i wasn’t looking forward to Fantastic Four from the beginning; too soon for a reboot, but 20th Century Fox forced another movie because if they don’t keep producing Fantastic Four movies, then the cinema rights will revert back to Marvel. this movie is more of a power play than anything. but here’s what really went wrong: Josh Trank had an alternate vision for the reboot, different than the comics or what has come before in the previous Fantastic Four movies. Trank’s concept was more of a sci-fi film genre than a typical superhero film, even with thriller type scenes. nothing wrong with envisioning something new and giving us something to experience, in fact i encourage that. Trank chose a Fantastic Four reboot in the comics to draw from, ‘Ultimate Fantastic Four’ by Brian Michael Bendis. Trank’s vision, for the most part, was actually filmed, but that is not what we got this weekend. Fox studio execs meddled and reshot certain scenes, even renamed characters to make the film more like a generic superhero film, disparate from what Josh Trank had envisioned. what we were left with was 2 movies pieced together, with some strong story arcs and solid plot points, only to undermined by the next scene, taking the film temporarily in a new direction, and then back to it’s original scheme. in a lot of ways, the same thing happened to Ant-man. Edgar Wright’s vision was compromised and pieces were fit in to try to make Antman fit into a superhero movie scheme that studio execs like because they believe the standard makes money. unfortunately, they are right about the profit, but wrong about what makes a good movie. if it’s pg-13 with superheroes and humor, kids will love it; if it is original with an adult-centric, intellectually engaging plot, then grown ups will like it too. Ant-man was still a success, as the script was still mostly Edgar Wright’s vision, but not all that it could have been. The Fantastic Four, however, lacks clear direction and leaves audience members with an unsure feeling, like this one, “it had all the elements of other superhero movies, but i didn’t really like it and i can’t explain why; it was ok, i guess.” would Fox ever re-edit it more to Trank’s vision? will we ever see that version? i’m assuming that version will be better, but i can’t say for certain.
this Fantastic 4 reboot was intended to launch a series of films and begin integration between Fox’s owned X-Men movie franchise and the Fantastic Four. Fox even has a date for the Fantastic Four sequel. crossover plans are all but scrapped for now and no one knows for certain if Fox will continue on with the sequel. does this mean Fox will try to reboot the Fantastic Four again in 5 years just to hang on to the film rights? no one knows at this point.
the concept of a superhero team was conceived by Stan Lee at Marvel in 1961 and was created largely by Jack Kirby. over the years, the writer of the X-Men comics, Chris Clarement wrote the “FF,” as he likes to call it. Chris Claremont has the written the script for the upcoming ‘Gambit’ movie for Fox. why not have Chris Clarement write the new Fantastic Four? or, 20th Century Fox, if you still want to green light a sequel, have comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis write it? it was his vision that created the comic that inspired this movie.
conclusion: wait for DVD / streaming, give Fox studio execs something to think about, but still see it.