''Fantastic Four'' gets director for 2005 release. ''Barbershop'''s Tim Story will film the Marvel superhero saga, with possible roles for Michael Chiklis and Tim Robbins

By Gary Susman
Updated April 07, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

If you were looking for a director for your lavish superhero spectacle, would you turn to one whose best-known movie was a low-budget, effects-free comedy about barbers? If not, then you’re not Marvel Studios or 20th Century Fox. They’ve hired ”Barbershop”’s Tim Story to direct ”The Fantastic Four,” the long-gestating adaptation of the venerable comic book saga about a family of astronauts who mutate into superheroes after being exposed to cosmic rays during a space voyage.

”What attracted me was that they are a family,” Story told Variety. ”They might want to wring each other’s necks. They might storm out and disappear for three days, but you also know they’ll be back. They don’t always get along.”

Filming is due to start in August in Vancouver, though the principals have yet to be cast. According to Variety, producers want ”The Shield” star Michael Chiklis for the role of F4 member Benjamin Grimm, who becomes the orange walking rock known as The Thing. An internet rumor has producers seeking recent Oscar winner Tim Robbins to play the F4’s nemesis, the metal-masked megalomaniac Dr. Doom.