Yesterday the upcoming rebooted Fantastic Four teaser was released, and I found myself surprisingly excited by the prospects it introduced.
Now, to be clear, I am not the Fantastic Four Fanatic in our house. That moniker goes to Michael, who will defend the impact, if not the quality, of the two films that hit theaters starting a decade ago. They saved summer blockbusters, he repeatedly says to me when I denigrate them. I have no doubt that’s true. And now the rights are going to go rogue again if Fox doesn’t release another film using the property, so here it is. Due to rumors of chaos and other film-making troubles on the set, most people’s expectations are low. But I think this teaser, as much as teasers can, should restore at least some open-mindedness to what might be.
As a middle-level fan of the characters, here’s what I’m intrigued by in the trailer:
- Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic. Critics will say these actors are too young. Maybe. Teller’s almost 28, which gives him flexibility in roles. He’s a little baby-faced, so we’ve recently seen him as anything from high schooler to music school prodigy. But none of that bothers me. Chris Evans was only 24 when he played Johnny Storm. So suck on that fact, haters. Teller has an interesting on stage charisma. I want to see his version of Reed Richards.
- Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. Critics are up in arms about how Johnny Storm is supposed to be white. I can’t even begin to entertain this criticism as anything other than utter idiocy or simple racism. I was hoping Donald Glover would be the new Spider-man, despite all my love for Andrew Garfield. I am pleased to finally see some on-screen flexibility with race in superheroes since comics have been shaking up race, gender, and sexuality for years. Babysteps, film-makers. Jordan is good-looking and intense, and I think he’ll do well following in Evans’ footsteps. Flame on, man!
- We’re obviously getting an origin story. I’m meh on that, though I understand why studios would go to this option when rebooting a franchise. I like the moodiness of the set-up as teased: young scientists, working with a group of ambiguous-looking government types, sets out into space, and finds something unexpected. The teaser actually looks strongly sci-fi. I like that. Furthermore, the cinematography shown with wide-angle corn fields and tracking over a boardroom full of these government stooges looks promising. A former professor of mine said it looked Malick-esque!
- In general, I was surprised how excited I became about revisiting the Fantastic Four after watching the teaser. Perhaps that’s just my Avengers and X-Men fatigue talking, but I’m genuinely looking forward to this movie. I suspect it’ll be at least as good as its decade-old predecessor.