The saying goes, I believe, never judge a book by its cover... yet, as movie fans and fans of these properties, that's all we seem to be doing. This upcoming Fantastic 4 reboot is, quite possibly, the most criticized superhero film in recent memory... and it hasn't even been released yet. If we all learn to calm down, take a deep breath, and understand that the comics are a different medium than the films, the we might all learn to appreciate the type of film that Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg are putting together.
First off, let me start off by saying how stellar this cast is. A cast like this will not let you down, especially since they realize how big superhero films have gotten, and how a film like this could elevate their career. Michael B. Jordan and Miles Tellar are slowly becoming two of the best actors from this younger generation, while Kate Mara and jamie Bell, while slightly less know, have a chance to elevate their career ten fold by proving themselves in a blockbuster like this.
Next, to warm you up to the idea of the new Fantastic Four, let's talk about Josh Trank. He proved with Chronicle, on that micro budget, that he could handle this film genre. He essentially gave us a superhero origin story along with a villain origin story, and he introduced the idea of a found footage film to the superhero genre. What other directors could pull all of that off. He introduced a completely overdone concept (found footage) to the superhero genre, yet made it feel authentic, fresh and exciting
Let's talk about the overall tone of the film, and how it will be a darker incarnation of these characters. Why is that a bad thing? Did any of us happen to watch the previous films? I don't want anything that even closely resembles that world, which is why this darker world will feel fresh and exciting to these characters.
Trank and Kinberg, in an interview, have said how they have modeled this film after a director like Cronenberg, and it will be a hard science fiction film. Why doesn't that make you excited? Man of Steel introduced the idea of making a sci-fi superhero film, and it looks like Trank and Kinberg will expand on that. I am tired of superhero movies that are simply that, ad nothing more. This film feels like it will be crossing genres and introducing new elements into this genre, which is a good thing, or else the genre as a whole would feel boring and stale.
It is about time to talk about the big elephant in the room, and that would be Toby Kebbell's Doctor Doom. Kebbell has said in an interview that his Doom will be an anti-social hacker/programmer, which I agree is a concern for the film, however we do not know how this aspect of the character will be handled in the film. For instance, maybe Doom takes over Latveria through his hacking and programming skills, since it is the 21st century and that has become a real threat in this world. We saw in that screenshot (below) that Latveria exists in this world, and maybe this will be Doom's origin story and how he rose to power.
I do not think Trank and Kinberg would take a character like Doom, and completely strip him of the characteristics we know him for. They will obviously be making changes to his character to fit the tone of the world they are creating, but Kinberg has proven with the X-Men franchise that he can change certain aspects of a character yet still make that character resonate with fans and audiences.
If we, as fans of the source material, could simply learn to judge this film based on just that, the film, rather than how faithful it is to the source material, then we will all be surprised. yes, Johnny Storm is black... get over it. Doom might be a hacker, and we should wait until the film is released and see his role before judging it based solely on the information we have right now.
I am optimistic, simply because I don't think this cast or director will let me down. Trank knows what he's doing and he is the perfect guy to rebooting this franchise, with Kinberg on to write the script. I don't care if the film will be a darker take on the characters, because we already got the light-hearted films and they were terrible. This is a franchise that needs to go in a different direction, and Trank is the guy to rejuvenate it. I am excited for this film, and cannot wait to see where Trank takes these characters.
Also, on a side note, this will be darker film, but it will also be filled with light hearted moments as well, even though the trailer didn't demonstrate these moments. That was simply a teaser to set up the tone, but there will be moments of levity. You can't have a completely dark take on Johnny Storm, after all.
Check out the teaser trailer below: