Fantastic Four should have been a great movie. The best family in Marvel Comics, portrayed by a hot list of some great young talent in Hollywood and helmed by a visionary director in the form of Chronicle‘s Josh Trank.
And sweet Suzy, it was anything but that. Fantastic Four is a trainwreck, and that’s being kind. What should have been a gritty reimagining that would have given birth to the Ultimate incarnation of the comics, is instead a patchwork monstrosity that didn’t need a Latverian nemesis in order to be doomed.
And now more alleged information has arrived via THR, which cites sources that detail how Trank’s odd behaviour on set helped clobber any chances that this film had at the box office:
Sources say Fox believed in what one executive calls a “grounded, gritty version of Fantastic Four that was almost the opposite of previous versions” — and initially thought Trank could deliver that. Several sources say Fox stood by Trank as he pushed a gloomy tone on young stars Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell. “During takes, he would be telling [cast members] when to blink and when to breathe,” one person says. “He kept pushing them to make the performance as flat as possible.”
Thing is, the tone shouldn’t have been a problem. The more grounded approach to Fantastic Four could have still worked thanks to the talented cast that was hired. But the blame here also lies with parent company Fox, as Fantastic Four was rushed into production in an attempt to retain the rights to the characters before they reverted back to Marvel and Disney:
As Fox hurried to put the project into production before rights to the material reverted to Marvel, the studio was scrambling with multiple rewrites and delays in starting the film. They “were afraid of losing the rights so they pressed forward and didn’t surround [Trank] with help or fire him. They buried their heads in the sand.” Fox declined to comment.
Fox did want to give Trank more room to create his own movie according to the sources, but they couldn’t resist meddling in the flick once they’d seen a rough cut after principal photography had wrapped. That resulted in Fox working to reshoot certain scenes, even though the primary cast was unavailable, which makes sense regarding the bonkers third act that drops the ball and then some:
With some of the cast not fully available at that point and [producer Simon]Kinberg juggling X-Men: Apocalypse and Star Wars, a lot of material was shot with doubles and the production moved to Los Angeles to film scenes with Teller against a green screen. “It was chaos,” says a crew member, adding that Trank was still in attendance “but was neutralized by a committee.”
THR even cites one source who says that Drew “The Cabin In The Woods” Goddard was brought on board to help salvage the film, but this clearly didn’t do the project any favours. And it’s not hard to believe these rumours, when you see the final cut of the Fantastic Four movie, which is just all kinds of bad.
Last Updated: August 14, 2015