It's a great time to be a superhero fan! It doesn't matter if you love Marvel, DC or both, there's going to be a way to get your fix for the superhero flicks for the next 5 or so years!
Most of the superhero buzz is circling around the upcoming superhero versus match films, [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) and [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409). With so much news coming out of those fronts, it's easy to forget that we're just one month away from what could possibly be another amazing superhero ensemble film!
August 7, 2015 marks the official release date for The Fantastic Four, the superhero film featuring Marvel's first family of heroes! The upcoming 20th Century Fox reboot of the previous FF films has been in production for a long time, so I'm excited to see it finally release this year.
While I'm looking forward to the movie, you can definitely tell that that isn't the general consensus at all. The film has been getting a lot of flack since its announcement, with most already agreeing that it's going to flop.
The film isn't even out yet, and we've hardly seen anything about (except for a few trailers and posters here and there), and yet the unanimous verdict on this film is that it's an immense failure.
Now, there's no way I can tell people that it's unfair to judge it, and then turn around and say it's going to be the greatest movie ever.
For all I know, it could be a flop; that's a huge possibility. But the exact opposite is just as possible. The thing is, it's way too early to judge. But everyone has their opinions, and mine is that this movie is going to be good. Or at the very least, it's not going to be the colossal failure that most are expecting it to be. Why? Well, for a couple of reasons I'm about to throw at you.
Fox Isn't Going To Make The Same Mistake
In 2005, Fox released their first attempt at a big-budget Fantastic Four film. It was..alright. Truth be told, it just wasn't a great superhero film. Hardly by yesterday's standards, and certainly not by today's.
It's hard to believe, but superhero films weren't exactly the talk of the town back in the early 00's. Sure we had a few good ones, Blade, X-Men, Spider-Man; but even those can hardly relate to the superhero films that we have gracing our screens today.
Studios were reluctant to make superhero films back then. Mainly because they were expensive to make, and because the superhero film genre wasn't really a popular category for moviegoers. Superhero movies like Blade and the first X-Men did extremely well in the box-office, and studios got a bit less reluctant than before. And so, the superhero film renaissance slowly began.
Unfortunately, superhero movies still weren't really made with the fans in mind. Most superhero films back then, including Fantastic Four were really just made to make money. Ironically, since they were so expensive to make, what with the all special effects they would need, studios tried to not spend an insane amount on them. And thus, the Michael Chiklis Thing suit was born, in all its Styrofoamy weirdness.
Now, studios realize that actually putting more work into a superhero film is a surefire way to get more fans to go see it, which means even more money for them. They payed for better effects, actors and promotions, and it payed off. Fox is putting every thing they can into this new Fantastic Four movie. There'll be no lousy effects, no clearly visible strings, and no Styrofoam Things!
To some, it seems like this movie is being made only for money, and that no heart is being put into it. While it's very obvious that Fox is doing this to turn a profit (all movies are usually made with that in mind), they genuinely do care about making this movie and pleasing the fans. Which brings me to my next point.
This Isn't Some Ashcan Copy
That image above is of the 1994 unreleased Fantastic Four film. And before you ask, that granola/dry oatmeal looking figure back there is not a statue, it's the actual actor (Michael Bailey Smith) in his actual Thing costume that he actually wore in the film! The film itself was worse than that.
It featured horrible special effects, cringe worthy dialogue and the whole thing looked like it was filmed entirely from a very low-budget potato. The reason it was so bad is because it was never even intended for public distribution. It's what you would call, an "ashcan copy".
An "ashcan copy" is the term used for a film that is produced solely for legal purposes, such as maintaining a copyright. That's exactly what this movie was meant to be, just a way for producers Roger Corman and Bernd Eichinger to maintain the film rights to the Fantastic Four. Granted, it wasn't entirely ill-received. Some even ranked it higher than Batman & Robin, a film that was actually released. The blows just don't stop coming at that movie do they?
It's no secret that after Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fox's copyright was going to expire soon. Rise of the Silver Surfer did so bad, no one expected a third movie. And so this put Fox in a troubling position. They could either give up the rights, with them retaining back to Marvel, or try their hands at another Fantastic Four movie.
Fox knew that a Fantastic Four 3 would surely be unpopular, and so they settled for a reboot, in an attempt to maintain the film rights. Sound familiar? Yes, what I'm saying is that this new movie was created with the intention of maintaining the F4 film rights.
