Marvel's First Family, the Fantastic Four, has a cinematic track record that seems to be less than stellar. The two films from the mid-2000s got many things right but still missed the mark with a large number of fans. And then there was the 2015 outing, starring Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller. Widely viewed as merely a ploy by 20th Century Fox to hold onto the Fantastic Four film rights, the 2015 movie was a certified critical and box office bomb.
In 2005's Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, a definite standout among the cast was Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm aka The Thing. Through a thick layer of makeup and a restrictive costume, Chiklis still managed to imbue Ben with the character's trademark humor and humanity that has always been present in his comic book incarnation.
Additionally, Chiklis seemed to understand the core of the character as well as what makes the Four tick, which is apparently something he's not shy about sharing.
Michael Chiklis Shares Fantastic Four Reboot Thoughts
Speaking with ScreenRant, Fantastic Four actor Michael Chiklis offered his personal thoughts on what the MCU's reboot should look like, advising to stay away from a "dark and brooding" tone:
“Go CGI if you can. Wardrobe was something else, but it was still a pretty amazing experience. Just understand, the real tone and tenor of The Fantastic Four is as we did it. It’s not meant to be dark and brooding."
Chiklis went into further detail, perhaps throwing a bit of shade at the 2015 Fantastic Four film along the way:
"It’s never going to be The Dark Knight. Don’t try to make it that. Don’t expect it to be that. The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing was from Brooklyn and he was a Dodgers fan. They were a sweet family and that’s the way it’s meant to be. It wasn’t meant to be hardcore and dark and brooding. Try to make it that, you will fail.”
It's Clobberin' Time in the MCU
Michael Chiklis clearly still has something of a passion for the character and certainly seems to look back on his time as Ben Grimm fondly.
Of course, he did also suggest that Marvel Studios "go CGI" when putting the character into the MCU. That does seem like the route the studio would pursue, as The Thing has a unique, rocky physique that would lend itself to a motion-capture performance and save whoever ends up playing him hours in a makeup chair every day.
Also of note in Chiklis' words is the idea that the Fantastic Four shouldn't be portrayed as something akin to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, which was a grounded and gritty take on the Batman mythos. The Fantastic Four are usually portrayed as a tight-knit family unit that may have their squabbles but are always there for each other when need be.