Fox has picked its new “Fantastic Four” — all four of them. According to multiple industry sources including The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is in the final stages of deals for the main cast of the reboot, based on the long-running Marvel Comics team: Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Kate Mara as the Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch/Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell as the Thing/Ben Grimm.
Jordan, known for his roles on critically acclaimed TV series “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights,” has long been considered the main contender for the Human Torch role. THR advises that Teller, who co-starred in last year’s “The Spectacular Now” and also has long been attached to “Fantastic Four,” will play Mr. Fantastic “if scheduling issues can be worked out,” as the actor currently has several high-profile projects on his plate. Jordan and Teller appeared together in romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment,” released late last month; Jordan previously worked with “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank in the 2012 sci-fi film “Chronicle.”
Mara, who has appeared on “House of Cards” and “24,” was reported earlier this month to have screen-tested for the role. Bell, who launched his career in 2000 as the young star of “Billy Elliot,” is the biggest surprise of the four, with THR stating he became the frontrunner after executives couldn’t agree on previous candidates. Deadline states that while deals aren’t closed, Jordan and Bell “look pretty solid.”
It’s a notably young take on “Fantastic Four,” with Jordan, Teller and Bell all 27, and Mara turning 31 later this month. Jordan will be the first African-American actor to play the Human Torch, something he addressed in a recent interview with “Access Hollywood”: “Comic books in general were established when we didn’t have civil rights, for the most part. So there weren’t a lot of comic book characters who were geared towards us, period… But as times change and things move on, I think us as a people need to evolve as well in our thinking and not be so narrow-minded. So, if not me, if not this project, [if it’s] someone else in another character, I wouldn’t be mad at that at all.”
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four first debuted in 1961, and the series is widely credited with ushering the Marvel era readers still know today. Two previous film adaptations were released by Fox in 2005 and 2007.
With the latest script by “X-Men: Days of Future Past” screenwriter Simon Kinberg, the new “Fantastic Four” film is scheduled for release on June 19, 2015.