This might sound like a severe understatement, but 20th Century Fox’s contractually obligated Fantastic Four reboot is not really performing to the expectations of anyone except perhaps those of us who have followed its troubled development for years and viewed the underwhelming trailers.
The studio’s latest attempt to launch their other major Marvel Comics property as a sequel-ready franchise to rival their X-Men series has been slaughtered by critics, pilloried by audiences, and right now, nothing short of the news that Fox has entered negotiations with Marvel Studios to retake ownership of the First Family of the House of Ideas’ cinematic destiny will satisfy the Fantastic Four’s furiously frothing fan base.
There is no hiding the fact that Fantastic Four did not meet anyone’s expectations, unless those expectations were failing ones. Fox stands to lose up to $60 million dollars due to its underwhelming $26.2 million dollar debut, and things could get worse if they continue to progress the way they are now.
Because of director Josh Trank‘s volatile and revealing tweet, we were shown the ugly side of studio interference. But it’s not as though Trank is without blame. Throughout the production of the film, the filmmaker has been hostile to both the cast and creative team, even to the homeowners who rented the house to him. Through great effort, PR tried to make it seem as though there was no validity to any of these rumors with exclusive interviews of Trank and Kinberg sitting together as if they were friends, but word was getting out, and there was no stopping the inevitable.
The Fantastic Four reboot then confirmed what we all knew, there was a huge shift in tone and wigs in the final third act of the film. On Monday, we learned of the many problems that plagued the production of the film were aired out. Now a new report is out revealing just how problematic Trank has been during the filming process, and it is supporting previous reports of his strange behavior. More on this below.
We’ve all heard in the past about studios interfering with directors on the direction of a film. With most superhero films being in a shared universe, these directors are pressured into being a part of something they don’t really want to be a part of. Alan Taylor expressed his frustrations while filming Thor: The Dark World. Joss Whedon didn’t get to add any of the characters he wanted to in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Edgar Wright directing Ant-Mandidn’t work out. But this doesn’t apply just to films from Marvel Studios.
With Josh Trank‘s reimagining of Fantastic Four out in theaters, the film is getting hit with wave after wave of negative reviews, and as of this post has a 10% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Not entirely unexpected given the harsh criticism the film received from the first trailer and the behind-the-scenes allegations. So far everything points towards Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation taking the top spot at the box office this weekend, which is disappointing news to Fox and everyone else who worked on Fantastic Four.
While there will be plenty of finger pointing when the expected disappointing numbers come out, Trank felt that it was necessary to clear the air by doing some major backpedaling on his own movie. And then he proceeded to be muzzled. More on the story below.
Fantastic Four Director: Josh Trank
Screenwriters: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank
Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson, Tim Heidecker 20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 100 Minutes
Release Date: August 7, 2015
“It’s clobberin’ time.”
Co-written and directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle), Fantastic Four is a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s First Family, based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, and Adam Kubert.
Childhood friends Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) create a prototype teleporter, attracting the attention of Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), director of the Baxter Foundation, a government-sponsored research institute for gifted youngsters. Reed is recruited to join the institute and work with Storm’s children, Sue (Kate Mara) and Johnny (Michael B. Jordan), to complete the “Quantum Gate.”
Designed by Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), the Quantum Gate is an inter-dimensional teleportation device that allows travel to a place known only as “Planet Zero.” After completing the project, Reed, Johnny, and Victor recruit Ben and commandeer the Quantum Gate for an unsanctioned expedition into the unknown.
Fox is making one last marketing push to promote the odd Fantastic Four. The film has gone through a few marketing struggles, with some acting uninterested after seeing the first twotrailers, while some dedicated fans expressed their outrage towards how the marketing team descriptions changed the team’s powers.
In just a few weeks, though, the film will come out, and the studio has released one final trailer (which happens to be the same trailer shown at Comic-Con) to convince us that this is the Fantastic Four that fans have been waiting for. Check out the trailer below.