Fan Casting: MCU Fantastic Four

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So, I read that at Comic Con, Marvel Studios (MCU) is going to introduce the Fantastic Four in their universe. I think that’s awesome because maybe this time, the first family of  Marvel will get the chance to have a successful film outing.

I don’t know everything about these characters. I only know what I know from the movies, the one particular animated show and what I’ve researched. I like them all and I think it’s important for each character to have their moment to shine. I’ve never seen the original film but the 2004 films with Chris Evans and Jessica Alba were fun and I quite enjoyed the 2015 reboot. I know a lot of people hate that one but I like it. Read my review for it here. I’m not going to go into so much description about each person but get right into the casting. I know everyone wants John Krasinski and Emily Blunt to play Reed and Sue and that’s cool but I don’t think I really want them to play these roles. Same with Zac Efron, I wouldn’t be mad but I don’t really dig it.

Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

So, we’ve had Miles Teller and Ioan Grufffudd play Reed. They were both origin stories which is fine. I liked both actors in their roles but they were playing Reed at different places in their lives but were kind of similar. I mean, they’re both unassuming and a bit awkward. Honestly, thinking about them both now, while I don’t mind them, Reed was kind of boring and didn’t have a lot of development lol. Let’s not do that anymore. He shouldn’t be boring.

Reed is an intellectual who would rather to examine foes and negotiate instead of fighting. He can get caught up in the scientific implications of a problem that he forgets the problem. Reed is likable, pleasant and extremely passionate about his family and those he cares about. But he can also develop intense depression and be very self-deprecating. He is very much a humanitarian who will do what he can to prevent the suffering an intellectual being.

Top Choice: Patrick Wilson

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"Space Station 76" Premiere - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

I think Patrick Wilson would be great as Reed! First, he’s such a good actor and so dynamic, I’ve used this word a lot lately lol. Reed is the leader of his group and is the smartest man in the Marvel universe. He seems like someone would actually say that his intelligence is more important that his abilities. I also think because stretching powers can come off so silly, that Wilson would be able to find the balance. Patrick Wilson is charming and likable when his character is meant to be likable (because he can also be a horrible person too lol) and Reed’s obsessive nature could be explored as well. Not to mention, any moment where he feels like he’s failed and develops deep depression, I think he would be great at all of this. Plus, I think he would have really nice chemistry with either of my choices for Sue Storm.

Honorable Mentions: I don’t have any right now. Leave your choices for Reed in the comments!

Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman

So, in the past we’ve had Jessica Alba as Sue, which even then I thought was weird. I mean, she wasn’t bad but miscast. I mean, if you have to put so much makeup on her to make her skin lighter, that’s a problem, especially in the second one. Sheesh. Kate Mara also had great potential as did the movie but we know how that went.

So, I have two picks for Sue but they’re going to be for different reasons. I’ll try to explain lol.

Top Choice: Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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So, before you freak out and give me outrage, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is such a good actress. I need her to get a role that would propel her further into the spotlight and Marvel has done that for a lot of their actors. Sure, some might have smaller roles than others, but even the smaller roles, still manage to get a lot more movies, even if they’re “indies”. I recently saw Fast Color and she was so good in that. So, Gugu is 37 but she can register a bit younger than that depending on what kind of point in their lives they want to portray the FF. Either way, I think she would be a great choice. She’s in a healthy middle when it comes to not being that much younger than Wilson as Reed (there’s a 10-year difference but he also can register younger) and she would nail any and all emotional moments for Sue. She’d be strong because I think Sue is a strong character but her powers are also really strong, interesting and should be portrayed as such. No more of that “I can’t hold this for much longer!” when she literally just put up the barrier or whatever lol. I also think she’d be a great older sister for BOTH of my younger Johnny Storm picks AND she’d be great standing BESIDE Patrick Wilson’s Reed. She’s so dynamic on screen that thinking about it right now just makes me want her to be cast RIGHT NOW. Plus, definitely just let her keep her curls.

Kristen Bell

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I definitely want Gugu Mbatha-Raw more but I wanted to also choose an older Johnny and I think with my older Johnny choice; Kristen Bell works better for that. Plus, I love her and I think she hasn’t really had the chance to really have a role that would get her a lot of attention. Sure, she was Anna in Frozenbut that was a voice over so it’s not really the same effect. I think having her play Sue will allow her to not only be in a Marvel film which would already make her even more of a household name, but she gets to have powers! I can totally see her being motherly but still a sister, because I didn’t like when she was scolding Johnny in the 2004 versions, like girl calm down lol. I can even see her being a bit awkward but cool around Reed, I think Kristen could play it either way. Not to mention, I think she could be pretty badass if you let her and she’ll have great chemistry with Patrick Wilson.

Honorable Mentions: Aja Naomi King, Rosamund Pike, Alice Eve, Allison Brie (a friend suggested her and I like it lol), Rachel McAdams (let’s forget about her being in Dr. Strange)

Johnny Storm/The Human Torch

Both Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan were fine in this role as well. Evans clearly had fun in the role because Johnny being a ladies man, a bit roguish and a rebel works for him, which is funny because being the everyman, and strait-laced like Steve, also works for him. MBJ was the best in his movie, I don’t care what anyone says, but his Johnny was very underwritten and underused. Man, I want to rewrite that movie. You can read How I Would Fix: Fantastic Four.

Top Choice: Jacob Latimore (mostly) OR Ross Lynch

Okay, so listen up. Johnny can go either way in terms how old he is. When I was first casting this, I got comfortable with Kristen Bell as Sue that when I found my “older” choice for Johnny, I put away the idea of him being a bit younger because I thought I was done. BUT I kept thinking about Gugu and then I thought, well I thought MBJ was really good as Johnny in Fant4stic and it was a mistake that they didn’t make Sue black as well without doing much with it. I mean, I get what they were trying to do but it was a disservice.

So I thought of Jacob Latimore and I really want him to be a superhero lol because he was so good in Sleight. So, I said “well, if I made the Storms black, then I’d want Gugu and Jacob, they’re 13 years apart which is fine and it’d be great!” Jacob would have great chemistry with Gugu, no matter which way he’s played because she could either try to be all motherly (which is kind of what Alba did just nagging) or be like his cool and smart big sister who knows how to put him in his place if need be, without the nagging and that’d work better with Latimore’s Johnny. In terms of his personality, he’s usually the first one to jump into a situation, trying to fix things that got messed up (probably by him lol). He’s adventurous, spirited, impulsive and all of these other “flashy” personality types, I think Jacob Latimore would have fun in this role. I haven’t quite seen him play a role with this kind of personality but he seems like a likable person and I’ve always found Johnny likable no matter his iteration. Also, whenever there’s a more emotional moment for him, he could pull that off too. Not to mention, I’d think he’d be so smooth and cool and look awesome as The Human Torch. Let’s make it happen!

As for Ross Lynch, my friend Karina suggested him if Gugu played Sue and he could be her half-brother. I liked this idea and so I’m putting it here. Plus, she brought up the idea of Johnny being closer in age to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker since there’s no one his age in the MCU he can relate to, who is also a superhero. Plus, plus, I really like Ross Lynch and while he is on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as Harvey Kinkle, I would like to see him put forth in a way that the MCU can do. He’s also a very good actor, because I was blown away at him in My Friend Dahmer but he can also play the goofy, impulsive, maybe a little hotheaded guy because his Austin character was a bit like that. Even his Brady character had some of those tendencies. I think Ross Lynch would do great and also look great with the Human Torch look.

Karina mentioning that she liked the idea of Johnny being younger and then suggesting Ross Lynch, validated my choice in Jacob Latimore since Holland, Latimore and Lynch are all 23 and have a younger look about them. This doesn’t mean that they have to be the same age since as of Far From Home, Peter is 16. Johnny could be older. Plus, considering the whole thing with the Snap, perhaps Johnny didn’t get snapped and got the chance to grow up a bit? Who knows, but I wouldn’t make him that much older than Peter either way. It’s important for Peter to find someone he could be friends with in his superhero world, especially someone like Johnny who might just understand what Peter is going through thanks to the end credits (I won’t spoil). Besides, by time they bring Johnny into the MCU for real, Peter could have graduated high school lol.

Jeremy Sumpter

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This version of Johnny Storm is for Kristen Bell’s Sue Storm. Jeremy Sumpter hasn’t been that known for years. I mostly remember him from Peter Pan, which is amazing by the way, but I think he would be so good in this role! Not only does he look like he could be Kristen Bell’s young brother, but he has a youthful energy and look to him and he’s very handsome. He could be a ladies man if they go that route for Johnny. If not, that’s cool, but he could also do that hothead personality as well. Also, this could really propel him back into the spotlight because he’s so likable and I think he could really do it.

 

Honorable Mention: Glen Powell, Zac Efron, Dacre Montgomery, Taron Egerton, Nick Robinson, Dave Franco, Algee Smith (For Raw’s Johnny) 

Ben Grimm/The Thing

So, Ben always seems to get a little less attention than the others, I mean Jamie Bell was wasted and while I enjoyed 2015’s Fant4stic, he was very underwritten and underused. I mean, his entire background and usefulness was just ugh. His design in the 2015 movie was fine, I know everyone clowned him because he wasn’t wearing pants but whatever lol, he’s a rock mass. Michael Chiklis who played in the 2004 version, was fine as Ben as well, he annoyed me a lot of the time though, he whined too much. He was better in the sequel.

Ben had a tough life which shaped into a scrappy street kid. There’s a million ways to play his background, to show how it shaped him as an adult and so on. You could even throw in about his brother dying in a gang fight and how easily Ben idolizes people. I definitely think it’s important that it’s shown that Ben and Reed have been friends since college or at least since they were young men. Ben was always supportive of Reed even though they are vastly different. Ben does serve in the Marine Corps as a Test Pilot or at least skilled enough to fly a craft. Which makes sense for why Reed would include him on their expedition SO HE CAN FLY THE CRAFT. He’s also Jewish and I think it’d be nice to maintain that.

Top Choice: Chris Sullivan

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Ben is hard to cast because he has to be able to stand out as a human but then stand out when he’s The Thing. This actor would have to pull double duty. I always have a little hard time casting for Ben because I want someone who not only looks like they could be friends with Reed, especially since they’re so different, but he also has to have nice interactions with Johnny and Sue on different levels. Karina suggested Chris Sullivan who was Benny on Stranger Things and is also on This Is Us, which I don’t watch but his short-lived moment on Stranger Things was so impactful! Justice for Benny!! But I think he fits my group so well, both of my groups. He looks like he would be great friends with Patrick Wilson as Reed, be the strong silent type, who keeps Reed from falling too obsessively into things. I can see him forming a nice relationship with Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sue (same with Bell) and then having a playful but caring brotherly relationship with Johnny (all three of them lol). I think he works so well that while I have Honorable Mentions, and I kept thinking of other actors, he was the only one who kept coming to the forefront.

Honorable Mention: David Harbour, John Cena (I’m so serious lol), Terry Crews (I keep seeing it and I’m down for it lol).

Victor Von Doom/Dr. Doom

So, we had Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell as Victor and honestly, they both were good casting choices but the interpretations for them were not that great and they of course were very different. So different. McMahon’s Victor was a businessman, smooth, a bit cruel and always calculative but I never thought he was nearly as smart as Reed where he can challenge him. I always see him be considered as the smartest villain in Marvel comics and I didn’t get that. I mean, I don’t know, he’s very campy… but I guess that movie is campy lol. As for Kebbell, his characterization was okay but then it went off the rails in the latter half of the film. Whew lol.

So, they always portray Victor with getting powers from the cosmic cloud and all that or that he goes with the group on their expedition and somehow gets powers and none of that is true. I think it would be beneficial to go back to the idea that Reed, Ben and Victor all went to school together and there was an immediate enemy relationship. Follow the comics a bit more. The entire scarring ordeal, building his armor and all that. His powers come from the armor. I mean, he’s smart, so let’s go that angle.

Top Choice: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

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Yess Jamie Lannister. It was down to him and Viggo Mortensen but I ended up choosing Nikolaj because he’s closer in age. But I think he’d do sooo well in this role! Firstly, I don’t imagine seeing them in college first, at least I don’t think we’d have too, but I can imagine him having that grudge against Patrick Wilson’s Reed. I don’t think there was really a thing with him and Sue and we don’t really need that again. But I can imagine him using that for him, using his statue, his good looks or whatever, for his advantage. Nikolaj really does vulnerability well so with his scarred face, or even if they don’t do that, he would be able to handle that. He would also kill any angry outbursts and he has a lot of experience with action thanks to Game of Thrones so he would kill that. I think that’s important to maintain. He would kill it. I want to see him play Victor.

Honorable Mentions: Brian Cranston, Luke Evans, Viggo Mortensen, Armie Hammer.

I’m not going to get into other castings, like their kids or other villains because that’s a lot of work. Besides, these are the people that we’re used to seeing and they’re the ones who’d take center stage. I mean I know Victor is a villain but he definitely should be around quite a bit. I mean, like how Loki always was but make sure he’s a presence as both Victor Von Doom but also Dr. Doom.

I didn’t mind the younger versions of the characters they wanted to try in the 2015 version. I think it had a lot of potential but it just fell apart in second half of the film. If they went that version again, that’s cool, and that definitely makes room for both Ross Lynch and Jacob Latimore as a younger Johnny.

In the end, Patrick Wilson (Reed), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Sue), Chris Sullivan (Ben) and Jacob Latimore (Johnny), with Ross Lynch as an alternate lol, would be a great Fantastic Four with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau rounding us out as Victor. Man, y’all this would be good.

The Story

I don’t want to see them as kids, I don’t really want to see Ben and Reed in college and since my Johnny is younger, I don’t want to see teenage Sue and child Johnny. The origin should start when they get ready to go on this expedition. It’s of course unauthorized and Reed is smart and wants to do his own thing anyway.

Maybe we really do explore more of the multiverse and the Fantastic Four comes from another world? Perhaps it’s not even an origin story, maybe they treat it like Spider-Man and they already have their powers. Maybe they’re already established on their Earth as heroes? Or maybe they’ve been hiding ever since they got their powers, which would answer why we haven’t heard anything about them in the MCU, other than legal reasons lol.

I think there are many ways they could go with Marvel’s first family. I just hope that if we do get another origin, which we don’t really need, that it’s approached in a different way, something we haven’t seen before. If it’s not an origin, that’s awesome, but let’s make sure we handle the story and characters with care.

This is my Fan Casting for the MCU’s Fantastic Four. It would allow for a bit of diversity with the Storms and just to see actors we haven’t seen in the MCU.

What are your thoughts on my fan cast for the MCU’s Fantastic Four? Who are your picks for these characters and why?

Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Sleight (2017)

