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Friends Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) have worked together on a prototype teleporter since their childhood, eventually attracting the attention of Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for young prodigies. Reed is recruited to join them and aid Storm’s children, scientist Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and technicianJohnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), into completing a “Quantum Gate” designed by Storm’s wayward protégé, Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell), who begrudgingly agrees to help due to his unrequited feelings for Sue.
The experiment is successful, and the facility’s supervisor, Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson), assembles a group of astronauts to venture into a parallel dimension known as “Planet Zero“. Disappointed at being denied the chance to join the expedition, Reed, Johnny, and Victor recruit Ben to help them commandeer the Quantum Gate and embark on an unsanctioned voyage to Planet Zero, which they learn is a world filled with otherworldly substances. Victor attempts to collect a sample of the substances, causing the entire structure they’re in to collapse and the ground to erupt with a green lava-like substance. Reed, Johnny, and Ben return to their shuttle just as Sue brings them back to Earth. Victor is left behind after he falls into the collapsing landscape. The machine explodes, altering Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben on a molecular-genetic level, affording them super-human conditions and abilities beyond their control: Reed can stretch like rubber, Sue can become invisible and generate force fields of energy, Johnny can engulf his entire body in flames and fly, and Ben becomes bigger and develops a rocklike hide which gives him enhanced strength and durability. They are then placed in government custody and confinement to be studied and have their conditions and abilities tested. Blaming himself for the accident, Reed escapes the facility and becomes a fugitive while desperately trying to find a cure.