ALL FOR FOUR1 of 9
Now that Disney and 20th Century Fox's respective boards have each approved the merger of the two media giants, it's only a matter of time before the X-Men and Fantastic Four make it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Since we've already gone over our picks for the X-Men, we're turning our lens on the FF - and like the Merry Mutants we've got a specific direction in mind for the First Family.
Our FF are the adults of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a Reed and Sue who would be contemporaries of RDJ's Tony Stark and who are capable of sliding into the role of top heroes in the presumed absence of the original Avengers.
Love our picks? Hate 'em? Weigh in with your fan casting choices on Facebook and Twitter.
OSCAR ISAAC as NAMOR2 of 9
Unlike DC’s big screen Aquaman, Marvel’s Namor isn’t a bombastic hero type. No, he’s more of a brooding monarch who has occasionally deigned to aide the surface world. More often, he’s been a kind of environmental anti-hero, raising hell against the folks who pollute his home in the ocean.
He’s also a well-known comic book hunk (we’re talking Winter Soldier level) – and that’s the pearl in the oyster when it comes to the darkly handsome Oscar Isaac, an actor uniquely suited to portray both Namor’s brash anger and coy regality in equal measure.
Whoever winds up playing Namor will have to credibly cause Sue Storm’s eye to wander away from Reed Richards – and Oscar Isaac has the charisma and pure animal magnetism to play the savage king of the sea. And of course, as part of the Star Wars franchise, he’s already in the Disney family.
DEV PATEL as SILVER SURFER3 of 9
At age 28, Dev Patel would be a perfect contemporary to our pick for Johnny Storm (more on that later) – and he’d be the right choice to bring a bit of wide-eyed wonder to the usually solemn Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd.
Now, we don’t mean we’d want to turn him into a happy-go-lucky type. Rather, Patel has what it takes to play the ultimate alien explorer and bring something to the role that could easily be lost under the layers of chrome CGI – Silver Surfer’s humanity. Patel could portray the weight of the Surfer’s tragic backstory without losing the spark of imagination that comes with the Power Cosmic. We don't know where anyone ever got the idea the Surfer was like Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still under the silver. There’s a highly contemplative, incredibly sensitive person in there.
As for the Silver Surfer’s master Galactus, we’re expecting a CGI centerpiece like Doctor Strange’s Dormammu or Thor: Ragnarok’s Surtur. That said, we won’t really be satisfied unless he’s a hundred-foot-tall guy in purple armor (listen to us on this one, Marvel).
JAVIER BARDEM as DOCTOR DOOM4 of 9
The role of Victor Von Doom requires someone with terrifying gravitas and the acting ability to make the FF’s eternal foe more tragic than cartoony. Enter Javier Bardem, as imposing and chilling a villain actor as you can cast these days.
Sure, he’d have to chew a little more scenery than he did as Anton Chigurre in No Country For Old Men, but that level of intensity is exactly what the role of Marvel’s most conflicted and arrogant villain.
More than anything, what we’re looking for is a Doom that can hold his own against not just the FF, but the entire Marvel Universe. Bardem has the presence and talent to make him a universe-level threat, and the serious demeanor that would help avoid the pitfalls of previous big screen versions of Doom.
Javier Bardem also played the villain in Disney’s latest installment of Pirates of the Carribean, so he’s already part of the studio’s wider network.
GLEN POWELL as JOHNNY STORM5 of 9
We almost went with 25-year-old Blake Jenner as Johnny Storm but instead we couldn’t stop landing on his 29-year old Everybody Wants Some co-star Glen Powell. (We think) a star-in-the-making, Powell is still more than a decade younger than our picks for his teammates/co-stars, highlighting Johnny’s requisite youthful (if not teenage) dynamic in the group.
Powell has a kinetic, highly-verbal, life-of-the-party energy that suits Johnny well, as the member of the team that most embraces his abilities and role as a public hero.
Plus he’s pretty enough to credibly pass as younger brother of our choice for Sue, which is no easy ask.
But more on that in a moment.
MICHAEL SHANNON as BEN GRIMM6 of 9
Is there any more rough-and-tumble character actor working today than Michael Shannon? Though he’s mostly known for playing stoic villains, underneath it all the actor has a heart of gold – not too dissimilar from the FF’s Ben Grimm.
Beyond his imposing physical presence (which we’ll concede would mostly be hidden under CGI), Shannon’s got the range and personality to make Ben’s humanity peek through those digital rocks. Plus, he bears more than a passing resemblance to Ben Grimm’s tragic human form.
ADRIEN BRODY as REED RICHARDS7 of 9
45-year-old Adrien Brody probably isn’t on anyone’s A-list at the moment, but we couldn’t stop going back to him despite considering higher-profile actors like Michael Fassbender for the part of the FF patriarch.
In our heads, Reed requires an actor that can portray brooding, intelligent, intense and even anti-social, and the Oscar-winning Brody can pull that off in his sleep. Our vision of Reed also isn’t a traditional Hollywood leading man-type, and Brody’s unique, angular face and long neck lends itself to Reed’s unique powers and the necessary intelligence behind his eyes.
But it’s not like Brody would have to play it all brains. He credibly pulled of a man-of-action turn in Peter Jackson’s King Kong a few years back.
CHARLIZE THERON as SUE RICHARDS8 of 9
Charlize Theron as Sue Richards/Invisible Woman was the first choice we made for our fan-cast. Not only is Theron the spitting image of Sue on the page, she’s got the gravitas and screen presence to give Reed a run for his money as the FF’s heart and soul.
While 20-something A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence, Margot Robbie, and Emma Stone made the short-list, we view the FF as the “adults” of the Marvel Universe, seasoned science explorers led by Reed and Sue who are old enough to have kids and to be contemporaries of guys like Tony Stark.
And to that end, there’s no other choice but Charlize Theron, who could play a Sue more Reed’s equal, his window to the world who holds the FF together through sheer determination.
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