When it comes to the latest big screen attempt at comic-dom’s first family of four, things are not as fantastic as Fox may have hoped. At least that’s the troubled picture being painted by numerous unconfirmed reports about director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot that popped up through the course of last week.
It began on Reddit, where a user calling themselves “MrBlueFox” and alleging to have been contracted by Fox to work on the film’s 2nd rough cut, leaked what appears to be the film’s logo as well as some character details. The logo has since been denied by Fox (although it could just be an early version of the official log that they’ve since discarded), and the character details are a bit spoilery for those that want to go into the movie fresh, so I will just link to them HERE for whomever wants to see them. The most pertinent part of his story though are his feelings on the cut of the movie that he’s seen, saying:
“…even though the movie didn’t sound great… The movie itself wasn’t all bad – it feels like Chronicle 2, which isn’t a bad thing. It manages to keep the basis of the characters despite the race change for Johnny and the uh… original love story between two of the characters (I won’t mention who).”
He went on to talk about why he thinks Fox is keeping everything about the movie so secretive, as we’ve yet to see a single official production still or even a hint of a trailer
“I really have no idea! In my personal opinion, the movie isn’t a complete trainwreck – it’s a genuinely good movie. I guess they don’t want to piss off the die-hard fans, but I really don’t know.”
That certainly doesn’t sound too bad. Basically a movie that’s good, but not great -which is admittedly much better than most people were expecting when we first heard about this. And that “good” descriptor is something which popped up again when X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn spoke about the cut of the movie that he’s seen:
“I’ve seen the movie, it’s good… I thought Chronicle was a fantastic movie and [Josh] Trank has gone off and done his version of Fantastic Four. If you like Chronicle, then you’ll like this… We’re all backing Josh Trank’s vision… And hopefully the world will like Josh Trank’s vision.”
Besides for the “good” part – which is not all that enthusiastic – you may have noticed another recurring theme: The comparison to Trank’s Chronicle. And this is where the problems start. Apparently some people on the production crew have begun referring to Fantastic Four “as Chronicle 2” due to its similarities, something that Fox is definitely not happy with, as that’s apparently not the movie they signed up to make. According to both Bleeding Cool and BadAssDigest’s contacts, some Fox executives has described the movie as “a mess”.
What’s more, BC claims to have seen some internal Fox dialogue on whether to try to “fix” the movie with extensive reshoots or scrap the whole thing. In the end, it appears that the former is happening though, with Trank and the principal cast heading back to Louisiana for addition time in front of the cameras. After BC reported on this, producer/writer Simon Kinberg told Latino Review this in reply, confirming the reshoots but spinning it in a very positive light:
“To confirm – Fantastic Four will be doing 3-4 days of additional photography with director Josh Trank and some key cast members. We are very excited about the film and can’t wait for you to see what we’ve been up to. And you will be able to do that very soon as I can confirm here that the teaser will be on Kingsman in theaters February 13.”
That last bit is certainly a great news, and it was followed shortly by an official statement from Fox, confirming everything and also pointing out that it is “relatively standard for some pick up shots with the director post the main shoot wrapping”. This is all true. Virtually all of Marvel’s movies have had late addition pickup-shots. The problem is that according to some unconfirmed reports from people involved in the production, these additional 3-4 days of shooting is already in addition to a whole lot of reshoots that have already been happening for a long time now!
What’s more it seems that everything isn’t that fantastic on set as Tiger Droppings (via Nerd Reactor) are reporting a rumour that Josh Trank apparently mistreated the crew and trashed some of the on-set living quarters, to the point that Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos had to fly in to calm the riled-up crew and apologize in person.
Now this story does have an air of tabloid hyperbole (i.e. bullcrap) to it, but I have personally spoken to people who worked on Chronicle (which was shot here in Cape Town) who said that Trank was pretty unruly on set and a real pain work with. So this latest rumour might have a nugget of truth to it.
What all of this boils down to, is that production on Fantastic Four is not smooth at all. Now this is most definitely not a reflection on the quality of the movie – several certified classics had some of the most chaotic production schedules of all time – but this movie is already under such scrutiny from fans who have not taken kindly to the little bit of info we know about it thus far, that any small sign of trouble like this will be enough to sway that already negative public opinion right into the red.
What do you guys think? Has this latest bit of news dampened whatever hopes you had, or was this always *ahem* DOOM-ed to fail?
Last Updated: January 19, 2015