Bruce Willis being pursued to play Fantastic Four's The Thing, Sylvester Stallone's supervillain in The Expendables 2

Bruce Willis being pursued to play Fantastic Four's The Thing, Sylvester Stallone's supervillain in The Expendables 2

Lured, perhaps, by the hormone-stirring scent of grapefruit and vetiver, everybody wants a piece of Bruce Willis right now—chief among them Fox, who is currently pursuing Willis to play the role of The Thing/Ben Grimm in its Fantastic Four “reboot.” (Yes, it’s already time for a Fantastic Four reboot. The days, they just flitter by.) ComicBookMovie.com reports that the studio is planning to turn The Thing into a suitably enormous CGI beast a la The Hulk, which means Willis would mostly be responsible for voiceover work—as opposed to being forced to spend hours in the makeup chair encased in orange foam like Michael Chiklis—a move that definitely makes it more likely that he’d say yes.

Of course, this is all just talk at this point: Willis is part of what amounts to a dream cast that also includes Alice Eve as Sue Storm, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Reed Richards, Kevin Pennington as Johnny Storm, and Stephen Moyer as Victor Von Doom, none of whom have officially signed on yet. In the meantime, Fox is also still trying to nail down a director, with the most bandied-about names so far being Joe Carnahan (The A-Team), James McTeigue (V For Vendetta), and Harry Potter director David Yates. The film has been pegged for a May 2011 start date, though, so expect news of some more concrete decisions quickly.

In the meantime, Sylvester Stallone joined Twitter (at last!) and immediately set about stoking the rumor fires over the weekend by suggesting he’d like to see Willis play a “super villain” in the inevitable Expendables sequel. Willis contributed a brief cameo to the original film, one that existed solely for the benefit of the below TV spot, and one hopes that if he did return, he’d be commandeering an elite group of ass-kicking secret operatives that includes all the guys who were left out of the first movie, like Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. We would watch that.

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