I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Kate Mara last week to chat about their upcoming film The Fantastic Four, which hits theaters today. From how they established their chemistry to what they would like to see with a X-Men crossover, we had a pretty fantastic (pun-intended) interview with the three!
It looked like you guys had a lot of fun making the film.
Michael B. Jordan: The chemistry between the cast is something I’m really proud of. I think we’re all pretty close, didn’t mind getting up and going to work. It was fun.
Did you guys do anything before filming started to create that chemistry?
Jamie Bell: We went to New Orleans once.
Michael B. Jordan: Yeah, yeah, we definitely had a little, uh, little escapade…
Jamie Bell: I call it team building.
Kate Mara: Yeah, team building.
Jamie Bell: It’s what we call it in England.
Michael B. Jordan: In New Orleans of all places, so you can imagine that we had a great time.
Jamie Bell: What we can remember from it.
Kate Mara: I remember all of it.
What was like reuniting with Josh Trank, having previously worked together on Chronicle?
Michael B. Jordan: It was great seeing how everyone had grown in the past two years. Just the size of this project was impressive. The budget was tenfold compared to Chronicle. There are some differences between the two films, with that film being totally original and “Fantastic Four” being adapted from the material. But both are origin stories, with this film you get to see them pre-accident, pre-super powers. But Josh was very specific on what he wanted the characters to be like. Josh was more in charge of this film, where as Chronicle was a little more collaborative, especially with the actors, since it was his first time out. He has solidified himself as a director.
What kind of research did you do for your roles in terms of reading the comics or did you want your performance to be fresh and not be influenced by the past?
Kate Mara: It’s hard to not be curious about the comics that have been written, especially because I didn’t grow up reading comics. I knew a little about Fantastic Four, but not enough to get me… once I knew I was doing the film, of course I was excited and wanted to see what that world looks like. But Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg were really specific about which story we were telling. You can’t really do research on that because when you’re trying to make something unique and new and create a totally different world there’s nothing you can really look at for that. It’s mostly just trusting in what script we had and what world our director wanted to create.
There’s talk about a 2018 crossover with X-Men. Would you rather see them team up or fight?
Michael B. Jordan: Both.
Jamie: Yeah I would love to batter someone. I’d love to batter Wolverine! I’d love to take on Hugh Jackman before he is done.
Do you think you could get him to come back and play the character?
Jamie Bell: Yeah, I think Hugh will do Wolverine till he’s ninety.
Kate Mara: Didn’t he announce he is done?
Jamie Bell: Well, he’s said it before, and he has always come back.
So who wins?
Jamie Bell: Oh I would batter him!
Is there anything about the sequel that you want to see or not see?
Jamie Bell: I’d like to see more of how the characters interact with one another. This film very much is to get them to that point, taking them as people you don’t know through this transition to characters that you can recognize. For the next film, it should take it further and see them interact with one another. Things between me and Johnny gets a little bit more antagonistic. More of a blossoming love story between Reed and Sue, maybe. More of a family dynamic. Stuff like that would be great. There’s a wealth of material there that of course in a 90-minute runtime of an origin story is difficult to get to.
What about villains? Any villains in particular you want to see?
Jamie Bell: You can’t get away from Silver Surfer. I know that was, chronologically speaking, the next film in the old franchise. I think Silver Surfer is really cool looking.
Michael B. Jordan: Namor is pretty cool. I think he’s pretty much the strongest mutant right now. It would be a pretty interesting battle.
And Sue is right in the middle of that, too.
Michael B. Jordan: Oh for sure. I’d love to see the classic story where he’s running rampant and the only reason he’ll stop is if he gets a real kiss from Sue. That would make a great storyline for the sequel.
With a sequel already in the works and rumor of an X-Men crossover, were you ever worried about being locked into something like this for years to come?
Kate Mara: It’s definitely a huge decision to sign on to potentially three movies, but because we knew, for me anyway, who the rest of the guys were and I love them all so much as actors and now I love them all so much as people, I felt good about that and knowing that I would feel safe acting with them and being challenged in however many years time down the road. That was exciting to me. More exciting than scary.
How many of your own stunts did you do, and what kind of training did you guys have for them?
Michael B. Jordan: A lot of the major stuff; we had a great second unit, a great second unit. A lot of the visual effects come into play that save us from actually being in a physical situation and going through choreographed stuff. Whenever we could and whenever insurance would allow us to get up on high wires and, for me to fly around, it was pretty awesome. It was pretty cool. The rigs and stuff like that were pretty fun. Getting shot up into the air like 80 feet and then landing, stuff like that. It was pretty cool.
What makes Sue stand out, particularly given the discussion surrounding female superheroes and their representation in these movies or lack thereof. Do you think Sue stands out in that regard? Do you believe she’s a positive step forward for women superheroes?
Kate Mara: The thing I love about Sue, and all the characters in this specific comic book, is that we’re all equals. It has nothing to do with her being female. That to me was appealing. It was never a question of, “Oh, she’s the female superhero so she’s getting the short end of the stick.” I didn’t feel that way with our story. I’m not really sure about other female superheroes, but I do think that Sue is very strong on our own, but in our story I think that they’re all very much equal.
I know you guys mentioned you hadn’t seen the film yet. Is there any particular scene you’re really excited to see?
Jamie Bell: Yeah, I had a scene with Kate and apparently it’s cut. I was really excited about it!
Kate Mara: It was so cute. Apparently it was too cute.
Jamie Bell: I think it was too cute because the love interest is all wrong.
Michael B. Jordan: I have no idea what you are talking about.
Kate Mara: Yeah, you wouldn’t because it was a scene between us and you were like, “blah, blah, blah.”
Jamie Bell: It was a scene where Dr. Storm was at Reed’s house trying to tell his parents how talented Reed is and his parents are going like, “Okay, we don’t know where our son is, but okay.” She’s waiting outside and I bike up to Reed’s house kinda awkward because she’s a girl. But really I just played the scene flirting with Sue Storm, so it was kinda fun.
Kate Mara: And that was the first scene I shot. It wasn’t the first scene you shot?
Jamie Bell: No. But it was fun. Cut!
Fantastic Four releases in theaters today, August 7, 2015!