What I'm certainly not saying is that that was the only reason. The new Fantastic Four does sound an awful lot like an ashcan copy, without the whole "unintended for public distribution" part. But I'm positive it isn't like that. For one thing, the people behind the film genuinely do care about the film.
Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell, the four main actors of the film, have all expressed their love for the film. Michael B. Jordan has been geeking out about playing the Human Torch more than anyone else. Despite the internet's less than positive response to his casting.
Even the people from Fox actually care about this movie, and want it to do well. Earlier this year, me and four other Creators got to talk to someone from 20th Century Fox (thanks again for that MP) and while what they said didn't make me biased towards the film, it definitely showed me that they cared.
Making another movie wasn't their way of keeping the film from Marvel. They did it because they wanted another chance to make the movie, the right way. And they're trying their hardest to.
The way they talked about the characters and the work they put in to making the film convinced me that this wasn't some ashcan-esque attempt at keeping the film rights hostage for another few years. And if that isn't enough to convince you, just look at the talent they've got for the Fantastic Four.
The Main Cast Are All Young A-List Potentials
The main cast of the Fantastic Four may be young, but they aren't new to the Hollywood spotlight at all. All four of them may not be big names. but they're all young and extremely talented stars who are destined to be A-listers!
Miles Teller portrays Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four. Casting Teller as the leader of the team may seem like a poor decision for some, but I think he's a great choice. Miles is smart, charming and charismatic, three things he has in common with Mr. Fantastic.
Fantastic Four isn't his first time in a major movie either. Miles Teller can be seen in big name films such as The Spectacular Now, The Divergent Series, and Whiplash—the latter of which is an academy award winning film.
Jamie Bell portrays Ben Grimm/Thing. Bell hasn't been in much, but that doesn't make him any less of a potential A-lister. Especially considering what he has been in are pretty great films. He's had supporting roles in films such as King Kong (2005), Jumper and Jane Eyre. And he voiced the titular character in The Adventures of Tintin. His biggest role however, is in the AMC period drama Turn: Washington's Spies.
Kate Mara, who portrays Susan Storm/Invisible Woman hasn't been in many big films either. But she's proved herself in TV roles in shows like 24, American Horror Story: Murder House and the Netflix original drama, House of Cards. This also isn't her first time playing a superhero, as she played a hero with telekinetic powers in the 2006 movie Zoom.
And finally, Michael B. Jordan. This isn't his first superhero rodeo either. Jordan first rose to fame in his show-stealing role in Chronicle, the 2012 superhero-thriller. He's also had some major roles in films such as Red Tails, That Awkward Moment, and, a personal tearjerker favorite of mine, Fruitvale Station. You can also see him in the upcoming Rocky spin-off, Creed.
Casting a group young and arguably unknown celebrity in roles as big as those of the Fantastic Four is risky, and most are right to be worried.
But I believe that these four young and upcoming actors have the skills to make this and any other movie they're cast in successful!
The Movie Has The Right Tone
The final reason I think moviegoers should at least give this film a chance, is that it captures the tone of the Fantastic Four pretty well. A big complain about this movie is that it's too dark. Dark lighting, dark settings, even the main characters (in their darkish blue attire) will be a bit gloomy. But that's the point. The Fantastic Four comics were never as happy and cheery as you might think. They weren't on a Batman level of darkness sure. But they weren't even close to say, a Spider-Man level of happy fun times.
The story of the F4 is as dark as it can get! Four friends journey into some strange dimension and acquire powers that will change their lives forever. They are considered freaks and a threat by the government, and are forced to abandon their old lifestyle to learn how to control their powers for the greater good.
The old Fantastic Four movies were entirely too comedic. This new film perfectly matches the dark tone set by the comic books. But that isn't to say that the characters are going to be bland, brooding one-dimensional people. Reed and Susan will both still be charming and smart, Johnny will still be the hothead (all the puns intended) of the group, and Ben will still be the sad/angry guy who you just feel bad for—because he's lost more than the others.
All in all, I'm excited for this movie. Yes, Fox has messed up on the Fantastic Four before, and they could do the same for this film. I'm not saying that I know this film will do well, but I have high hopes for it. Only time will tell if I'm wrong. But in the meantime, let's cut it some slack yeah?
Or not, like I said, your opinion is yours and yours alone. Still, I hope I convinced a few of you to give this film a chance, and wait a bit on absolutely despising it. At least until it hits theaters.
And make sure to check out the new trailer for Fantastic Four! Who knows, maybe it'll convince you more than I could?