In Cinemautopsy, we look back at a recent, high-profile failure and ask a simple question: What the hell happened? In this installment... the comic that launched Marvel Comics. A cast of beloved up-and-comers. One of the hottest young directors in Hollywood. A bold attempt to reinvent the superhero genre. What could possibly go wrong?
A lot of people were disappointed by last summer’s Fantastic Four. The reboot, directed by Josh Trank, was supposed to relaunch one of the most popular comic-book series in history, and erase the memory of two previous, unpopular Fantastic Four movies in the process. It had a great cast, including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan. It had Trank, coming off his acclaimed superhero film Chronicle. It should have been the start of something huge.
We have spent our fair share of time sifting through the ashes of the new Fantastic Four movie, desperately trying to figure out exactly what happened here. Call it a morbid fascination. Call it professional curiosity. All we know is that the finished movie is not what anyone involved set out to make. Now we have another item of interest – a glimpse at an early screenplay for the film and it couldn’t be more different than the final film.
When Fantastic Four stumbled into theaters two weekends ago, the audiences that did show up noticed that the movie in theaters was not the movie being sold in the trailers. There were a ton of scenes and elements present in the marketing that were absent from the finished film. We even catalogued them right here. The full details of what went down (and what went wrong) on this set will probably remain covered up for a while yet, but details have begun to slowly trickle out. Now we know exactly what happened to the biggest missing scene of them all. Sort of.
As of this writing, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four has made $25.6 million. Improbably, that’s less than half of either of the previous big-budget Fantastic Four movies, which are widely disliked by comics fan and cinephiles alike. There’s a chance Trank’s FF could wind up grossing less in theaters than Blade: Trinity, or even Trank’s own surprise debut hit, Chronicle (which cost about a tenth of his follow-up). In Hollywood parlance, those are ungood numbers. In most cases, they would almost mean certain doom (har dee har har) for any chance of a sequel.
The internet hasn’t been friendly with Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four since day one and with the movie opening in less than a week, everyone still seems pretty baffled by it. What is this movie? What really went on behind the scenes? Is it good? Can it be good? And why does Deadpool pop up at the end of this new extended trailer?
As skeptical as many fans rightfully have been about Josh Trank’s reboot of Fantastic Four, there’s something sort of appealing about the film’s aesthetic and tone from the various teasers and trailers. In keeping with 20th Century Fox’s recent X-Men films, Fantastic Four looks as though it walks the line between the fun, vibrant world of the MCU and the grittier, stylized approach of Zack Snyder’s DCU.
We’re just a few weeks out from the release of Fantastic Four, one of our last blockbusters of the summer movie season, and our last superhero film of the year. Although general response to Josh Trank’s reboot has been tepid so far, there’s plenty of appeal in some of these TV spots and trailers, like the latest, which is made up of almost entirely new footage and gives us another look at Dr. Doom.
“What do you do when you wake up in the hospital bed and you’re made of rocks?” Jamie Bell gives us just one of the questions that will be answered in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot. The new featurette for the upcoming film explores the origins of our four superheroes and hits on their humanity and relatable qualities, which is something 20th Century Fox has been pushing a lot.
The new Fantastic Four reboot comes with a lot of built-in baggage — fans were so disappointed in the 2005 film and the subsequent sequel in 2007 (perhaps more so with the latter), that they’re naturally skeptical of another go-round with the super-powered quartet. Producer Simon Kinberg is aware of this and acknowledges it in a new interview, while remaining in director Josh Trank’s corner regardless of the rumors that continue to swirl about his behavior on set.