Tim Blake Nelson, a veteran of 2008's The Incredible Hulk, is in final negotiations to join the cast of The Fantastic Four, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He would play Harvey Elder, described as "an eccentric and socially awkward scientist." In the Marvel universe, Elder becomes Mole Man, ruler of a subterranean race of monsters, and an opponent of the Fantastic Four.
While The Fantastic Four reboot has already secured its villain -- that would be Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell) -- plans for the sequel are still in development, and, presumably, a new villain will be needed. Mole Man would certainly fit the bill. If negotiations are successful, Nelson will join Kebbell and the heroic team of Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan. The Fantastic Four is set for release on June 19, 2015, with The Fantastic Four 2 following on July 14, 2017.
Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman is ready (again) to hang up his adamantium claws. He's been hinting for awhile that he's ready to retire from playing the character; most recently he said that he's "99.9 percent sure" that the sequel to last year's The Wolverine will be his final appearance.
But he hurried to point out that he has not even signed on for the sequel yet. James Mangold, who directed The Wolverine, is committed to direct the sequel, and is also working on a treatment for the film. But Jackman stated:
“I still am very ambitious for the character. And tonally I feel like we corrected the ship with the last one. But I feel we can still go further, in a way. … I'm excited to see what we can come up with, but I haven't signed on signed on. … I'm genuinely at that point where unless it's better than the last one I'm not going to do it.”
The sequel to The Wolverine is scheduled for March 3, 2017. Still up in the air is Jackman's participation in X-Men: Apocalypse, which has already been dated for May 27, 2016. It would be very strange if Jackman bowed out of the team-up movie, and then showed up for the stand-alone movie a year later, but stranger things have happened. One thing we do know: Jackman will have his claws out for X-Men: Days of Future Past when it hits theaters on May 23.
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