If you haven’t heard by now, Fox Studios released the first trailer for their new Fantastic Four movie. If you don’t remember (and who could blame you), Fox had put out two previous films nearly ten years ago. They were both awful. So naturally when it came time to re-up the rights to the characters, people begged Fox to give them back to Marvel so they could make something good – or at the very least decent – out of it. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Fox traded Daredevil for an extension of the FF rights and here we are today.
But that’s not exactly the whole story. There’s been a lot of talk about this movie. Most of it has been about the production of the film. There were casting issues, script issues, and reshoots… so many reshoots. From what it sounded like, this movie got taken apart and put back together at least twice. If anyone recalls Superman Returns, you know that never works out well. So I’m being kind when I say that the expectations of this movie are beyond low. And that’s not just from racist fanboys who can’t stand the fact that Johnny Storm is black. Every word on this movie has been a cautionary one.
Yet here we are today, with the trailer’s release, and I find myself conflicted. First off, it’s a very well done trailer. It reminds me somewhat of Interstellar, talking about the advancements of humanity and what science can do for us as a species. It’s shot very well, which I expect from Josh Trank, who directed Chronicle. It show cases each other characters except our main villain (Toby Kebbell playing Doctor Doom) and some other sprawling shots with a VO from Reg E. Cathey from House of Cards (He’s playing Johnny Storm’s father). The most starling fact is the lack of showcase for the powers. Except for a brief shot of the Human Torch and two small shots of The Thing, you’d have no idea this was a superhero movie from the scenes alone.
It’s an interesting avenue to take. I wonder if Fox – or Trank – thought the seriousness of the trailer wouldn’t make sense in a superpowered montage. I tend to agree, but then I have to wonder what kind of tone they’re going for. Is this some kind of ruse? I imagine we’ll have to wait until the second trailer, or reports from press events, to see if the tone holds. If it does, we may have something interesting on our hands. If not… then we go back to praying the rights return to Marvel someday.
No one wants a bad movie. But the Fantastic Four has a terrible history and the production of this one isn’t much better. The cast is young, but hopefully not too young (IMDB). Unfortunately Mr. Fantastic is the only character with any kind of dialogue, so it’s hard to get a grasp on the kind of characters we’re seeing.
I suppose all we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. We’ve only got another seven months to see for sure.