Fantastic Four Gets Director

Daily Variety reports that Twentieth Century Fox has signed Barbershop director Tim Story to helm a big-screen adaptation of Marvel Comics’ The Fantastic Four. The feature, which is sure to contain plenty of CG effects, is slated to go into principal photography as early as August for a July 1, 2005 release.

The Fantastic Four comics follow the intergalactic exploits of Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards, Sue "The Invisible Woman" Richards, Benjamin "The Thing" Grimm and Johnny "The Human Torch" Storm. Casting for the film has yet to begin but Fox is reportedly considering The Shield star Michael Chiklis for the Thing role. And while George Clooney has widely been considered the best fit for the dashing, silver-templed Reed Richards, Story told Variety that the project doesn’t require big stars.

The $85-$90 million Fantastic Four is being produced by Constantin Film, Marvel’s Avi Arad and 1492 Films’ Michael Barnathan and Chris Columbus. Fox production president Hutch Parker and Sr. VP of production Alex Young will oversee for the studio and X-Men producer Ralph Winter and Stan Lee will also be involved.

After Barbershop, Story directed Queen Latifah and Jimmy Falon in a remake of the French hit Taxi. That film is set for release in October.