The curious casting on Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot continues.
A couple of weeks back Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B.Jordan and Jamie Bell were announced – to the surprised jaws of fans everywhere – as the new band in blue. Now, things are heating up in the villain corner.
The villain, of course, is none other than cape-wearing metal-man Doctor Doom.
According to The Wrap, four thesps from across the pond are on the shortlist : Sam Riley (“On the Road”), Eddie Redmayne (“Les Miserables”), Toby Kebbell (“Wrath of the Titans”) and Domhnall Gleeson (“About Time”).
Obviously Fox are going in a completely different direction (yes, ‘up’ rather than ‘down’) this time around; all four of these guys are thirty-something Brits. Julian McMahon, though Australian-born, played a hard Yankee incarnation of ‘Doom’ in the previous “F4” movies. My guess is they’re going to be going for more of a gangly-geek type this time around – sort of what Zack Snyder is doing with the Lex Luthor role (that Jesse Eisenberg is playing) in “Batman vs. Superman”. Assumingly, they want to cast an actor that looks and behaves – somewhat credibly – like he could concoct something from a test-tube, Bunsen burner and packet of whiz-fizz. Doom is a doctor, after all – not a plastic surgeon with an increased libido and killer good-looks.
I guess any of these guys would work – they’ve all done enough good work to prove themselves equipped to play a nasty in a blockbuster like this – but my vote is with Gleeson.
I spoke to Gleeson not long ago for “About Time”. Really like the chap. He’s a good guy. What I took away from that conversation – besides the fact he’s a really down-to-earth chap, and I feel not even the slightest taint of super-stardom could change that – was how big of a movie fan he is. We spoke about “Back to the Future” for half the conversation. Then, we moved onto “Star Wars”.
The guy is one of us; he’s a nerd through and through. I would assume then that Gleeson would be very familiar with the “Fantastic Four” series – the Tim Story films, yes, but mainly the comics. He’d likely know what to bring to Doctor Doom, whereas someone that’s not as down with pop culture or comic-book flicks, would be a little Redford… ‘All is Lost’ when it comes to putting in such a performance (Julian McMahon had clearly not done too much ‘Doom’ studying before he strapped on the hard-as-heck mask for the two “Fantastic Four” movies he did). But aside from that, I think Gleeson’s a versatile actor – very versatile; look at the types of films he’s doing – fantasy blockbusters (“Harry Potter”), romantic comedies (“About Time”), heavy dramas (“Unbroken”) – he’s resourceful.
Josh Trank (“Chronicle”) is directing “Fantastic Four”, opening June 2015.