Sunday, 1 February 2015


Sunday, 1 February 2015

Less a trailer or a teaser, more a mission statement. People still remember the atrocious Fantastic Four movies from 2005/7, when 20th Century Fox believed the director of Barbershop was the right man to hire. Josh Trank is the new man in charge of Fantastic Four's big-screen hopes, and he directed one of the best superhero movies of recent times with Chronicle (a rare found footage film that actually worked). Fox are still involved, but they're desperately trying to make their Marvel-originating properties work better now—having also 'soft rebooted' the X-Men franchise by making prequels, where one cleverly rewrote the sins of X-Men: The Last Stand and Wolverine: X-Men Origins.

As I said, this teaser isn't about wowing anyone—it's here to announce intention. The style is very moody and sombre. As many people have noticed, it's not dissimilar to Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and has led to a fun mash-up to prove that point. It takes awhile for you to even realise you're watching a trailer for a superhero movie, if someone just played you this with no preamble.

There have been rumblings of issues behind-the-scenes, alas. It was reported that Fox execs aren't entirely happy with how Trank's film has come out, so they're demanding some reshoots. But don't worry, reshoots and tinkering is part of the creative process—you just didn't hear about it much until the showbiz press started reporting minutia and making people paranoid. I'm also not too concerned about the apparent rewriting of villain Dr. Doom, who seems destined to never appear on-screen in his comic-book form as the maniacal leader of a fictional European country. And that's quite weird, because despots are a genuine concern today, so it would be fun to reflect that in comic-book movie form. No?

Anyway, I think this looks promising—certainly more in-keeping with Fox's X-Men universe, but perhaps aiming for something closer to the Dark Knight spectrum? There are only a few glimpses of the characters in superhero form, but I like the casting: Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Reed Richards, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm, Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Ben Grimm, Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle) as Johnny Storm, and Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla) as Dr.Doom.

FANT4STIC premieres 6 August 2015 in the UK and the next-day in the U.S.