Despite Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four being one of the biggest cinematic stinkers in recent memory, Kinberg has recently talked about how he still has hopes for another outing for Marvel’s First Family, albeit with a much lighter tone this time around.
Speaking to Den of Geek, he said, “We want to make another Fantastic Four movie. We love that cast – I mean, if I were to say to you now Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, and Kate are great actors – we love that cast. I love the comic, I mean I love it almost as much as the X-Men. We’re working really hard on figuring that out. Nothing would make me happier than the world embracing a Fantastic Four movie. We’ll try to be truer to the essence of the tone of Fantastic Four, which is completely – well, not completely, but largely – distinct from the X-Men, which is brighter, funner, more optimistic tone. I think we tried to make a darker Fantastic Four movie, which seemed like a radical idea but we were kind of messing with the DNA of the actual comic instead of trusting the DNA of the comic.”
Whilst Simon Kinberg is a vastly talented guy who has worked on some brilliant projects over the years, we have to say this all seems like a bit of a delayed apology in the hope of salvaging the FF property in any way possible. All of that stuff he has said above is all of the stuff that fans were saying whilst Trank’s Fantastic Four was in production. Even before the film hit cinemas, it just looked so not like what a Fantastic Four movie should be. This is Marvel’s First Family, this is a comic book property so often based on hope and on the multi-layered dynamic between a family. Not all comic book movies have to be shrouded in darkness; some thrive in their light approach and their positivity. Sure, the FF as a team have had some hugely significant and traumatic moments over the decades, but the reason that these moments were so impactful and hard-hitting was because fans had built up a level of care for the characters after seeing them struggle to function as a family and as a superhero unit, which in turn saw us invested in these heroes. Added to that, the FF so often has a brightness, an optimism, and a sense of the spectacularly-colourful otherworldliness about them. In last year’s movie, even from a basic palate standpoint, the film was just so dark, grey and gloomy. The feel of the film was just so depressing, then the story in place was paper thin and uninteresting, not to mention the decision to make the team so young also hindering the movie in certain ways. Whilst everything so often apparently needs to be young and fresh, how could longtime fans of the Fantastic Four really take a teenage Reed Richards all that seriously? Richards is one of the biggest brains in the Marvel realm, with him giving off a sense if wisdom, of maturity, of working himself to the bone for decades all in the name of science and technology. Obviously he has to start somewhere, but introducing us to a teenage Reed just didn’t work. And then there was the horrendous depiction of Doctor Doom, one of Marvel’s most beloved and iconic villains. With somebody as talented as Toby Kebbell in the role, 20th Century Fox had the chance to do something truly special with Doom. Instead, they opted to give fans one of the worst cinematic supervillains that we’ve ever seen. Sure, Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch was an inspired piece of casting, but that was really the only major plus point of the movie. Everything else was either so-so at best or simply plain awful.
Is that enough of a rant? We think we’d best stop ourselves there, for the rest of today could easily be spent unloading on Trank’s Fantastic Four. And in fairness to Trank, Kinberg has even admitted that the script that the director had written with Jeremy Slater was so much lighter before Kinberg stepped in and darkened it down. Still, it’s Trank that’s largely got it in the neck for Fantastic Four taking home a paltry $167 million at the global box office from a budget of around $120 million.
Whether a Fantastic Four sequel happens – after all, one was originally scheduled for June 2017 before getting pulled – we’ll have to wait and see, but we’d say that Fox may have burnt their bridges by now with fans as far as Marvel’s First Family is concerned.
Interestingly, Fox need to produce a sequel to the film in the next few years or they risk the cinematic rights to the Fantastic Four reverting back to Marvel Studios, meaning that the FF could then be used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, Marvel Studios and Disney reportedly already have plans for the team just in case they happen to end up being able to use the characters, such as what recently happened with Spider-Man, although Spidey’s appearance in the MCU was down to Marvel Studios agreeing a deal to work alongside Sony Pictures where the Wallcrawler is concerned.
As ever, expect more on this as it develops, but would you really want to see another Fox-produced Fantastic Four effort following the disappointment of last year’s movie?SHARE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW OR ON TWITTER @STARBURST_MAG
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