Alex Yarde, fresh from viewing the Teaser of 20th Century Fox 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, breaks down why he’s hopeful.
I just watched director Josh Trank (Chronicle) and screenwriter-producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) filmmakers’ commentary on the teaser above from an exclusive interview with the always informative @MarcusErrico, Deputy Editor of Yahoo Entertainment, entitled “Filmmakers Break Down ‘The Fantastic Four’ Trailer, Reveal Most Viral-Ready Frame“. After combing the internet for months this was the missing piece I needed. I’m a fan. I’m sold.
For the uninitiated, FANTASTIC FOUR, is a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, it centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
Without further ado here’s 10 Reasons Fantastic Four Isn’t Gonna Suck, in no particular order:
1) Trank & Kinberg: These cats comic! Let’s look at their Filmographies; Kinberg’s recent work on the rejuvenated X-Men Franchise, Elysium, Jumper, Big Hero 6 and he’s currently producing & writing X-Men Apocalypse. Josh Trank made the closest thing we are ever going to see to a live action AKIRA in the remarkable Chronicle.
2) It’s The Ultimate Version: When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, created Fantastic Four in ’61 the Cold War was on and the Space Race was in full swing. The classic team of space explorers was bombarded by cosmic rays and gained strange powers. Trank and Kinberg chose Marvels Ultimate Fantastic Four for their source material, with the gang meeting in a secure Government think tank housed within the Baxter Building. This team is voyaging interdimensionally when their accidental genesis occurs. “I really wanted to tell the story of a young Reed Richards,” says Trank, to Yahoo News, noting he was inspired by a scene in the Ultimate book of Reed as a child prodigy tinkering in his garage. “The next generation,” Kinberg adds. “A younger Fantastic Four.”
3) Third Times A Charm: Fox’s last two efforts were admittedly Fantastic Flops. The first featuring Michael Chiklis cosplaying in an orange rubber costume, and wooden dialogue so bad not even Chris Evans and Jessica Alba in blue spandex could save it. The second insult subtitled “Rise of The Sliver Surfer” Lawrence Fishburns’ awesomely realized Surfer, Sentinel of the Space ways wielding The Power Cosmic in service to… a big cloud. Really..That was it. Almighty Galactus was a cloud (WTF)!
4) The Cast: The filmmakers cast Miles Teller (Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Sue Storm/Invisible Woman), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing), and Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm/The Human Torch). ”I don’t think we could possibly find four better actors to portray these characters in this version of the story,” says Trank. ”We wanted [the movie] to be grounded and dramatic and we went for the four most dramatic actors.” A sad amount of nerd rage is directed toward Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan for “Acting While Black” as Johnny Storm. Yeah, in this day and age some people still can’t wrap their heads around a multiracial family. I wrote about it in an article entitled, “It’s Clobberin’ Time! Nerdrage Surrounding Casting Of Fantastic Four Film”. Oh, and just for the record. Those fuming fan boy canonical fig leaf arguments aren’t fooling anyone. “David Hasselhoff was a way better Nick Fury!!!!”
Said no one. Ever.
Fantastic Four | Official Teaser Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX sans commentary
5) The Thing is CGI: Like Marvels’ Guardians Of The Galaxy and their remarkable creation Groot, Trank decided to use motion-capture CGI of Jamie Bell to render the ever loving’ blue eyed brute. And his initial appearance in the teaser is a highlight.
“That,” says Kinberg, “will be the frame that is frozen and screen-captured and emailed the most.” We also get a quick glimpse of Johnny Storm flaming on as the Human Torch and his big sister Sue shows off her force field skills. It’s a scant look, but the team that worked magic on X-Men: Days of Future Past know their stuff.
6) It’s Not Campy: Roger Corman’s 1994 B-movie was low budget fun and campy. The first two 20th Century Fox efforts were high budget, no fun and campy. They lost their way with the slapstick, a scene with Alicia Masters (Kerry Washington) and Ben on a date was particularly cringe worthy. I grew up reading FF. Malice’s storyline during John Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four (one of my personal favorites) through Marvels Civil War & World War Hulk crossovers, The Death of The Invisble Woman saga, the Skrulls Secret Invasion of earth until Johnny’s “death” in the Negative Zone and Sue’s formation of the Future Foundation. FF was NOT a campy book, not at it’s best in my opinion. “[Stan Lee] loved the idea that somebody would take the Fantastic Four seriously and put them in a modern space.” said Trank, who endeavored to ground his version and make it as believable as possible. “I really wanted to see science in science fiction, which I think we rarely see,” he says. That extended to the costumes. “[We wanted] to create these suits that had a real science function to them,” says Kinberg, adding that Trank “termed them containment suits to contain their powers.” After all, the old teams blue long johns were composed of “unstable molecules” so it’s not a stretch (pun intended) We never see Mr. Fantastic go the full Armstrong, but there’s a brief shot at the 1:26 mark where his reach seems limitless.
7) It’s in 3D: 3D is AWESOME!
8)It’s All In The Family: At it’s heart, this unlikely super hero team always encompassed the best and worst aspects of being part of a family, which I’m encouraged to hear that touchstone is a priority and point of focus for both filmmakers.
“All of the dynamics, both good and bad, about being in a family were playing out in a comic book,” says Kinberg of the kind of stories that made the Marvel title so enduring. And the filmmakers claim to stay true to that motif.
“The most important thing about the Fantastic Four,” Trank says, “is that this is a movie about a family.”
9) Sue Storm is Reed’s equal: Sue’s powers evolved quite a bit since ’61 to eventually make her the most powerful member of the team. Initially however, her powers (mainly turning only herself invisible) were useless. This was from jump street. Fantastic Four #1 – The now legendary cover that began the Marvel Age of Comics had the Invisible Girl a captive of Mole Man’s giant green monster Giganto. She was portrayed as either the helpless female constantly in need of rescue or Reed’s pretty blonde girlfriend that Ben or Prince Namor or some other Alpha hero or Villain would try to make his trophy. Not so now. Ultimate Sue Richards is now Reed’s intellectual equal, a biochemistry prodigy who has grown up in the Baxter Building in the gifted and talented program supervised by her father. They meet at the Baxter Compound as colleagues. This update is long overdue.
10) The Negative Zone: Originally, Reed Richards discovered the Negative Zone and built the first portal between the universes. The Fantastic Four have visited there many times. Since it appears interdimensional travel grants the new team their powers, I’d love to see the other inhabitants of this Zone, primarily the Antimatter universes powerful despot Annihilus! Perhaps this is “what’s coming” that the scarred Proto Doom alluded to? The voiceover for the trailer I suspect is Doom’s and the patient in the hospital Reed is speaking with is most certainly Victor Domashev (Toby Kebbell). Dr. Doom is a major terrestrial Big Bad in the Marvel Universe. I suspect his new role will befit The Lord of Latveria.
So that’s my take. What’s yours? Please sound off in the comments section below!
Fantastic Four is in Theaters – August 7, 2015, in 3D
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