EXCLUSIVE: Fox Wants Bruce Willis to Voice The Thing in Fantastic Four

The studio behind the F4 reboot is interested in signing the action movie icon to be the voice behind The Thing, which will be completely CG animated.

Thanks to my sources at 20th Century Fox, I've been able to reveal many new casting and story line updates for the Fantastic Four reboot; which the studio is attempting to fit into the 2012 summer movie block. For those of you who have missed the previous news, here's a roundup of the current information:

*No casting notices have been released by the studio; none of the actors mentioned below can or will be officially attached to the project until the studio signs a director.

Fantastic Four Reborn

- Production to begin in May 2011, for a summer 2012 theatrical release.

- The team's origin (and transformation) will take place during the opening credits of the film (similar to the Incredible Hulk).

Possible Directors: David Yates, Joe Carnahan, James McTeigue

Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic: Adrien Brody, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (courtesy of Rob Keyes at ScreenRant)

Sue Storm/Invisible Woman: Alice Eve, Amber Heard

Johnny Storm/Human Torch: Kevin Pennington

Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom: Stephen Moyer

The next tidbit of news truly seems to indicate the studio is taking this franchise relaunch seriously; since the actor they want does not come cheap. Though an offer has yet to be put out, Fox is very interested in pursuing Bruce Willis to provide the voice of their completely CG Thing; as well as stand in for few, brief scenes the character appears in human form during the opening credits.

In the two previous, Fox-produced Fantastic Four movies, The Thing was portrayed by a rubber suit clad Micheal Chiklis. Though the quality of the suit and makeup Chiklis wore increased between of the first and second films, many fans were still disappointed in it's "obviously fake" appearance; as well as the diminutive physical size the character was reduced to.

According to the current Marvel comics continuity, the character Benjamin "Ben" Grimm was born on Yancy Street in New York City's Lower East Side. Ben had an early life of poverty and hardship, shaping young Grimm into a tough, streetwise scrapper. His older brother Daniel, whom Ben idolized, was killed in a street gang fight when Ben was eight years old. Excelling in football as a high school student, Ben received a full scholarship to Empire State University, where he meets his eventual life-long friend in a teenage genius named Reed Richards, as well as future enemy Victor Von Doom. After finishing college, having earned multiple advanced degrees in engineering, Grimm joins the United States Marine Corps, where he is trained as a test pilot. Following this, he crossed over into the United States Air Force and becomes an astronaut for NASA. This was all before the fateful accident in space which caused him to transform into The Thing.

Fox has already decided to integrate a completely computer generated version of The Thing into their next Fantastic Four film, so landing the right voice actor is a crucial aspect. No word yet if Bruce Willis will receive an offer from the studio, or if this is simply as "dream" casting on their end. Either way, it seems this Fantastic Four film is moving ahead rather quickly; whether it is in the right direction is a matter of personal opinion.
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