Who loved ya, Chiklis?
The word of the day, as one might expect after another comic book movie wins the box office weekend, is that 20th Century Fox, who legally strong-armed their way into a piece of the Watchmen action, is working on revamping their own comic franchises – or rather the Marvel properties to which they own the rights. Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four, is going to be shedding its cast and crew and trying to reboot itself in the Iron Man vein, which apparently means funny and fun, but not as utterly fluffy and depthless as it’s been. The first two films made money, but they were never really embraced, despite the fact that Chris Evans was a spot-on Human Torch, and Michael Chiklis was a good, if short, Thing (and we need not speak of Jessica Alba). What really hurt the franchise, outside of lackluster scripting and an utterly anticlimactic interpretation of Galactus, The Eater of Worlds, in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was director Tim Story’s decision to turn Marvel’s premiere supervillain Dr. Doom into an effete and pompous dandy of sorts. Julian McMahon is a fine actor, but Dr. Doom is not a cheesy Bond villain. Dr. Doom should be Darth Vader. The Empire Strikes Back Darth Vader, that is. None of this ‘yippee’ prequel malarkey. Vader at his most frightening, dangerous and cool.
This is not Dr. Doom. Let the reboot come.
The other Marvel franchise that Fox is rebooting is good old Daredevil, the Man Without Fear. Mark Steven Johnson’s rookie attempt to bring the blind lawyer Matt Murdock and his radar sense to the big screen felt about as awkward as Story’s efforts with the FF, despite having a cast that included Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan. Duncan has recently said that he’d like to come back as the Kingpin of Crime Wilson Fisk, and admittedly it’ll be hard to find anyone else with the same imposing physical stature necessary for the character. Chances are, though, that they’ll want to wipe the slate clean and start over.
So who would you cast in these roles? Would you try to have the new FF team work a Billy Crudup/Dr. Manhattan style CG performance to approximate The Thing, so as to avoid any foam-rubber suit look? Who should play Daredevil? Ideas are welcome.