ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

FOX may have made a lot of friends with yesterday's confirmation that a Deadpool movie was officially on the way, but unfortunately, that great gift could potentially be coming at the cost of some of their other AAA projects.

Today, FOX has announced it will be shaking up its future release schedule in light of this [Deadpool](movie:38663) announcement. The studio has stated that Josh Trank's upcoming [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667) reboot will be delayed by 6 weeks, pushing it back from June 19th, 2015 to August 7th, 2015.

However, things are even worse for the highly anticipated [Assassin's Creed](movie:437814) big screen adaptation. Originally, the film, which is set to star Michael Fassbender, was due to arrive on August 7th, 2015 - the date now occupied by The Fantastic Four. Now, it has seemingly been stripped of that release date and not provided with a new one.

Why The Change?

The Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four has already finished filming, while Assassin's Creed - as far as we know - has yet to begin. In this sense, the shift in release dates probably has more to do with business and strategical decisions at FOX than with any particular trouble in either production. Although, having said that, the passing of Assassin's Creed release date to The Fantastic Four could suggest executives were not confident the project - which is still in pre-production - could satisfyingly meet the original date. While they could also potentially be diverting resources to the newly announced Deadpool movie - a relatively more straight forward project.

This delay could be seen as the latest controversy to hit The Fantastic Four production, a project which so far hasn't entirely been received with whole-hearted enthusiasm by Fantastic Four or Marvel fans. Let's take a look at some reasons why.

The Fantastic Four - The Casting

Trouble first emerged when Chronicle director, Trank, claimed he would be looking for a new, younger cast to reboot the series. This wasn't too controversial in and of itself, however some of his casting choices has resulted in some rather heated debates in website comment sections.

In particular, the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm resulted in confusion as to why a black actor had been cast in the role of a white character. This resulted in some fairly intense flame (on) wars. Some accused others of being racist, claiming the color of an actor's skin had no bearing on his ability to play a role convincingly, while others suggested it was simply showed a lack of compassion for the source material - especially considering his supposed sister, Sue Storm, would be played by a white actress.

The casting of Jamie Bell, a relatively slim and short actor, as Ben "The Thing" Grimm also resulted in some raised eyebrows, as the role has traditionally been seen as one for a bulky and heavy set actor.

Trank Ignoring The Comics

This lack of allegiance to the source material was further compounded by an interview with Sue Storm actress, Kate Mara. She explained that Josh Trank had advised the cast not to read any Fantastic Four comics, as it "won't be based on any history of anything already published."

However, some reports claim the reboot will be more based on Mark Millar's Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, which saw a re-moderization and re-imagining of one of the oldest Marvel superhero properties.

The Serious Tone

The Thing bust on set
The Thing bust on set

Some fans were also perturbed by claims The Fantastic Four reboot would attempt to deliver a more realistic and serious tone - which, again, is not exactly in keeping with the comics. Writer Simon Kinberg earlier claimed the film would be a "more gritty, realistic movie" compared to the previous iterations of The Fantastic Four. Furthermore, Jordan told MTV News the film would be about "kids that had an accident" and would be allegorical to individuals dealing with disabilities.

With the success of The Dark Knight Trilogy, it's clear there is a market for darker comic book movies, however some have claimed this is simply the wrong way to present The Fantastic Four. Indeed, although the previous Fantastic Four films were panned by critics, their more 'comic booky' tone still drew a profit at the box office.

Rumors Trank and Kinberg Were Dumped

Earlier this year, rumors circulated that Trank and Kinberg had been dumped from the project and that FOX were now actively looking for replacements. FOX quickly denied the rumors, however they did highlight the fact that many fans were concerned with the production.

Indeed, considering the amount of negativity surrounding the production, it wasn't outside the realms of possibility that FOX would look for rewrites and a new helmer. Although the rumors did turn out to be false, they didn't exactly inspire confidence.

Do you believe Josh Trank knows what he's doing with The Fantastic Four?


The Fantastic Four reboot will...



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