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!

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Movie Review: Aquaman (2018)

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Summary: Arthur Curry, the human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land.
This is a short review.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry. For all the Aquaman purists (*coughs*Jonathan*coughs*) he is not a full blond lol but he makes his Ombre work. Arthur grew up with his father after his mother left when he was a toddler. He pretty much does his own thing but he does seem to take it upon himself to help people out in the water, especially since he just showed up where the submarine was at the beginning. However, he is reluctant to be King of Atlantis. He just doesn’t want that responsibility; besides, he’s been told that his mother was killed and so he’s definitely not into ruling a kingdom who murdered his mother. Arthur has the ability to communicate with other aquatic life. He can swim at supersonic speeds and possesses superhuman strength. He doesn’t get involved in things that he feels aren’t his problem and he won’t do things he’s not interested in which is part of his arc in the film. He has to figure out just how involved he wants to be and see how far he’s willing to go. I like Jason Momoa, I think he’s a fine Arthur/Aquaman, I don’t know how true he is to the comic character or anything but I think he’s likable, probably the most likable version I have seen on screen. He’s also funny and he does well with the physical stuff. I don’t think Arthur really got to have many emotional moments but overall, I think he’s cool.
  • Amber Heard as Y’Mera Xebella “Mera” Challa. She is the Princess of Xebel, and a warrior. She was raised by Queen Atlanna and groomed to become queen. She possesses hydrokinetic and telepathic powers. She can control the aquatic environment around her. I was unsure how I would feel about her in this film, but she’s really cool. She shows up on the docks and tells Arthur that he has a mission he has to do and she’s adamant that he comes back to Atlantis because she believes in his mother and she believes he’s the only one who can do what needs to be done. She has her beliefs and she sticks to it. The only problem she sees, is that he’s lazy and just doesn’t want to put in the effort. She’s pretty intense when she wants to be and very observant of their situation. She’s a warrior so she’s always ready to be on the move. I like Mera, she’s a “go get em” kind of girl. Amber Heard was fine in the role, I can’t say that no one else could play the part but she’s fine. My biggest problem, but it’s not her fault I guess, is her wig didn’t look good when it wasn’t wet or moving in the water. On land it looked pretty bad.
  • Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko. He is Atlantis’ counselor, he mentored and trained Arthur when he was younger. There’s not a ton to say about him but Willem Dafoe is always a win.
  • Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius. He is Arthur Curry’s Atlantean half-brother and ruler of Atlantis. He wants to unite the seven underwater kingdoms to declare war on the surface world out of the belief that humanity polluted the seas. He does a ton of talking in this movie about what he wants to do and how he’s going to do it. I mean, I think he has a point about some of the things he says, but he definitely spends this movie glaring and talking. I like Patrick Wilson so I thought his character could have used a bit more nuance overall otherwise he’s pretty interesting.
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta. He is a ruthless pirate and a high-seas mercenary who seems to like creating deadly technological innovations. He already has a grudge against Arthur at the beginning because I guess he’s thwarted his plans before but he really ends up hating him and spends the entire movie trying to get revenge. I haven’t seen Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in a ton of things where he’s the lead but I like him, I think he’s charismatic and interesting to watch overall. I’m curious to see what happens with his character in the future.
  • Nicole Kidman as Atlanna. She’s not in this movie a ton, but in the beginning,  she has this badass fight scene and I thought that was the best part of the film with her. Nicole Kidman is generally always a win and she was.
Cool Action. There are some really cool actions sequences in this movie. Particularly in that little Italian village, that entire sequence while Arthur is fighting Black Manta and Mera is running across the roofs, that was really nice. It made up for the random explosion that happened right before. I also thought the fight between Arthur and Orm at the end was pretty nice as well. Oh! I can’t forget about Nicole Kidman’s awesome fight sequence when the Atlantean soldiers burst into her home, it was sooo dope. I was like look at you Nicole!
Character Chemistry. I thought Jason Momoa and Amber Heard had nice chemistry. Whether or not it was romantic remains to be seen in further films but I thought they at least worked well together as colleagues. They had really nice banter when they went back and forth and it just seemed natural.
