CCI Day 3: Fantastic Four-Play with Winter, Alba, Chiklis, Story, Gruffudd and Arad

In a panel that had both revelations and obfuscations, fans listened as Marvel's newest movie glitterati talked up the long-awaited anticipated big screen translation of Marvel's entry into the modern superhero age. Filming begins in Vancouver four weeks from now, and ILM spinoff firm Giant Killer Robots will be taking care of the primary special effects.

On hand were director and USC alumni Tim Story ("Barbershop"), Marvel movie mogul Avi Arad, producer Ralph Winter, Ioan Gruffudd ("King Arthur's" Lancelot, now cast as Reed Richards), Emmy-winning actor Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm) and the very popular Jessica Alba (who will play the Invisible Woman, Sue Storm).

Arad had to stop and interject that on Friday, principal photography wrapped on the Jennifer Garner-fueled action film. He then showed a brief piece taped by Garner, spliced in with fight scenes from the film with Garner in a red costume reminiscent of the one made famous in the comic. Garner said, "We're doing this for the fans. We really only want the praise of a select group of people, the ones who grew up reading 'Elektra.' I don't want to screw this up!"

Turning the attention back to the film at hand, Gruffudd and Chiklis were overwhelmed by both the size and passion of the convention. "I thought I was a fan of comic books," Chiklis said, "but I am not worthy." Director Story only said, "I'm sorry I didn't bring more money, 'cause I see a bunch of stuff I wanna get."

Story emphasized the importance of physical effects. "I knew Michael, as Ben, had to have these conversations," Story said, "and now I don't have to make these moments with Michael. I wouldn't have done this movie if I couldn't make Ben Grimm real." To back that up, and giving away something of how the makeup would look, Chiklis said, "I'm reading to my daughters with fake teeth, so I can get used to pronouncing with them in."

Of course the conversation turned to a certain armor plated egotist. Story said that there would be an announcement on Dr. Doom in a week, and Story dismissed concerns about Americanizing the good Doctor by saying, "We're gonna make sure the villain of all villains is represented right." After audience members brought up concerns about "ultimitizing," Story emphasized, "The name of this character is Victor Von Doom."

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