For most of the shoot, Michael Chiklis was terribly uncomfortable in the hot Thing suit. The final street battle, however, was filmed in Vancouver in December, leaving Chiklis as the only comfortable one of the four (the rest were in the skintight blue uniforms).
Ioan Gruffudd was very excited about showing off to his Welsh parents that he was working on a major Hollywood production. Unfortunately, the day they came to visit him on set, he was filming an elevator scene.
Not the first Fantastic Four movie. Another was made (The Fantastic Four (1994)) but never released because, unbeknown to the cast and crew, it was never intended to BE released; it was made only because the studio that owned the rights to make a Fantastic Four movie would have lost them if it did not begin production by a certain date.
Michael Chiklis, the only one of 4 title actors already familiar with the comic book, has been a devout "Thing" fan since childhood, and eagerly fought to have a "real" Thing rather than a computer-generated character. wore 60 pounds of latex which took three hours to get into. To keep Chiklis cool in the suit, a rock was removed from his head and cold air was sprayed into the gap between the suit and the actor.
During the pier conversation between Reed and Sue, not only were the actors not together (which is relatively common in filmmaking), they weren't even in the same country. Jessica Alba was filmed in New York City, while Ioan Gruffudd was filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
While being examined by Reed, Ben mentions that he used to smoke. In the comics, the Thing used to smoke cigars, up until the early '90s, when Marvel's new editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, instituted an "anti-smoking" policy for all the company's characters, banning them from being shown smoking on-panel.
Victor foreshadows Mr. Fantastic and The Thing before the storm scene happens. He firstly comments on Reed Richards 'stretching' for the stars during the meeting, then later jokes about Ben Grimm doing 'all the heavy lifting'.
In the early 1990s Bernd Eichinger's option on the rights to The Fantastic Four were about to expire, to avoid this he commissioned Roger Corman to make a film (The Fantastic Four (1994)) as quickly as possible so he could keep hold of the rights. This was mainly to thwart Chris Columbus who was after the rights at the same time. Corman's version only cost $2 million, neither him or his cast and crew knew that the film was dumper-bound. It has however been seen in bootleg and download versions, with the general critical consensus being that it was a terrible movie.
Several moments in the movie take their visual cues from Jack Kirby's work in the very first issue of Fantastic Four: The cosmic storm is depicted with the same bullet-shaped rays from the origin. Ben possesses the lumpy craggy face from his earlier appearance rather than his more familiar beetle-brow. Johnny races against a missile like he does in the opening act of the comic. Johnny's flame-form is a smoldering pillar of fire like it was in the earlier comics rather than the more familiar burning man look. Ben smashes into an oncoming truck in an angle identical to the one given in a panel where he exits a manhole directly in the path of an oncoming car.
To get through the long arduous make-up, Michael Chiklis spent the time in the make-up chair watching the Boston Red Sox, his favorite team, who happened to be breaking the "Curse of the Bambino" winning their first World Series since 1918.
Just after Victor throws his doctor into the X-Ray light, we see Reed writing on the board. The writing visible is the Acid-Dissociation Equilibrium (Ka) expression for nitrous acid (HNO2). It reads [H3O+][NO2-]/[HNO2]. It has absolutely no relevance to the plot or any of the other scientific ideas in the film.
It was Ioan Gruffudd's idea that Reed should continually be taking notes: "On a good day, I'd be writing formulas that I remembered from my algebra class in school, and on a day when I was really concentrating on the other actor, it would just be gibberish."
Hamish Linklater plays Victor Von Doom's loyal assistant named Leonard. This is likely an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, in which a similarly named main villain, Van Damme, employs a fiercely loyal servant, also named Leonard (as played by Martin Landau). There are also implications that both characters share a romantic infatuation with their respective masters, as both feel in some way threatened by the villains' love interests.
During development Chris Columbus pushed for the film to have a heavily comedic tone along the lines of the Batman (1966) TV series. Despite being hired because of his comedy background, Tim Story was able to persuade Columbus that going for an outright comedic tone would end in disaster, and pointed to the success of Spider-Man (2002) as proof that the film could still contain plenty of humor while having a generally serious overall storyline.
When Johnny holds up a Thing toy (it says the "Clobberin' Time" line), it's a figure from Toy Biz's 2002 line of "Marvel Legends" action figures, a line of highly-detailed toys based on various characters from Marvel Comics. The particular figure shown is from the second wave released, and was packaged with a reprint of "Fantastic Four" (volume one), #263.
Although Lee has made cameos in many Marvel movies, this is the first time he has played a character from the comics: Willy Lumpkin, the Fantastic Four's kindly old mailman. His line was supposed to be, "Welcome home, Dr. Richards," but he changed it to, "Welcome back to the Baxter Building, Doctor Richards!"
one of Wizard magazine's staff writers, appears as one of the reporters in front of the Baxter Building in a crowd sequence. Wizard is one of the most successful and popular magazines about the comics business.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the very last scene of the film, the now inanimate Dr. Doom is being shipped on a cargo vessel with the word "Latveria" on the stern. In the Marvel Universe, Latveria is the country that is consistently under Dr. Doom's control.
During the scene outside the Motocross arena, the surrounding advertising helps tell the story. As Ben hurls Johnny, flaming, into a Burger King sign, the sign reads, "Fire Grilled Perfection". As the fight progresses, we see SoBe "Adrenaline Rush"...and finally, the super hero's top rule against killing is represented by Mountain Dew Code Red..."Live By the Code".