‘Fantastic Four’ Producer Simon Kinberg Admits That It Was Too Dark
Last year’s Fantastic Four reboot was beset with problems before it even hit theaters, from the highly-publicized conflict between Josh Trank and the studio to rumors of the director’s behavior on-set and reports of an unusual amount of reshoots. When the actual film arrived, it was…disappointing, to say the least. And although producer Simon Kinberg has remained optimistic about a sequel somewhere down the line, even he’s finally admitting that Fantastic Four had some serious issues — as in, it was too serious.
Trank’s assertion that he was making a “body horror” version of the super-powered quartet’s origin story inspired by David Cronenberg sounded cool on paper, but didn’t look so great in practice. Fantastic Four was ultimately too serious, yet another grim and gritty reimagining of vibrant, fun source material.
While appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Kinberg tells Josh Horowitz what went wrong with the reboot — and yes, these are the same problems most of us had with the film:
I don’t think that there is, in any movie that doesn’t work, a single decision that is the reason that that movie doesn’t work. I think that there were many decisions we made along the way that led to a movie that people didn’t like and to a movie that I would do differently next time. I think the biggest takeaway for me [is that] the tone of the movie, while really interesting and ambitious, ran counter to the DNA of the source material. I think the source material of Fantastic Four is bright, optimistic, poppy in tone. There’s a sort of plucky spirit to those characters, and we made a darker, sort of body-horror kind of version of Fantastic Four, which again as I say it now sounds really interesting and cerebrally ambitious, but isn’t necessarily Fantastic Four.
It’s too bad that Kinberg didn’t take that lesson to heart before writing X-Men: Apocalypse, a sequel that’s a little too serious given its ’80s setting and a mutant that wears a jazzercise outfit. The only upbeat part of that sequel is Quicksilver. Lesson: Make the X-Men movies more like Quicksilver.
Moving on, Kinberg reiterates his commitment to keeping the Fantastic Four alive, and says he hopes he can make another film with the cast of Trank’s reboot:
It’s a big part of the plan going forward. Like I say, the biggest lesson learned is that Fantastic Four is a great comic book that has its own tone and voice, and we need to let that lead us… I would love to continue making movies with that cast.
If — and that’s a big IF — Kinberg can find the right filmmaking talent to deliver a more dimensional and entertaining sequel to Fantastic Four, then yeah, it’d be great to see Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller and Jamie Bell suit up as those characters again. Those are four very charming actors that are totally capable of having a good time if you’ll just let them.