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Fantastic Four - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

MARVEL'S desire to turn each of its super-heroes into movie franchises shows no sign of letting up given the forthcoming production schedule.

Spider-Man 3 is in the works, Matthew Vaughn has been signed up to X-Men 3 and there are plenty more ideas in the planning.

The latest new acts on the block, however, make their big screen debut in July, when The Fantastic Four will be hoping to give Batman Begins a run for its money.

Marvel's first family of comic superheroes features the adventures of Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), who can elongate his body; Susan Storm/Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba), who not only can become invisible at will but can render other objects invisible; Johnny Storm/Human Torch (Chris Evans), who can shoot fire from his finger tips and bend flame, and Ben Grimm/The Thing (Michael Chiklis), a hideously mis-shapen monster with super-human strength.

Their foe is the evil Doctor Doom (Julian McMahon), a former colleague who has beocme hell-bent on world destruction.

The Fantastic Four in question start out as privately-funded astronauts who inherit their super-powers following a disastrous space mission that bombards them with cosmic rays.

No sooner have they come to terms with their new-found ability, however, then they are thrust into a battle to save the earth - as all good super-heroes must do.

The film is directed by Tim Story, who previously directed Barber Shop and who maintains that the film doesn't intend to take itself too seriously (like some super-hero movies do!).

An early trailer suggests the usual blend of state-of-the-art special effects and action but is only half of what viewers can expect to see.

The show-stoppers are reported to be an early rescue on New York's Brooklyn Bridge and the final face-off between Doom and the Foursome.

Story, however, warns that he has held back somewhat because the main fight comes during the last part of the movie - although it will still deliver plenty of what summer audiences expect.

Whether or not it performs as well as 20th Century Fox is hoping remains to be seen, given that reaction to a teaser trailer was decidedly lukewarm.

The cast, too, is light on A-list talent but does possess a few potential names for the future - several of whom have already carved a strong niche for themselves on the small screen.

Chiklis, of course, is a Golden Globe winner for his consistently excellent performance in The Shield, while McMahon will need no introduction to Nip/Tuck fans given his outrageous antics in that series.

Alba, needless to say, provides attractive eye candy, while Gruffudd is hotly-tipped as the next British success, given his charismatic turn in King Arthur and the rumours surrounding the James Bond franchise.

Evans, of course, helped to make Cellular such a shamelessly entertaining success.

The film opens in the UK on July 22 and could well prove to be another dark horse for Marvel.

See clips from the film and featurettes on the superheroes

 

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