With X-Men: Days of Future Past behind him, writer/producer Simon Kinberg is looking ahead to his next major project: the Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four reboot starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan. The movie has a lot of people interested because of the young, promising cast and because of the young, promising director. After the train wreck that was the previous Fantastic Four films, people are praying that we finally get something worth our time.
Kinberg, speaking to The Daily Beast, opened up about the new film and the casting of Jordan. The guy has a lot of positive things to say.
First Kinberg talked about Trank’s vision for the film. He used a few buzzwords that’ll make people roll their eyes but he also said something that caught my attention.
It’s a double-edged sword because you don’t have people saying, “Why are you rebooting something good?” and you also have people saying, “Why bother?” The core fans were not wild about the original movies, and nor was I. Last summer, Emma Watts at Fox called me on the set of Days of Future Past and said, “We really want to do a new Fantastic Four.” I said to her, “I’m interested but it depends how you want to do it.” She said, “Talk to Josh Trank.” We were shooting the Washington D.C. finale sequence in Days of Future Past and I talked to Josh, and he had such a clear vision of what he wanted to do with the film that was so different from the other movies—it was grounded, real, gritty, and what it would really be like if you went through a transformation and lost control of your body. That, coupled with him wanting it to be a coming-of-age movie, felt fresh to me.
At first I groaned at the words “real” and “gritty” – phrases used every single time a superhero property is rebooted. But then Kinberg throws in that bit about the movie being about losing control of your body and I immediately think of some sort of Cronenberg movie that would make one hell of a comic book flick. Of course Trank won’t get as weird as Cronenberg but exploring that territory could create ample and original drama. I really hope that’s a major aspect of the movie.
The writer also said the film won’t be nearly as “goofy” as the previous takes on Four (thank God) and compared the new film to Batman Begins, Iron Man and, of course, Chronicle.
After talking about Trank’s take on the film, Kinberg spoke about Michael B. Jordan. As you remember, Jordan’s casting created waves. Sadly the numb nut racists came out of the woodwork and protested casting a black man as Johnny Storm. But anybody with more than two brain cells cheered the choice because Jordan is a god damn champ and will absolutely kill it as The Human Torch.
Kinberg agrees, and he’s not alone. Another fan of the casting choice? None other than Stan Lee:
We didn’t go into it saying we wanted to cast a particular race for any part. Josh had worked with Michael on Chronicle and I’m a big fan of Michael’s, so we knew he was the best actor for that part. We knew casting an African-American Human Torch would be news, but I can tell you it’s something that Stan Lee loves, and I can also tell you that having been on set and seeing Michael bring him to life, he’s really spectacular. He’s doing something really cool with the character that I think will become the iconic Johnny Storm.
Truth be told, I wasn’t that impressed with casting choices for the reboot (too young, I say! Too young!) but Jordan is an absolute perfect fit. Anyone who has seen his previous work knows he has the charisma, personality and acting chops to make Johnny Storm come alive. There might be some aspects of this film that make me unsure but the casting of Jordan is definitely not one of them. I can’t wait to see what he does with the role.