Fantastic Four mo-cap expert reveals details on new version of The Thing

Contributed by
Dec 4, 2014, 11:04 AM EST (Updated)

One of the big mysteries — among many — surrounding Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot is how they’ll handle Ben Grimm’s rocky alter ego, the Thing. Well, here's a hint.

The character is being played by Jamie Bell in the new film, and we know next to nothing about how they’re handing the VFX for the character in this film. If you’ll remember, they went with a weird rock suit when Michael Chiklis played the role in the 2005 film, and we’ve heard they’re going for something a bit less practical and more effects-heavy this time around.

Well, we don’t have an official look at the Thing yet, but chatted with the guy who helped Bell bring it to life to drop some intel on how he’ll be portrayed. Terry Notary, who is described as a movement choreographer, helped Bell conceive his portrayal and said they came at the character with a unique approach. You know, because the dude is made of rock:

“I was talking to Jamie about it and thought it was just a whiteface character. Everything is pulled out through the soul. There's very, very little expression in the face, if any at all, so everything has to live through the soul and the eyes. Everything. The subtleties of the physicality when standing're a rock. You're made of rock, so you can't be super subtle but you can be if you sense that emotion coming out through the soul and the eyes.

We had him just holding this neutral expression and just pouring the soul out of his eyes while walking through this space, while obviously being grounded with weight and mass and gravitas that's so important and does take a lot of work. It's not something that comes easy. You have to create this sense of thick space and you're carrying yourself with different parts of your body depending on the emotion of the character and the development of the character.

I mean, he's a kid trapped in a rock, and so how does that kid become a man after that experience? Through that evolution and that journey he moves from this sort of worried place to his pack that carries him through. It's figuring that stuff out and Jamie is just such a super-talented actor. He's so physical and great with his body. He can really articulate emotions through his body well.”

Along with everything else we’ve heard about Trank’s adaptation, it sounds interesting — but it’s hard to pin down much else without actually getting a good look at the design. All we’ve seen is this (allegedly) leaked pic from an on-set stand in a while back, and that ain’t much.

But it does sound like they’re taking the uniqueness of the character seriously, and that’s a good thing. What do you think? Can Bell do Ben Grimm justice?