It seems that Fox has just given away the direction of their planned sequel to next year’s Fantastic Four reboot movie. Tim Blake Nelson is in the process of being cast in the role of Dr. Harvey Elder, a scientist who becomes the subterranean-dwelling Fantastic Four nemesis, Mole Man.
Nelson is said to be a near lock for the role, having just entered final talks with Fox for the part. The Hollywood Reporter claims that the reboot’s portrayal of Harvey Elder will be as, “An eccentric and socially awkward scientist.” That sounds about right for the character.
Elder will not actually properly become Mole Man in the original reboot movie apparently, but is said to be set up as a villain for a sequel, likely the sequel that Fox has already set for release on July 14th, 2017.
Obviously, Nelson is no stranger to Marvel, as he previously played Dr. Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk, who was to become The Hulk’s psychologically-superpowered arch-enemy, The Leader. Despite the tease toward that movie’s climax that Nelson would become The Leader in a sequel, having some of Bruce Banner’s gamma-tainted blood drip into an open head wound given to him by the movie’s main villain, Emil Blonsky, Marvel Studios has yet to make said The Incredible Hulk sequel, or explore the payoff to this tease, despite Nelson apparently still being signed for follow-up appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It would seem that Marvel is still fond of Nelson, but they don’t seem to plan on using The Leader in the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon. This is likely part of what led to Nelson’s casting as the future Mole Man. This would also mark the third time that Marvel has used the same actor to play two different comic book characters of theirs, albeit in different film universes, following Ryan Reynolds as Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity then Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Chris Evans as (ironically) The Human Torch in Fox’s former two Fantastic Four movies, and currently Captain America in his various appearances within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Mole Man was actually featured as one of the bonus antagonists in the video game tie-in to 2005’s Fantastic Four movie, and was one of the villains Fox pondered for a since-aborted third installment in that original canon. It looks like the squat villain will finally be getting his big screen due, and given Nelson’s rather modest height (he’s only 5’5”!), as well as his established pedigree as an eccentric scientist villain for Marvel, fans should be happy with this casting choice.
The Fantastic Four reboot stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell as the four leads, Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/Human Torch and Ben Grimm/The Thing respectively. Toby Kebbell was recently cast as the reboot’s villain, Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom. This new movie will apparently share a universe with Fox’s X-Men movies to boot, and will come to theatres on June 19th, 2015.
Eggplante is continuing to monitor your Fantastic Four movie news, as we can formulate it.