Thursday, December 14, 2017

A few thoughts on a good Fantastic Four movie

As I write this, the announcement was just made a few minutes ago. Disney is buying Fox and the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties will soon return to Marvel Studios. While a few folks are talking about what this means for the X-Men franchise, I'm personally far more interested in how it would effect the one property Marvel Studios desperately needs to handle, just to save it from the mediocrity it has suffered in three films so far.
It is time for a great Fantastic Four film. 

All they need is some matching spandex.
Let's keep the premise simple and as close to the classic origin as possible. They fly into space, get exposed to some kind of galactic space goo / Negative Zone force / Dormammu spit / whatever and get super powers. They crash back on Earth and learn they have gained freakish abilities. Reed decides to use this in the best way his capitalist mind can think: by turning them into a business. 

As they reach their first levels of success and fame, Reed's old rival Victor Von Doom resurfaces. The Eastern European aristocrat (hell, make him overlord of the remains Sokovia instead of Latveria now) has used his genius to replicate the technology of Tony Stark, but his time training under the Ancient One gives him a different perspective on the world of tech. He's still got a major hate on for Reed, who seems to have lucked into all the success Doom struggled to get. So he sets up to fight the heroes. He brings in one big MCU guest star as a dupe to ground and pound the team before the final battle between the heroes and him. 

An end credit scene shows the impending arrival of the Silver Surfer and quite frankly set up a whole new phase of Marvel films. 

It's far more simple a story than any other attempt to modernize the team for modern movies while delivering some room for laughs and character development. 

Let's take a look at my cast, in the order I would expect to see them in the credits: 

Eddie Redmayne as Victor Von Doom: Eddie may be swamped under by the next four Fantastic Beasts films, but he is spot on the guy that can play Doom to a tee. He can play down to earth, pathos and isn't unwilling to transform himself for a role. And if Jupiter Ascending proved anything, it is that he can go over the top as a villain with ease. 

Saoirse Ronan as Susan Storm: Ronan is young, blonde and an infinitely better actress than the two women she replaces. While she's avoided blockbusters for the most part, she would be a spot on choice to build a more full fledged Invisible Woman than we've been given in the past. She's easily the most powerful member of the FF and it's time we're giving an actor and a movie that can show it.

Armie Hammer as Ben Grimm: I'm not sure if Armie has given up on the "I need to be a thing" thing yet, but he'll probably never make it as a major leading man. But Hammer is a great player in his previous blockbuster attempts. He could make a great giant rock monster, whether or not the movie wants to go full CGI or use makeup effects. 

Ross Lynch as Johnny Storm: The hothead of the Fantastic Four goes to a man most famous now for playing a serial killer in My Friend Dahmer. But as a veteran to the Disney Channel, Lynch is pretty much built to play a slightly smarmy but great looking guy that loves the spotlight. Kids love him and with about twenty pounds of muscle packed on, he could be Marvel's next hot young thing. 

Zac Oyama as Reed Richards: The most unknown of the actors in my list, but the College Humor regular has acting chops plus the comedy talent to make the inherent silliness of stretching powers really work. Zac has played super smart and socially inept before during shorts, and that makes me think he's got what it takes to make a young Reed come to life. And if Kelly Marie Tran can make the leap from CH to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Zac could do the same for the Marvel Universe.

Matt Smith as the Silver Surfer: The only former Doctor (at the moment) not yet cast in a Marvel movie or show would be the perfect man to bring a quirky alien fascinated by humanity to life. While Surfer in many ways is an ultra-powerful version of the good Doctor, I suspect Smith could bring some interesting differences between the two and hopefully set himself up for an eventual spinoff film. 

Introducing: ? as Alicia Masters: I have to cast an unknown as Alicia Masters, as I think it might be a great time for Disney/Fox/Marvel to show off their diversity creds by hiring an actually blind actress for the role. It might add a few headaches to the filming process, but would be worth it just for authenticity's sake. 

Featuring: Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk: Oh, come on! We all want to see The Thing fight The Hulk on the silver screen. Doom could easily use the big guy as a tool in his plot setting up a big fight between the two while the rest of the FF have to deal with Doom himself. It could make for a great climax and set up another "puny god" style moment. 

What do you think of this cast and plot? Who do you want to see in a MCU Fantastic Four? Let me know in the comments! 

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