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Comic Strip: Josh Gad Rumored for ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘X-Men’ Empire Covers, and More Superheroes on TV

Comic Strip
Fox/Empire/Marvel

ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. Today, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ teamed up with Empire magazine to bring bloggers the most annoying reveal of all time (plus a Burger King Kids Club-looking Quicksilver), both Marvel and DC beef up their TV spheres, and more!

Is Josh Gad Playing The Thing?

Josh Gad Fantastic Four
Marvel/Getty Images

The script for the newly rebooted ‘Fantastic Four,’ helmed by ‘Chronicle‘ director Josh Trank, is finally complete, and 20th Century Fox is now looking for actors to populate its superhero universe. While Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kit Harington, Saoirse Ronan and more are expected to go in and read for parts, the latest frontrunner emerging from the rumor mill is ‘Frozen‘ and upcoming ‘Gilligan’s Island‘ star Josh Gad.

According to Movies.com, Gad is a top choice to tackle the role of Ben Grimm, the man who transforms into the rock creature known as The Thing, a rumor that “comes from within casting circles close to the film.” Of course, Josh Trank was immediately on this rumor and stated via Twitter that there is no truth to it … thank God!

‘Fantastic Four’ is dropping into theaters June 19, 2015, so the studio has to get a move on the casting front!

While little is known of the film, a new plot description was toted around by Acting Auditions, a source for casting calls, suggesting a completely different approach to the ‘Fantastic Four’ story than we’re all accustomed to.

Josh Trank stated over Twitter that this description is completely false — yet again, he said that about the Miles Teller rumors and we know that he’s expected to read for the part of Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic). But until we get more solid confirmation, let’s take this with a grain of salt.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

As teased last week, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ promised something “big” would be coming on Monday, January 27, and that Empire magazine would be a part of it. (They also teased new footage through one of those spastic Instagram teasers, though there’s still no sign of a full trailer. What’s up with that?) What they had in mind, as it turned out, was an unveiling of a massive collection of ‘X-Men’-themed Empire magazine covers — 25 to be exact — featuring both updated and first looks at all the characters, which is a lot considering both casts of the original films plus the ‘First Class’ actors plus some new ones are joining together.

Click on the magazine cover below to see all 25 of ‘em:

X-Men Days of Future Past Quicksilver Evan Peters Cover
Empire

And speaking of the above image … Really, Bryan Singer? That’s how you wanted to portray Quicksilver, as Kid Vid of the Burger King Kids Club? Fan response has been rowdy, to say the least, over how Evan Peters (‘American Horror Story‘) looks like a background dancer in Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” video — I’m pretty sure those jackets are only sold now in select American Apparels — but seriously, everyone, what about the “future Sentinel” design? Check that out in the gallery HERE.

Marvel Universe LIVE!

USA Today premiered a new behind-the-scenes look at Marvel Universe LIVE!, a new experience for Marvelites that’ll bring their favorite characters to life in a new way. Combined with crazy stunts, a real-life “Human Torch” (no, really! Check out the video), awesome martial arts-inspired fight sequences, and more, Marvel is embarking on this new “Cirque du Soleil goes geek” experience beginning July 10, and will continue with an 85-city tour across the States before hitting up the globe.

Here’s the official description:

Marvel fans, assemble! Marvel Universe LIVE! is taking the live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with a mind-blowing show unlike anything you’ve seen before. Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, The Avengers – Iron Man, Hulk, and more, and threatening villains come to life in an action-packed arena extravaganza, coming to cities around North America. You’ll definitely feel the energy with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever. Join Marvel fans of all ages for this once-in-a-lifetime, monumental performance. The fate of the universe depends on it!

Get tickets now!

Superheroes on TV

Lorelei Professor Zoom Deathlock
Marvel/DC/Marvel

In the ongoing race for TV dominance, Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ and DC’s ‘The Flash‘ (spun off from ‘Arrow‘) and ‘Gotham‘ series continue bulking up their casts!

First up — in the ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ universe, we already have the lovely, ass-kicking Lady Sif, as played by Jaimie Alexander in ‘Thor‘ and ‘Thor 2,’ descending down to Earth for a specific mission come the show’s 15th episode, and the reason is to deal with the Asgardian villainess Lorelei! ‘Smallville’ star Elena Satine will portray the magic-wielding enchantress. In addition, and probably more exciting for fans, is the presence of another major Marvel character – Deathlok! J. August Richards, who plays the extremis-charged Mike Peterson on ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ will eventually become the undead cyborg known as Deathlok, who’s said to come into play when Bill Paxton himself comes aboard.

As for The Flash (aka Barry Allen), played by Grant Gustin on ‘Arrow’ and the subsequent spinoff series, he’s got two baddies of his own to worry about. Rick Cosnett of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and Danielle Panabaker of ‘Piranha 3DD’ joined The CW’s ‘Flash’ as Detective Eddie Thawne and Caitlin Snow, respectively. Though unspecified at the time, reports link these two characters to their villain counterparts Professor Zoom and Killer Frost. At least Allen will have ‘Law & Order’ star Jesse L. Martin as backup — the actor has been added to the potential series as the leading role of Detective West.

And lastly, we have ‘Gotham,’ FX’s highly anticipated Batman TV series following the early life of Commissioner Gordon (played by Gary Oldman in ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy). While ‘Sons of Anarchy‘ star Donal Logue has been offered the role of Detective Harvey Bullock, a mentor of sorts to Gordon, Latino Review reports that the series will plan to bring the Penguin to life as its first major villain. No casting has been made official as of yet, but he certainly won’t be alone — as previously reported, origin stories for classic villains like Joker, Catwoman and Riddler, as well as a very young Bruce Wayne dealing with the initial loss of his parents, will all be featured in ‘Gotham.’

Movie Cheat Sheet

In terms of the major movies on the docket from Warner Bros. and Disney, not much went down this past week, though there are still some tidbits worth a look:

- In light of ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ being moved to 2016, Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man,’ starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, has taken over the film’s old release spot — July 17, 2015.

- Stan “The Man” Lee created a multitude of Marvel characters in his day and likes to pop up in cameo form in the various movie iterations. However, being that he didn’t help create ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ he will NOT show up in that film.

- Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman contract with Warner Bros., which will kick start with an appearance in ‘Batman vs. Superman,’ is, as it turns out, a three-movie deal. While still no comment from the WB, Variety reports that Gadot will appear as Wonder Woman in ‘BvS,’ ‘Justice League‘ and a solo — yes, solo! — Wonder Woman movie!

- While the cast for ‘Batman vs. Superman’ and presumably the ‘Justice League’ movie down the road continue to bulk up, ‘Arrow’ star Stephen Amell was reported as saying he previously had “studio-level talks” about showing up in the big DC team-up as the Green Arrow. But as quickly as this was printed, the actor went on Facebook to vehemently denounce them.

And there you have it! Those were all the major moments from the comic book movie/TV news sphere. Check back next week for another rundown of everything you need to know from the week in geek!

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