Superhero movies are the victors of the box office, so it is no wonder that studios jump at the opportunity to pump more of them into the already saturated market. Even with anticipation building for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which will be released in May, and the new first-look footage of Guardians of the Galaxy there is yet another superhero movie in development.
Twentieth Century Fox announced on Feb. 19 which stars have signed on for a reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four. Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) will be staring as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, with Kate Mara (House of Cards) playing Sue Storm/Invisible Girl, Michael B. Jordan (The Wire) as Johnny Storm/Human Torch and Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ben Grimm/The Thing. New director Josh Trank will be directing the reboot due to the success of his first film Chronicle. Fox also produced the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films staring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. The popular film earned a low 27 percent and a green splat on the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes and nine years and a forgotten sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, later, Fox has decided that it is time for a reboot.
Compared to the actors in the first installment, the new cast looks young and naive. Teller is coming off of The Spectacular Now where he played a high schooler, and Bell, small in frame, is to play a human rock after voicing Tintin in The Adventures of Tintin. Jordan has been involved in the project since early in its conception, though his role as the Human Torch is questioned by enthusiasts of the 1960s comic series. This cast’s on-screen development will be interesting to watch in comparison with the maturity of the previous Four: Gruffudd as Richards was dealing with graying hair and Chiklis as Grimm struggled with his decaying marriage.
The onslaught of Marvel and DC Comics-inspired superhero films began, in the model seen today, more or less in 2000 with X-Men, also produced by Fox, and gained momentum with Spider man in 2002, X2: X-Men United in 2003 and hit full-speed with Batman Begins in 2005. Marvel is overwhelmingly the victor in the box office, having created 31 live-action films from 2000 to 2013. The superhero film trend is not dwindling out. Three actors have portrayed Superman on the big screen; Batman has had dozens of live-action personas, while The Hulk and Spider Man have both had reboots within the same decade. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is getting a reboot from its highly successful ’90s trilogy that will be released this May, and a new Superman and Batman will be seen in Superman vs Batman in 2015.
Perhaps audiences are going numb from super-powered punch after super-powered punch. While animated films like The Incredibles and Mega-Mind have acknowledged the overpowering world of superheros and super-villains, the joke has not quite hit the live-action market. Look at the talking, fighting tree, Groot, in Guardians of the Galaxy and the seriousness of the upcoming movie project Ant-Man. When it comes to Fantastic Four, after its underwhelming success in 2005, it seems that studios haven’t learned anything. The new Fantastic Four is expected to hit theaters May 2015.