Fantastic Four is a 2005 American superhero film inspired by the Marvel Comics comic Fantastic Four. It was directed by Tim Story, and released by 20th Century Fox. It is the second live-action Fantastic Four film to be filmed. A previous attempt, titled The Fantastic Four, was a B-movie produced by Roger Corman that ultimately went unreleased. Fantastic Four was released in the United States on July 8, 2005.
Despite getting major hype on its release and becoming a box office success, the film was negatively received by critics, being criticized by the plot and lack of originality. It was the third superhero film of the year, after Elektra and Batman Begins. A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was released in 2007
Physicist Dr. Reed Richards is convinced evolution was triggered millions of years ago on Earth by clouds of cosmic energy in space, and has calculated that one of these clouds is soon going to pass near Earth. Together with his friend, astronaut Ben Grimm, Richards convinces Dr. Victor von Doom, his former classmate at MIT and now CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow him access to his privately owned space station to test the effects of a biological sample of exposure to the cloud. Doom agrees in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. Richards brings aboard his chief genetics researcher and ex-girlfriend Susan Storm and her hot-headed astronaut brother Johnny.
The quintet travels to outer space to observe the cosmic energy clouds, but Richards miscalculates and the clouds materialize ahead of schedule. Richards and the Storms leave the shielded station to rescue Grimm, who had gone on a spacewalk to place the samples. Grimm receives full exposure in outer space, while the others receive a more limited dose within the station. Back home they soon develop strange superpowers. Richards can stretch his body like rubber, Susan Storm can become invisible and generate impact resistant force shields, Johnny Storm can engulf himself in fire and fly unaided, and Grimm becomes a rocklike creature with superhuman strength and durability. Meanwhile, von Doom faces a backlash from his stockholders because of the publicity from the space mission, and has a scar on his face that came from an exploding control console on the station
Grimm's fiancee Debbie cannot handle his new appearance and leaves him. Grimm goes to brood on the Brooklyn Bridge and accidentally causes a traffic pileup while preventing a man from jumping off the bridge. Grimm, Richards and the Storms use their various abilities to contain the damage and prevent harm. The media dubs them the Fantastic Four. They move into Richards' lab in the Baxter Building to study their abilities and seek a way to return Grimm to normal. Von Doom, himself mutating, offers his support but blames Richards for the failure of the spaceflight, which has lost him his company.
Richards tells the group he will construct a machine to recreate the storm and reverse its effects on them, but warns it could possibly accelerate them instead. Meanwhile von Doom's arm has become organic metal, allowing him to produce bolts of electricity, and he begins plotting revenge. He drives a wedge between Grimm and Richards, who has rekindled his relationship with Susan Storm. Using the machine, von Doom restores Ben to human form, while accelerating von Doom's condition, causing much of his body to turn to metal. Von Doom knocks the human Grimm unconscious and captures Richards.
Now calling himself Doctor Doom, he puts on a metallic mask to hide his disfigurement, tortures Richards and fires a heatseeking missile at the Baxter Building in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Johnny Storm. Susan Storm confronts Doom but is outmatched. Grimm arrives to assist her, transformed into the Thing again by reusing the machine (speaking his signature line, "It's clobberin' time!"). The battle spills into the streets. The Storms combine their powers to wrap Doom in an inferno of intense heat, and Grimm and Richards douse him with cold water, inducing thermal shock and freezing Doom in place. In an epilogue, Grimm informs Richards that he has accepted his condition with the help of Alicia Masters, a blind artist for whom he has developed feelings, and the team embraces its role as superheroes. Richards proposes marriage to Susan Storm, who accepts. Meanwhile, Doom's statue-like remains are being transported back to his homeland of Latveria when the dockmaster's electronic manifest briefly undergoes electromagnetic interference, suggesting that Doom is alive.
- Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic
- Jessica Alba as Sue Storm / Invisible Woman
- Chris Evans as Johnny Storm / Human Torch
- Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm / Thing
- Julian McMahon as Dr. Victor von Doom / Doctor Doom
- Hamish Linklater as Leonard
- Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters
- Laurie Holden as Debbie McIlvane
- David Parker as Ernie
- Kevin McNulty as Jimmy O'Hoolihan
- Maria Menounos as the Sexy Nurse
- Michael Kopsa as Ned Cecil
- Kenny "Cowboy Kenny" Bartram as himself
- Ronnie Renner as himself
- Stan Lee as Willie Lumpkin
As in almost all of the previous Marvel Comics-based films, Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance. He is Willie Lumpkin, the postal worker who greets the team on their way to the Baxter Building elevator.