It's been a quite a while since we've heard any news about the long-proposed reboot of the Fantastic Four films. However, don't let the silence fool you, it's alive and without fear of a field already crowded with heavy comic book movie players, still plans for a summer 2012 release. Currently under the working title Fantastic Four: Reborn, casting rumors have already exploded. The most prominent of those rumors are surrounding who will be the new Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic. With actors Adrien Brody (top-left) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (top-right) named in a recent report by Screenrant, it seems that this new rendition of the Baxter Building's resident foursome may reflect a more refined tone than its predecessor, in which the role was played by Ioan Gruffudd. Oh, but wait, there's a lot more vague reports of names added to the list of potential cast members to this reboot that surely...someone apparently felt was necessary. Let's take a look!
1) After requesting a release from her contract to star in X-Men: First Class, rumors are abound regarding which superhero property (if any) Alice Eve may wind up joining. While some are pointing to a report that Marvel Studios has courted her for an appearance as a villain in The Avengers (presumably as The Enchantress,) some are saying that she could in fact be set for a run as the new Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman. It will be interesting to see if she chooses either a possible breakthrough as a legendary sexy villain, with potential for a larger role in the Thor sequel, OR to don the sexy spandex mantle once (not too long ago) worn by Jessica Alba in what seems to be a rushed reboot. (I think my opinion on which choice is better comes across pretty clear.)
2) Thanks to a report from ComicBookMovie, another name that's popped-up on the Sue Storm radar is Amber Heard. Set for potential stardom with a co-starring role int the upcoming Nicolas Cage vehicle Drive Angry 3D, the former Hidden Palms star could be the breakout acquisition that this production needs. However, if indeed either Adrien Brody or Rhys Meyers will be our Reed Richards, then the much younger Heard may not provide a good match. While Reed is supposed to be somewhat older than Sue, it would look too much like a cradle-robbing situation. Therefore, I would guess her chances depend on the next Mr. Fantastic being a twenty-something.
3) Young and essentially unknown, Kevin Pennington, is said to be in consideration to inherit the role of Johnny Storm aka Human Torch. The Texas native would be taking the role, which for the most part, was a rare highlight in the last franchise thanks to his portrayal by future Captain America Chris Evans.
4) Rounding out what could already be our assembled Fantastic Four team, will be a completely CGI version of Ben Grimm aka The Thing (sorry Michael Chiklis, no more giant callus suit for you.) However, that still does leave a vacancy for the role of pre-transformation Ben Grimm and the eventual voice of Marvel's "Ever Lovin' Blue-Eyed'" powerhouse.
It completely baffles me why Fox is in such a rush to get this film out there, especially considering it's potentially set to be a sacrificial lamb at the hands of Summer 2012 competitors in Marvel's The Avengers or even Sony's still-untitled Spider-Man Reboot. While star of The Tudors Rhys Meyers does not at seem able to pull off the look of the brainy scientist that Reed Richards will need to be, his casting could be indicative a departure from the traditional feel of Reed Richards. However, should they choose to anchor the film on the addition of Oscar-winning actor (and recent Predators action star) Adrien Brody, we could have the potential for a Fantastic Four film that would truly bring alive the dynamic of team chemistry that made the comic so popular, with a believable modern flare.
What say you? Is there even a remote chance that Fox could prove conventional wisdom wrong and knock this one out of the park?