4 new pics from the Fantastic Four, plus Josh Trank talks casting controversy

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:30 AM EDT (Updated)

Josh Trank is taking the Fantastic Four into a new direction, with Fox's upcoming reboot taking on a darker tone that's heavily rooted in science. The latest issue of Empire magazine includes a feature on the film complete with exclusive photos. They highlight the eponymous team, and their new look.

Unlike the previous live-action take on the superheroes, their costumes are more muted. They've moved away from bright blue spandex in favor of something more functional. This is all a part of Trank and screenwriter Simon Kinberg's vision. Kinberg says, "There was an Amblin-style approach to the characterisation, and to contextualising everything in a real world."

Trank agrees that this Fantastic Four is like a, "dark Amblin movie. There's the opportunity to make something that is challenging and tragic and dramatic. The opportunity is right there in the material. We'd rather steer it in that direction as opposed to just embracing a tone that comes right off the page." 

Trank is also aware of the controversy surrounding the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm. He explains, "I have a mixed family. When I go home for Christmas, you'll see white people and black people. That's normal to me. I wanted a Storm family that represented 21st century families."

As for Johnny's sister Sue (Kate Mara), she'll be more than just a pretty face. "There have always been two categories of Sue - the slutty secretary version, and this brilliant scientist version. This is a really, really smart Sue, and one that is dignified and has integrity."

But what about Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell)? Out of all the characters, we know the least about him and his inevitable transformation into The Thing. Trank confirms that we saw a bit of Ben's "tranformation cocoon" in the trailer. He also explained why he chose Bell for the role. "Ben is supposed to be a smaller guy in terms of height. That idea of Ben being Reed's best friend in the archetypical way, you want that character to have warmth and strength, qualities Jamie has."

The leader of the team, Reed Richards (Miles Teller), is fairly young in this film. Most of us have accepted that his famous grey temples will be M.I.A. But Trank promises there will be other notable nods to the comic. "There are surprises for everybody in the movie. We've had time to figure out every single iconic and subtle aspect of the Fantastic 4, and how it can organically belong to this film."

Fantastic Four opens in theaters Aug. 7.

 So are you ready to get on board? Or are you still jumping ship?

(Empire via CBM)