Can ‘The Fantastic Four’ Work?

Soon we’ll see the first trailer for The Fantastic Four by Josh Trank. The movie premieres this August, yet we’ve seen nothing from it – except for a few supposed leaked photographs. Now, I’m all for people trying to hide plotpoints from the trailer – I’m all for people keeping their film secret, like J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan have done in the past. But something’s up with The Fantastic Four.

Throughout this post I’ll voice my concerns, but before doing that – let’s get something clear. The Fantastic Four team has not had a fun ride in Comic Book Movies. They had a film made that was never officially released, two films that were negatively reviewed by most, and they cannot participate in the critically acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While I really disliked the second Tim Story Fantastic Four-film, I actually thought the first one was okay. In my opinion, Chris Evans was the best part about those two films. Now, I would never ask for a third one with the same director and cast – but I am really worried about what they are doing to the characters that kept Stan Lee in the comic book business.


Marvel Comics Showing No Support

That may be an understatement. Not only has Marvel Comics decided to end its current comic book run for The Fantastic Four – which might be a good move for Marvel Entertainment as a whole – but recently, in their Punisher-run, they killed off people that were supposed to look like the cast of this film.


New Origin For Dr. Doom

In the YouTube-video at the very top of this post you’ll hear Toby Kebbell, to star as ‘Doom’, say something very controversial about this film. “This is Von Doom – or [Victor] Domashev as we’ve got him in this movie […]. We’ve got him as Doom ’cause he’s a programmer, and in Chatrooms he’s ‘Doom’. ” Toby Kebbell said to IGN’s Jim Vejvoda. Now, here’s the thing. If he’s a programmer, and not Von Doom, is he even connected to the fictional Latveria? This leads us to question everything about the movie they’re telling – these supposed fans of The Fantastic Four.


Kate Mara Quote

Kate Mara, known primarily from House of Cards, also stars in the film – and I like her – but she’s said something that shocked me. “I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published.” Kate Mara said, according to ComicBookMovie. I’m not saying all actors should be aware of their comic book origin – though I’d like it if they were – but the fact that Trank told her not to read anything, due to the fact that the story isn’t based on published Fantastic Four-comic books… That really worries me.


Fox Cinematic Universe?

While I love the idea of a Marvel Cinematic Universe, and DC’s ditto, I absolutely hate that companies like Fox are thinking about connecting the X-Men Universe with the Fantastic Four Universe. Sure, the Marvel Comics Universe is massive – but I just don’t like the idea that these two are connected without The Avengers playing a part in the universe.


The Director

Now here’s the thing (that’s actually a pretty good pun, I didn’t notice at first), I really like the director of this film. Josh Trank’s Chronicle was absolutely great – and I trust him to make a movie that looks good. However, if they’re going to call it The Fantastic Four, then they need to be like their comic book counterparts – and not just something they made up at Fox HQ.


The Cast

The movie has a great cast, that’s something I’ve got to mention here. Miles Teller, who stars as Reed Richards, and Michael B. Jordan, who stars as Johnny Storm, both have a lot of potential – and could be future Academy Award-winning actors – plus they’ve starred in other films together.

Kate Mara is a good actress. She was good in American Horror Story, and absolutely great as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards. The Mara-family (her sister is Rooney Mara) is very talented, and I’m excited about seeing what she’ll do as Sue Storm.

I don’t know a lot about Toby Kebbell – what I do know, though, is the fact that I praised him for his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – plus he sounds sincere in the video interview with IGN. We all know Jamie Bell, he’s a good actor – but the fact that he’ll be the new The Thing surprised me a lot.


Final Thoughts

Listen, I’m not going to say this won’t work. It definitely could work, it could – but I am really worried. If you need some good news, Matthew Vaughn supposedly liked it. Also, everyone making the film has talent – it’s the story we’re worried about.

In the end, this film can end up as one of three things: a great surprise to people fearing the worst, a mediocre movie that does little more than Sony‘s Amazing Spider-Man 2, or, and I really hope this won’t happen, it can end up as the beginning of the end for Comic Book Movies being respected…

We’ve not seen enough of this film to call for its doom, and I really hope I’ll be happy with it and its trailer, but I wish Fox would’ve left this one alone. Hopefully, when I’ve seen the trailer, I can support it – just like I did after seeing Ant-Man‘s trailer, having originally criticized the movie itself. Please win me over.

For more on The Fantastic Four, Comic Book Movies and Superhero Speculation – Don’t go anywhere!

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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