Social Media has (from what I’ve heard) been set ablaze more than once recently regarding the topic of casting choices in a few big movies, the largest of the outbursts centered around two in particular: Superman-Batman (as of yet untitled) and the Fantastic Four reboot. The outbursts for each of these movies are quite similar behind their reasoning, with one exception in the Fantastic Four (Johnny Storm)
Snyder has not made all bad decisions for casting on this movie (Jeremy Irons at Alfred. Enough Said), but he has made more than one questionable one (two come to mind). Firstly, the choice to cast Ben Affleck as Batman caused one of the greatest twitter uproars ever witnesses, and not in a positive way. The director claimed he chose Affleck to portray an older Batman, so Affleck technically fits the bill. Secondly, and much worse in my opinion, is the choice to cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, instead of the front runners that had been announced (Bryan Cranston and Marc Strong, both of which would have been ridiculously perfect for the part). This caused another, albeit lesser, uproar. Snyder announced, perhaps to make a contrast to the Affleck announcement, that he was looking for a younger Luthor, a business tycoon that had more recently made his billions. While this is understandable, as many billionaires make it to the billionaire club around his age, this tactic did not work well for Superman Returns. But, questionable as these choices are, they pale in comparison to the horror that is the casting for the new Fantastic Four.
Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell. Where to even begin? Josh Trank clearly had one demographic in mind when he made these casting choices, and I’ll give you a hint as to which one: it was not the normal comic book fan crowd. These casting choices are clearly made to appeal to the twilight fan base, with the clearly metrosexual appearing actors. Going in order from least horrible to most, we will start with Kate Mara. While I don’t have any necessarily deal-breaking opinion on her casting, I have not been impressed with her acting capabilities whatsoever. (Ironically, she was cast in almost the exact same role in the Tim Allen movie “Zoom”. It didn’t work out so well for her). If she had been his only questionable choice, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal at all, but it gets better (in terms of being able to make fun at the horribleness). Miles Teller, cast as Reed Richards is, to borrow a quote is, “the fast talking Reed Richards you didn’t know you wanted”. But, relative to the last two on this list, he isn’t that bad. Closing in on the horrors of this list, we have Michael B. Jordan. Evidently, the director aims to make it an adoption type situation, where Jordan’s Johnny Storm is adopted by Susan’s family (or vice versa). But what is the point of this kind of change? Changing the character needlessly is pointless and damaging. In addition, Jordan said the backlash to him being cast as Johnny Storm was due to racism. That is simply ridiculous. When a character is changed so radically, backlash must be expected. But to say that people dislike his casting choice purely on the grounds of racism is absurd. Two things to go still, if you haven’t passed out yet. The last, and worst, of the casting choices is Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm. Jamie Bell would be the poster boy for metrosexuals, which is as far away from the Ben Grimm character as you can possibly go. Ben Grimm was a star linemen known as “The Grimm Reaper” because he struck fear in the opposing line. Nearly every incarnation of him has him going on to the air force or to be some other type of military pilot, sometimes an astronaut. He is always a very, very tough guy, even before he becomes the Thing. That is the entire point of his powers, it brought his tough rocky self to the outside, as it did for all of the Fantastic Four. (Sue had wanted to hide and protect herself from being hurt, she could be invisible and make force fields. Johnny was a hot head young guy, turned into Human Torch. Richards was overly cautious, too flexible, never made decisions, became Mr. Fantastic). There simply is no way a guy like Bell can pull off a character as complicated, not to mention tough, as Ben Grimm. Capping off this tale of woe is a speculation based on a comment the director said: he would have no problem making Dr. Doom a woman. Dr. Doom is by far one of the greatest comic book villains ever written, with a brilliant back story, integration in the universe, and relation to the characters. Making Dr. Doom female, as with all these other changes, is just to satisfy a progressive, twilight-fan, metrosexual crowd. If they commit to a change such as this, nothing can save this movie, for it will have killed itself. As it stands now, unless the director comes out with a “just kidding! Here is the real cast” this will not be something I intend to watch. The only possible shot this movie has of not being amongst the worst movies ever made is getting an incredible actor to play Dr. Doom, not someone on par with the previous choices.