Catch the first glimpse of the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing from Josh Trank’s upcoming comic book superhero film, The Fantastic Four.
While most readers are familiar with the Fantastic Four from the 2005 film and the 2007 Rise of the Silver Surfer sequel (AKA the lousy comic book movies before Iron Man arrived), the comic book is from 1961.
In case this kind of stuff matters to you- The Fantastic Four property is not owned by Marvel Entertainment as far as motion picture rights go. The rights were sold to 20th Century Fox (who also own the movie rights to Wolverine and the X-Men), so this is unrelated to the Avengers movies and the Spider-Man films (now co-owned by Marvel/Disney and Sony).
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (who would go on to unleash a horde of heroes, villains and monsters upon the world including the Hulk, the X-Men, Thor, Ant Man and many more), the FF was a clever blend of horror/science fiction with superheroics with some family drama thrown in. While the company was a success at one time, Lee was practically running the show himself and was ready to throw in the towel before his wife urged him to try doing what he wanted for once.
The Fantastic Four was a hit and earned the tagline: World’s Greatest Comic Magazine (Lee may have exaggerated). The team was made up of Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist with his head in the clouds, the caring and brave Sue Storm, her younger hot-headed brother Johnny and the gruff pilot Ben Grimm. Exposed to cosmic rays, they developed super abilities that matched their personalities; Reed who was able to adapt to any situation became super-pliable, Sue who was invisible to Reed became invisible, Johnny’s fiery persona was made flesh as a human flame while Ben’s tough exterior became a nearly impenetrable rocky hide. Each team member took a new name with Ben moodily referring to himself as ‘The Thing.’
Of all four team members, I have a soft spot for the Thing. His tough guy attitude hides a soft interior and a big heart. He cares deeply for his team which is more of a family than anything else. However, his temper is so short he goes on a rampage at the slightest provocation. He’s a monster who is also a hero.
However, rather than just being a monster, Ben Grimm is a person too. He has pajamas. He likes to watch sports, drink beer, eat big sandwiches. He’s a regular guy… made of orange rocks.
This is the third live action version of the Thing and I have nothing but compassion for the special effects crew as the character is so cartoony. The 2005/07 version was criticized as looking too fake but… what should it look like? Is he made of actual rocks? The initial Kirby design looked more like dinosaur hide than rocks. Should they go in that direction? Since the new film by Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame) has a grim and realistic slant, the Thing should look realistic as well.
But look at the various ways in which Ben Grimm has appeared over the years below and tell me… what would you do?
On August 7th, The Fantastic Four movie will be released (in a summer that also brings Ant Man and Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron).