its budget of $17.43. Michael Lalaian The only good thing I can say about other studios having the rights to some of these characters is that it allows for more films to get made. Marvel Studios seems to only want to shoulder the cost of two movies a year, and if Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spider-Man were all back at Marvel Studios, we probably wouldn’t be getting the three Marvel based films this year and the four Marvel based films in 2014. That said, Fantastic Four is THE perfect franchise to return to Marvel and fit into their current tone and over-arching story. Oh well. John Bierly Hi, Michael, It’s a tough one, isn’t it? I’m also all for as many high quality movies as we can get, but all too often I feel like these other studios are making things not to make good movies but to hang on to the rights. Fantastic Four exists best in a larger world where Tony Stark can call Reed Richards with a science question, not in some alternate Fox universe where they try to make the FF dark and gritty or some other such nonsense. I wish Marvel would buy it all back with fat Disney cash. Michael Lalaian From your lips to Bob Iger’s ears. Really, in all of Fox’s attempts at films based on Marvel characters (of which there have been eight, not counting this Friday’s) there have only been two unqualified wins for me (X-Men, X2) and one “heart in its right place” personal favorites (Daredevil Director’s Cut). I think you said it yourself on one of the podcasts, it’s kind of hard to get excited when Fox announces anything because it just means we’re further and further away from seeing a complete cinematic marvel universe. stock The FF should be a no-brainer hit for whichever studio takes it on. I would rather Marvel took over because I think they’d probably do it with more care. I agree with most of your article with the exception of Jessica Alba, who, outside of being very beautiful, just doesn’t convey a lot of range as an actress, (not that she was required to). As far as a black Johnny Storm, I mostly agree with hiring actors who fit the role regardless of race, UNLESS, its a stunt casting, which some of these “lets make this character black, or whatever, seems to be. Call it political correctness run amok. I think a much more interesting character to be a black guy would be Ben Grimm, because it could bring an added dimension to his pain. As in, first I’m black and I feel like an outsider, now I’m some Thing. I did notice you didn’t mention the other cast from those first movies. I think Chiklis did a pretty good job. He just didn’t get much to work with. But they really blew it with the detached, effete Doom. You’re only as good as your bad guy. John Bierly Hi, Stock, I singled out Alba to make the point about casting actors for the right reasons. If they really wanted Jessica Alba to play Sue Storm, they should have allowed her to be Jessica Alba. By caking up her face with makeup, giving her weird contact lenses, and slapping an obnoxious yellow wig on her, they thought they were making her look more like the comic book Sue when all they were really doing was grossly bringing attention to how much she didn’t. What was meant to make her “blend in” served only to be distracting. It’s kind of like with “Looper.” The makeup to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt look more like Bruce Willis doesn’t hold up well on Blu-ray. If I’m gladly willing to accept time travel and telekinesis, and I am, then I’m just as happy to accept that Joseph Gordon-Levitt grew up to be Bruce Willis. Trust your audience and, more importantly, trust your actors. So anyway, that’s why I singled out Alba. I agree with you that Chiklis was great with what he had to work with, and I really thought Chris Evans showed a lot of charisma. And as much as I like Julian McMahon as an actor, I agree the movies’ take on Doom was poor. But as with Alba, not McMahon’s fault. Just a poorly conceived idea from the beginning. Kind of like how they cast a space breeze as Galactus. Michael Lalaian Space Breeze vs Flying Space Turd, who wins?! John Bierly Oh man, Michael. The other day I tested out some new 3D glasses on the 3D “Green Lantern” Blu-ray and was struck by a thought. Would people rather see the mass destruction of large portions of Metropolis or a Flaming Space Turd sitting on Coast City for a few seconds before harmlessly flitting back to the stars? The mind boggles. It boggles. stock Agreed, John. Alba does not need to be made into Sue Storm. I’m surprised she allowed it myself. Sue Storm doesn’t have to be lilly white and blonde. Its only because comic audiences back during the early 60s wouldn’t have accepted Sue as anything but pure white bread, and it wouldn’t have entered Stan Lee’s mind to make her anything but. Black characters didn’t really show up at all until maybe late 60s-early 70s with Luke Cage, Black Panther, the Falcon, etc. We do want our movie characters to somewhat resemble their comic book counterparts where it matters. I think both Alba and Chiklis probably got the jobs based on their association with Fox, and where Chiklis fit, she really didn’t. Obviously, many people think a great FF movie is yet to come for a lot of different reasons. And I’m hoping for it but I am now really wishing Marvel would do it for all the reasons we’ve discussed here.