Tim Blake Nelson Joins The Fantastic Four

Playing a possible future Mole Man

Tim Blake Nelson Joins The Fantastic Four

With the Fantastic Four already in place in the forms of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan, the rest of the cast of Josh Trank's reboot is also gradually arriving. Toby Kebbell was confirmed as Dr Doom a couple of weeks ago, and the latest name out of the hat is Tim Blake Nelson, who'll be playing a certain Harvey Elder.

Afficionado ears may prick up at the mention of Elder, since he has a dubious alter ego as the Mole Man: the Four's first adversary in issue #1 of the comic. In the source, he's a scientist who discovers a hitherto uknown subterranean kingdom after being stranded following a hapless expedition to Monster Island. When nobody believes him, he decides to stay in the aptly named Subterranea as its first ruler, and show the surface world what it gets for not taking him seriously.

Film-wise, the Mole Man half of Elder's personality is for another day. We're told that for the time being Nelson will appear as a scientist only, leaving the potential for villainy in future instalments. Nelson has been here before, playing Samuel Stern in The Incredible Hulk, who last time we saw him was well on his way to becoming evil super-boffin The Leader. Since Hulk has not yet earned any further solo sequels, Nelson must have his fingers crossed that jumping ship to Fox will allow him to go the distance this time.

The studio currently has a Fantastic Four sequel slated for July 14, 2017, so maybe that's when Mole Man will emerge. But first there's the small matter of getting the new first Fantastic Four shot and released. It's still officially in pre-production, but should be underway shortly, ready for its release date of June 18 next year.