Back in 2019, fans of the Fantastic Four rejoiced as Disney acquired 21st Century Fox and thus the rights to the superheroes along with it. Not too long after, an announcement came that Marvel would officially be making a Fantastic Four movie, which is now in the early stages of pre-production. With all of these wheels in motion, Michael Chiklis, who played Ben Grimm/The Thing in the 2005 and 2007 movies, has some advice for the MCU.
In a recent interview with ScreenRant, Michael Chiklis gave two pretty spot-on suggestions. First, he said the actor who takes over his role should probably try to “go CGI if you can.” If you’re unfamiliar with what The Thing looks like, think The Hulk but orange and rocky. Michael Chiklis’s Thing effects were mostly created through makeup and costume, which probably took quite a bit of time. CGI is definitely easier. He also suggested that “it’s not meant to be dark and brooding” and that “they were a sweet family and that’s the way it’s meant to be.” Basically, he’s saying they should take a lighter tone, which he’s definitely right about.
While Michael Chiklis didn’t reference this movie directly, the latest iteration of the Fantastic Four to hit screens was Josh Trank’s version in 2015. The film had a new lineup depicting the team with Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell. This film went the dark and brooding route and it bombed hard at the box office and with critics. The movie holds an abysmal 9% critic score and 18% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, so it seems like Chiklis is on the money with his advice.
While the Fantastic Four movies Michael Chiklis starred in didn’t fare too much better critically, they definitely did better at the box office. The movies also starred Ioan Gruffud, Jessica Alba, and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans. These movies definitely took a lighter tone, and they were better than the 2015 movie for it. But, if we had to hazard a guess, we think the MCU version might be the best iteration yet.
While there is currently no casting news for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie from Marvel, we do know Jon Watts is attached to direct. Jon Watts is well-established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point, since he directed all three of the MCU Spider-Man entries. Which means yes, he did direct one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. If Watts brings the same heart and humor to The Fantastic Four that he brought to Spider-Man, Michael Chiklis probably doesn’t have to worry too much about a grittier version of the team coming out any time soon.
We don’t have any release date yet for the upcoming MCU Fantastic Four, but it’s set to be the final movie in Marvel’s Phase Four slate. In the meantime, if you want to see Michael Chiklis in a role where he’s not covered in pounds of orange makeup, you can catch him in HBO’s upcoming series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on March 6.