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Summary: A young street magician is left to care for his little sister after their parents’ passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.
There might be mild spoilers ahead. 
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There’s really only one character that this film truly follows. However, there are some supporting characters who are involved with the hero’s story and for the most part everyone is interesting enough for this film.
  • Jacob Latimore as Bo. I’m interested to see what else Jacob Latimore does, because so far I’m pretty impressed with him. His character Bashir “Bo” has taken up the mantle of being the parent in his household as his mother died a year before and there’s really no mention of their father. He has given up his future of an Engineering scholarship in order to support his sister. He performs magic tricks on the street and he also drug deals. He’s an interesting character because throughout this movie, he’s just trying to make things better for his sister but he’s not making good decisions in order to do that. Bo is a subdued character, he’s very mild mannered actually, he doesn’t raise his voice ever actually. He carries himself like he’s putting on a front, there’s a scene towards the end where he just breaks down and that was a beautiful moment. He’s trying so hard in the best ways he thinks he knows how. Jacob Latimore does a good job carrying this movie. He did a very good job with playing the various amounts of emotions this character goes through. The love of performing magic and pride he feels when he sees spectators enjoying his tricks. The emotions of feeling like he’s against the wall when he knows he wants to get out of the drug dealer but that life isn’t an easy one to leave. He definitely carries this film.
  • Seychelle Gabriel as Holly. She starts out as the love interest, as soon as he meets her, it’s easy to tell that he is attracted to her. As they get to know each other, they spend a lot of time together and we get to see their relationship grow on screen. I didn’t think it was forced or rushed. She was a good supporting person for Bo, she learned about his life, she cared for his sister whenever Bo had to go off with Angelo, she got invested. She was very loyal. It’s also learned that she has her own battles to face and when Bo discovers them, he tries to be there for her as well. In terms of them being there for each other it’s pretty even, as he offers support for her as well. It’s actually really cute. I thinks she’s fine, she could be replaced with any young actress to be honest, so I don’t think she stood out in terms of her acting but her character was a nice addition.
  • Dule Hill as Angelo. I’ve never seen him in anything but Holes. So anytime I see him I think “I can fix that” lol but this character was intimidating, he was charismatic in a scary way and and Dule Hill did a great job portraying that. He had this little “devil may care” smile going on that he flashed but that did not mean there was a good attitude on the other side of that smile. He was the supplier for Bo’s drugs and at first, he seems like a cool dude until he finds out about another dealer then it just takes a dark turn. He goes to threaten the dude, when the dude doesn’t agree to his conditions, he gets even more extreme, even forcing Bo to do the dirty work. He’s just a terrible scary person. I don’t want to spoil anything but the last 2/3s of the film he turns against Bo (for a reason) and he definitely puts the fear into Bo. Dule Hill was really good in his role, he was able to be larger than life and he was good every time he was on screen.
  • Supporting Characters. Storm Reid plays Tina Wolfe, Bo’s little sister and Sasheer Zamata plays Georgie, a neighbor and they’re both good in their roles as well. Storm Reid is adorable, she loves her older brother (she looks so unlike him that it is a bit jarring lol) but she does her job in loving him, worrying about him and idolizing him. Georgie is fine in that she’s an adult that they need in their lives, she helps out when he needs her, she is an adult voice in this world where Bo is out there on his own, she doesn’t want him to be a drug dealer, she even says that it’s not her place but she doesn’t want him to do this. It’s good for him to have an adult in his life who had a positive hand on his shoulder. Frank Clem as Dr. Granger shows up in the last act of the film as a last resort, Bo goes to him for help and he does his job.
The “Magic”. Okay, so the trailers says this is a mix between Iron Man and Chronicle and that’s not completely wrong. But if you go into this thinking there’s “magic” then that’s the wrong idea. Bo can do amazing things that he puts off as magic which is fine because a magician never reveals their secrets and he only does it twice, to Holly and Dr. Granger (and the audience). It’s pretty cool though. There’s a particular sound that is matched to his movements and abilities. There’s many things we see him do that are really cool, parlor tricks but once you learn how he has these powers it makes you look at it differently.
It’s Low Key/Quiet. This film is a bit chill, the tone is a relaxed one. It’s not over the top, the little bits of violence may be (but the only part that is they don’t show). This film lives and breathes by Jacob Latimore and the film takes it’s direction from him.
An Origin Story. I know these days people are like ugh origin stories but this one is so very different. It focuses solely on Bo and his story, and with the way it ended, it definitely leaves it open for a sequel. It would be interesting to see where Bo’s story goes from here, he created his abilities, what else could he do? I want to know.
Emotional Scene. There’s a scene at the end, it’s after the climax and the film is almost over, Bo handles some business and then gets into a car with Holly and Tina and he just breaks down crying. The girls look at him and they both hug him. I’m a contagious crier and I teared up, but I also felt that. He’s been playing parent for about a year and I assume he’s 19 years old. That’s a lot, to give up everything he had going for him to take care of his sister and in this moment, all of that, plus what he did that night all hit him. It was a great scene.
Cons:
Anti-climatic. It feels like this movie isn’t really building up to anything. It’s just an experience that we’re going on which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but once the second half happens, it kind of amps up and there’s more happening and then the climax happens and while I was wondering if Bo was going to make a bad choice, the whole moment wasn’t necessarily filled with tension. At least not for me. I was expecting a bit more.
The “magic” Details. So it’s shown that Bo is very smart, probably borderline genius when it comes to Engineering. There are pictures of him getting an award, there are trophies, etc. There might be spoilers here, warning. There is something he did to give himself these powers and while he talks about it to Holly, kind of explains why he got into magic, he never actually states how he did this. It’s so interesting to me and while Dr. Granger kind of exposits a few big words of what he needs to do for more power, and they kind of talk about some of the details of what’s there, it’s explained or shown at HOW he did it and that bugged the crap out of me. I wanted to know. Especially with all of the things that start happening at the end, I felt like it needed to be explained.
No Consequences. So Bo does a lot of desperate things, or things out of fear but NOTHING happens to him. Well, maybe one thing that deals with the drug dealer but the other things he does, nothing really happens to him.
Overall, I really liked this film. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first trailer made me go “meh” and then I kept seeing trailers and I got more and more interested. I liked Jacob Latimore in Collateral Beauty, one of the few things I liked about that movie and he really stood on his own here. He led this movie in such a quiet and understated way. His character is very likable, he makes some terrible mistakes but you want to see him win. The power aspects of this film are really cool, I wish I could have learned how he did it, it’s definitely something I was curious about that I don’t think the movie delivered on explaining. It is a bit anti-climatic at the end, it didn’t need to be grand and it does fit the tone of the film but it feels like a slow burn that didn’t lead up to where it could have. The end did seem to hint at a possible sequel which I am interested in seeing. I can’t wait to see what might happen next.
Rating: 3.80 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Sleight? If so, what did you think about it? If not, are you interested? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. While I watching this film, I couldn’t help but to think about Jacob Latimore pulling off a pretty good Virgil Hawkins AKA Static Shock. I think it’s important that Virgil is brown skinned, this character reminded me of him, just add a bit more goofiness to him and he was Virgil. I would support that.