Visual Effects… Some.I will get into this more later. But some of the visual effects in this movie are dope. The one that comes to mind immediately is Mera’s jellyfish looking dress during the Ring of Fire. Y’all, that thing was amazing. I also think the swimming and talking underwater for the most part is pretty nice as well.
Cons:
Opening Narration!I NEED MOVIES TO STOP USING OPENING NARRATION WHEN WE CAN CLEARLY SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE SCREEN! I don’t need Arthur to tell him his dad met the love of his life when I can clearly see it. Gosh it’s so annoying. You talking just ruins the moment! SHUT UP!
WHAT IS WITH ALL THE EXPLOSIONS!Y’all, I swear we get like five explosions in this movie that signal a shocking moment. I’m sure there’s probably less lol but every time someone was having a serious moment, it was undercut by the enemy finding them with an explosion! It happens so much. Like so much it’s ridiculous. Once okay, twice is pushing it but three times… that’s too much.
Inconsistent. This movie has a lot of confusing inconsistencies. I won’t even get into the stuff that connects this movie to Justice League, which is where we first saw Arthur because boy… but anyways, one thing I noticed is how Arthur reacts to things. It’s almost like the movie doesn’t know what they want him to be. Is he dumb? Is he smart? Is he just supposed to be commenting on things? I mean… you have him in one scene not being able to remember parts of the prophecy, but then later you have him talking about history stuff AND he does actually remember parts of the prophecy… was it just a joke? But why? It’s a serious moment? Not to mention, how dangerous the whole quest thing is but what about Atlanna? How did she know about the Karathan? Did she try and get the trident and failed but she managed to live? There’s a lot of this that goes on. Oram seemed to not trust Vulko but he waits till the end to say something? Meh.
Visual Effects. I saw a lot of talk about the visual effects in this movie and how it should have been nominated for an Oscar, so I was expecting like amazing effects but meh. I didn’t think they were that great most of the time. All of the Atlantis stuff looked really fake and it looked too much like a video game. It’s cool when a video game looks like a movie but not vice versa because things get into the uncanny valley and it’s too weird.
Villains Use and Storylines. So, we technically have two villains in this movie. Black Manta is one of them and I think he’s really wasted in the film. Don’t get me wrong, he’s interesting and the actor does a really good job. I really think he would be intimidating but he’s really wasted. We see him pretty early and we solidify his reasons to dislike Arthur, which I get but at the same time, y’all did that to yourselves… anyway, that could have been the last time we saw him until the end credit scene and then we know he’s the next villain. Instead they kept trying to pepper him throughout the film and I was like meh, it’s so unnecessary to have him be in this. The other villain is his half-brother… spoiler alert, I guess? I mean it’s kind of obvious right? Anyways, he thinks he’s doing the right thing, so that’s already set up for a good villain because the ones who think they’re right make sense, but he talks way too much, it doesn’t aid in me thinking he’s a good villain.
Too Long. This movie is 2 hours and about 38 minutes long. It’s just too long because there were things in this movie that could have been shaved down or even cut out because it wasn’t really necessary for this film. One of those things was the inclusion of Black Manta. Don’t get me wrong, he’s kind of interesting and I think the actor was great with what we saw of him, but the problem is he seemed like an afterthought. Cut him out in general and that’s a good probably 20 minutes from the film and they could have introduced him in the sequel.
Overall, I enjoyed Aquaman a bit more than I thought I would. I liked all the characters enough and the acting was fine across the board. This is a usual hero story where he needs to complete the prophecy in order to do the thing that needs to be done, even though he doesn’t want to. Ya know, that story. There is some cool action in this film, especially Nicole’s scene at the beginning and the little Italy scene. Some of the effects are  really cool and the characters have chemistry. Now, on the other hand, I did not think the  visual effects were as good as people were saying, it looked too much like a video game and there were times where I could barely see what was going on because the effects weren’t that great and it was murky looking. The villains weren’t that great as villain overall. I felt like they were wasted, particularly Black Manta. I also think the movie is ultimately inconsistent as well. Too many times Arthur’s personality just wouldn’t seem to PICK ONE! But ya know, the movie is fine.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Aquaman? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!