When Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara were confirmed to be playing the brother/sister duo in Josh Trank’s upcoming take on The Fantastic Four, the assumption was that Johnny Storm would be Sue’s adopted brother. Thanks to a new report from THR, now we know that’s not the case: “House of Cards” and “The Wire” actor Reg E. Cathey will play Dr. Franklin Storm, the father of the Storm siblings – which means that either Mara is the adopted one, or there’s a mixed race marriage involved. Either way, that’s an interesting new path to take for a genre – an entire industry, really – that isn’t always known for progress.
Like most comic book characters, Franklin Storm has a complicated history spanning decades across the page, but the film’s version of the character will reportedly be based on Marvel’s Ultimates imprint, which will make him something of a mentor to the Fantastic Four. Seems like perfect casting for Cathey, who has done excellent work on “House of Cards,” “The Wire,” and “Lights Out” and appeared in films ranging from The Mask to Se7en and many, many more. He has a great deep voice and often plays intense personalities, but he’s also very capable of lightening things up and bandying humor around, so he should be a great fit with the young cast.
Keep in mind, too, that depending on which versions of the characters are ultimately incorporated into the script, Dr. Franklin Storm could also have a falling out with Tim Blake Nelson’s character before the latter eventually turns into The Mole Man. That won’t happen in this film since Doctor Doom is the main villain this time around, but it seems like a safe bet for a sequel. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Cathey stick around for future films in this franchise, and that’d be just fine by us.
This is also cool casting not only because Cathey is a great actor, but because of the reunions that will be celebrated by joining the cast. He starred with his future on-screen son Michael B. Jordan on “The Wire” (though I don’t think they ever shared a scene together) and with his future on-screen daughter Kate Mara on “House of Cards” (and now that I think about it, I don’t think those two ever interacted in that show, either). Regardless, it’s cool that they’ll get a chance to finally and legitimately share the screen, and in a big superhero tentpole, too.
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