Fantastic Four science

For every science-inspired film there’s at least one expert ready to grab headlines by talking about how that film’s science is all wrong. Sometimes the arguments are pedantic and tiring, but at best they’re interesting, and can be a good way to get some actual facts and theories out to a wide audience.

For example, there’s the fact that Antony, the winged ant used as a steed by Paul Rudd’s character in Ant-Man, is actually female. That fact comes from a great interview with a professor of biology who has a lot to say about ants, and the relationship of their on-screen depiction to real-world behavior.

Getting out in front of the whole “impossible science of Reed Richards” discussions, Fox has recruited Michio Kaku for a set of Fantastic Four science videos that discuss the actual science and theories behind some of the concepts seen in the film, and the comics that inspired it. 

The fun of stories like those in Fantastic Four comics (and, hopefully, the film) is that they imagine things outside the bounds of science; the point is that it isn’t all real. The characters may be grounded in an emotional reality, the better to make us care about their trials, but the science doesn’t need to be real at all.

That said, our ever-greater understanding of science is even more compelling, so we’re happy to see how the real and the, er, fantastic intertwine.

Fantastic Four opens on August 7. Videos via Fox.

FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

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