×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox near to quorum for ‘Fantastic’ quartet

Pic to lense within next several months for release in 2005

Fox has nearly found its “Fantastic Four.”

Studio has signed Michael Chiklis to play Ben Grimm/the Thing, Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic and Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch. And Jessica Alba, currently shooting Dimension’s “Sin City,” has emerged as most likely to play Sue Richards/the Invisible Woman, though Rachel MacAdams and Keri Russell are also candidates.

Chiklis, best known for FX series “The Shield,” was the first of the quartet to be set. Gruffudd is currently starring as Lancelot in “King Arthur” while Evans will be seen in “Cellular.”

“We see ‘Fantastic Four’ as the last great jewel in the comicbook crown,” said Fox production prexy Hutch Parker. “The casting has been extremely important in terms of fulfilling expectations of an audience that’s been incredibly loyal to these characters for over 40 years.”

“Four” centers on four astronauts — scientist Reed Richards, his wife, her brother and their friend Ben Grimm — who develop superhuman powers after their experimental spaceship is exposed to cosmic rays. They band together to fight against the evil Doctor Doom.

“Four” was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first published by Marvel in 1962. It subverted comicbook conventions of the time as the characters bickered among themselves.

The $85 million-$90 million pic is headed for an August or September start in Vancouver. Planned release date is July 1, 2005, when it will face off against Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible 3.” That will mark the second Fourth of July weekend bow in a row for a Marvel-based superhero pic following “Spider-Man 2.”

“Four” is being helmed by “Barbershop” director Tim Story from a script written by Simon Kinberg. Story also directed upcoming Queen Latifah vehicle “Taxi” for Fox; that helped lead to the “Four” gig.

Producers are Marvel, 1492, Constantin and “X-Men” producer Ralph Winter. Production on “Four” is being overseen by Parker and senior veepee of production Alex Young.

More Film

  • Kevin Costner Diane Lane

    Kevin Costner, Diane Lane to Reunite in Suspense Thriller 'Let Him Go'

    Focus Features has tapped Kevin Costner and Diane Lane to star as a husband and wife in the suspense thriller “Let Him Go.” The two also collaborated on “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Thomas Bezucha (“The Family Stone”) is set to direct his own screenplay, based on Larry Watson’s novel [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth Hulk Hogan

    Chris Hemsworth to Play Hulk Hogan in Biopic for Netflix

    Netflix is in the early stages of developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star as the wrestling legend and produce. Netflix has obtained the exclusive life rights and consulting services from Terry Gene Bollea AKA Hulk Hogan. Todd Phillips, whose credits include “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” trilogy, is attached to [...]

  • Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant

    Rooftop Films Announces Filmmakers Fund Grant Winners

    Swedish documentary filmmaker Anastasia Kirillova and “Negative Space” co-directors Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter are among the filmmakers who will receive grants from Rooftop Films to help complete their upcoming projects. Kirilova will be awarded $20,000 to finish her film, “In the Shadows of Love,” while collaborators Kuwahata and Porter will receive $10,000 for “Dandelion [...]

  • Jim Gianopulos

    Paramount Chief Jim Gianopulos Unveils Diversity Initiative

    Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos has announced that all studio productions will be required to complete a plan to enhance diversity. Wednesday’s reveal follows Paramount’s commitment to participating in Time’s Up and Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s 4% Challenge. The name is derived from women having directed only 4% of the country’s top grossing movies [...]

  • Leave No Trace

    Oscar Analysts Are Sincere -- but Often Totally Wrong

    With Oscars arriving Feb. 24, we can expect multiple “who will win/who should win” columns. There will also be a flurry of post-show analyses about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and why members voted the way they did. Since AMPAS never releases polls or voting tallies, these pundits will never be contradicted [...]

  • Green Book spiderman into the spider

    On Eve of Oscars, Variety’s Film Experts Answer Three Pressing Questions

    We continue to live in a divided world, with the current political landscape in the United States a seemingly endless hotbed of tumult and acrimony. Issues of racism, bigotry, diversity and gender equality drive the creative players as well, with Oscar-nominated films parlaying said themes into compelling, thought-provoking cinema. To analyze 2018 in big-screen entertainment, [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content