Starring: Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis
Director: Tim Story
U.S. Opening Date: July 8, 2005
With the recent dramatic advances in CGI effects, it
was only inevitable that someone would sooner or later get round to
filming what has always been considered unfilmable (see * note below),
namely the well-known Marvel comic book title, The Fantastic Four.
Oh, yeah, make that advances in CGI and the huge box
office returns of other dysfunctional Marvel superheroes such as
X-Men and Spider-man
(best not mention Hulk here though).
After several false starts, the project has finally
started filming in Vancouver, B.C. and will arrive in U.S. theatres on
July 8, 2005. Despite going for the cheaper option of filming in Canada,
Fantastic Four features a cast of unknowns. See if you recognize
any of the names here: Jessica Alba (as Sue Storm), Ioan Gruffudd (as Reed
Richards) and Chris Evans (as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. the Human Torch). The
producers probably realized that the special effects are going to the star
in case so why bother splashing on any real stars then?
Speaking of which, the character of Ben Grimm (a.k.a. the Thing) isn’t
going to be a CGI-generated character like Gollum in Lord of the Rings or
Jar Jar Binks in Phantom Menace, but instead will be actor Michael Chiklis
underneath layers of latex in a suit (see pic). Go figure.
Anyway, the Human Torch ought to be a doozie to get
right. In the old animated TV series they plain left his character out and
replaced him with a cute floating robot instead!
(*Note: Unfilmable? In fact a Fantastic Four movie was made in
1994. It was never supposed to be released and according to the IMDb
Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee said that, unbeknown to the cast and
crew, this movie was never intended to be released, and was made only
because the studio who owned the rights to make a Fantastic Four movie
would have lost the rights if they did not begin production by a certain
date. This movie is by all accounts quite terrible and only available as a
bootleg. Still it is one of the most popular bootleg videos along with the
dreaded Star Wars Christmas Special . . .)
(**Note: The Dr. Doom pic below is kinda
disappointing. Don't know why - remember this was where Lucas got the idea
for Darth Vader in the first place . . .)
When an experimental space voyage goes awry, four people are changed
by cosmic rays. Reed Richards, inventor and leader of the group gains the
ability to stretch his body, and takes the name, Mr. Fantastic. His
girlfriend, Sue Storm, gains the ability to turn invisible and create
force fields, calling herself the Invisible Woman. Her younger brother
Johnny Storm gains the ability to control fire, including covering his own
body with flame, becoming the Human Torch. Pilot Ben Grimm is turned into
a super-strong rock creature calling himself Thing. Together, they use
their unique powers to explore the strange aspects of the world, and to
foil the evil plans of Doctor Doom.