Rumor Patrol: Josh Gad as Ben Grimm/The Thing in Fantastic Four reboot?
UPDATED: Scroll below to see Josh Gad's Twitterbunk of the rumor.
All, right, folks. Let's jump into this. First things first: This is a rumor. We've been here before. You know how this works. We've gone through the rumor mill a lot lately and it's become a game of picking and choosing what's either possible, interesting, and/or relevant (not to mention viable). There's never been a time in the history of film where secrecy was as high as it is now, so the hunger for information is ravenous. But, I digress.
Josh Gad, star of JOBS, 1600 Penn, and most recently FROZEN, is the latest name to be rumored for THE FANTASTIC FOUR, but the first to be mentioned for the character of Ben Grimm/The Thing. Formerly played by Michael Chiklis, the rumor of Gad's name in contention for the role comes from Movies.com, who say: "...the word on Gad comes from within casting circles close to the film." What are these circles you ask? Mailroom clerk? Production Assistant? Who's to say?
So, while that's pretty thin, THE FANTASTIC FOUR screenwriter Jeremy Slater took to Twitter and expressed a favorable opinion of Gad as Mr. Grimm. Here's his thoughts on it.
No idea if it's true or not, but I kinda like the Josh Gad casting rumor! Slater (@jerslater) January 28, 2014
My argument has always been that Ben is the closest thing Marvel has to a Pixar character. You need an expressive, lovable voice. Slater (@jerslater) January 28, 2014
And *any* actor you cast is going to have his voice digitally lowered and modulated to match the character. So why not go for pure talent? Slater (@jerslater) January 28, 2014
Anyway. Ben's my favorite character I've ever written. Gad is awesome and would kill it. Hope it's true. Slater (@jerslater) January 28, 2014
But wait! Now, we've got director Josh Trank taking to the Twitter machine and slapping the whole thing with a big fat denial!
@devincf first i'm hearing of this... it's not true. Josh Trank (@josh_trank) January 28, 2014
And now it comes to Gad, who chimed in, saying:
Everyone please calm down. There is no truth to rumor of me playing Grimm . Besides, I'm too busy prepping to play a young Luke Skywalker.— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 28, 2014
So, is that the end of it? One would think, but you have to consider a few things: 1) Trank has "Twitterbunked" Miles Teller as having any involvement in the film as well, but his name is one that keeps popping up for the role to this day. 2) This is the game. Love it, hate it, it doesn't matter. The secrecy game is one that's not going away anytime soon, which means you're going to have a lot of denials, zipped lips, and even possible outright white lies in order to deflect the truth and keep the secrets locked up. So, take it as you will. All will be known when the studios are good and ready to let it drop, but until then, we can enjoy the fan speculation process or get all huffy about it. The choice is yours.
Personally, I can see Gad in the role. I know some will see that as blasphemy and I can respect that. But, it's obvious by the casting rumors alone that this is not going to be a recreation of Stan Lee's original FANTASTIC FOUR down to the tiniest detail. Although that's a downer for some, I'm onboard almost entirely just to see what Trank does with this. He may well surprise the shit out of all of us.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR is set to take off on June 19, 2015.
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