It's fair to say that Marvel has the golden touch when it comes to film. Just about every movie with any connection to a Marvel original comic has been an enormous financial success, with the likes of The Avengers grossing well over $1 billion worldwide. Curiously enough, even 2005's Fantastic Four — based on the Marvel comic of the same name and widely viewed as something of a disaster — was a financial success. According to Box Office Mojo, the film made over $330 million worldwide, with a $100 million budget.

Yet in most every other way, the 2005 Fantastic Four can justifiably be called one of the worst Marvel projects to date. To be fair, the film was actually distributed by 20th Century Fox (with Marvel Enterprises listed as one of the production companies to have collaborated on the project), whereas Marvel Studios and Disney have produced and distributed most of what we think of as the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" films. Nevertheless, the 2005 film was a critical flop, earning a 27% on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, with one reviewer going so far as to label it as "garish mediocrity." Two years later, its sequel didn't fair much better; Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer earned a 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, and may have been even more forgettable than its predecessor.

F4.jpgWhile Marvel's other heroes who have been adapted to the cinema now tower over the entertainment industry, the Fantastic Four are all but obsolete. Surely there are a few fans of the films out there, and the old comics are still pretty enjoyable. But in terms of modern representation and adaptation, the material is pretty limited, with a few video games representing the extent of the characters' cultural reach. Each of the films inspired a console game while the online casino industry tapped into the characters, as is true with many Marvel films. Betfair's casino platform actually carries multiple slot machine games with Fantastic Four themes, which is significant in that such sites generally go for game themes that reach wide audiences. In this sense, the online gaming presence of the Fantastic Four may just be the best endorsement out there for the characters' lingering popularity. Why would they offer it if it wasn't going to attract users ?

And now, despite everything just mentioned and the general failure of the 2005 and 2007 films, the Fantastic Four are getting another chance. A reboot of the franchise has been announced for 2015, with relative newcomer Josh Trank set to direct the project in an attempt to get this one right. Here's what we know so far.

The project's full cast has already been revealed. For a franchise built around multiple heroes, that's the most important step. Kate Mara (of House Of Cards fame) will replace Jessica Alba as The Invisible Woman; Miles Teller will play Mr. Fantastic; Jamie Bell will play The Thing; and Michael B. Jordan, described by Hollywood.comas the next big thing in Hollywood, will take up the role of The Human Torch. That's an intriguing core for the new film and a very fresh take on the characters when compared to the 2005 and 2007 casts. In particular, Teller stands out as a very young choice (he's 27) for Mr. Fantastic when compared to now-41-year-old Ioan Gruffudd (who had the role in the previous films).

As for plot details, we don't know a great deal yet. However, Movie News Guide did reveal a few bits of information that are sure to get comic fans riled up. First, as is clear in the casting, Sue and Johnny Storm (aka The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch) will not be biological siblings, as they are in the comics. Instead, they're adopted siblings. Additionally, the film will reportedly bring about drastic changes regarding the background of popular villain Doctor Doom.

For now, that's about as much information as there is regarding the project. But it's certainly intriguing as a hasty reboot for a franchise that seemed to be out of gas. Depending on further plot details and eventual trailers, the new Fantastic Four film has a chance to become one of the more interesting projects of 2015.

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