In exactly a month, Josh Trank's controversial take on The Fantastic Four will hit theaters worldwide. With terrible rumors about filming, criticism over casting choices and even fake scripts being leaked, it's been a rough ride for the reboot. After so many months of speculation and debate over whether or not this movie will be a total failure or not, it feels almost strange that we'll finally get to know the truth. Or will we?
As someone who's been following this movie's development since the very start and is pretty in touch with the geek community, it would be a huge understatement to say I've read a lot of terrible reactions to this movie. Some people are skeptical but willing to give it a chance; some are simply not going to go watch it; some are even campaigning against the film and straight up hate it. And I don't mean hate the trailers or hate the cast, I mean hate the movie. You know, the one that isn't even out yet? Yeah, that one.
And so I caught myself thinking: how many people are actually going to give this movie a shot? People seem so absolutely set on hating it that even if they do end up watching it, it won't stand a chance of changing their minds. It all just seems like a waste of energy to me.
Either way, with so little time until the release, I've decided that I'm going to try to change people's minds about this movie. Not make them super excited about it, but at least give it the benefit of the doubt. Watch it with an open mind. It may not be the Citizen Kane of superhero movies, but hey! It probably won't be the Sharknado of them, either.
So, with no further ado... Here are a few reasons the Fantastic Four reboot might be pretty good after all.
It actually is going to be faithful to the comics
This is something a lot of people seem to get wrong, because of one tiny mistake: they think the movie is supposed to be inspired by Marvel's main universe (A.K.A. Earth-616), when it's actually been said over and over again that it'll be mostly inspired by the Ultimate universe. And guess what? In that universe the team is younger and instead of acquiring their powers in a cosmic accident, they are transformed thanks to an inter-dimensional travel gone wrong. Sounds familiar? Well, that's because that's exactly the plot we've seen in the reboot trailers! On top of that, a lot of people who seem to think the movie isn't going to follow comic book canon at all are still stuck with the supposedly leaked script (which featured some pretty terrible changes indeed) in their heads, while it's all been confirmed to be fake. The movie also isn't going to be as "dark and gritty" as people seem to think, just a more grounded version.
The Fantastic Four's lighter side has already been displayed in the promotional material, with funny moments on the trailer and a more relaxed team in most recent TV spots. And, come on, it does have Johnny Storm in it, it can't possibly be all that serious.
But they are going to change a few details, and that's not necessarily a bad thing!
Yeah, yeah, I know you're thinking of the whole Victor Domashev deal now. Yes, they are really going to change his story (probably not as much as we think though, considering the Latveria easter egg in the teaser). Yes, it sounds like a weird take on Doom. But hear me out: That might not be such a bad thing! Remember when the Joker's backstory was not altered but completely erased in Chris Nolan's Batman trilogy? Remember how things still worked out perfectly, with the movie being praised by pretty much everyone and Heath Ledger even going on to become the first actor to win an Oscar for a superhero movie? I bet you do. James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy also took a whole lot of liberties (like, a lot), changing Peter Quill's backstory drastically and even changing Drax's race (he's a human in the comics) and it also ended well, as we were blessed with one of the best sci-fi/comic book/space opera/action movies in recent memory.
So let's give Domashev a chance, especially considering how talented Toby Kebbell is. Which brings us to...
The cast is very, very, very talented
Come on, you saw this one coming. It's the number one argument that the (very few) defenders of this movie use, but it's not without reason: we're dealing with some crazy amount of talent here.
Miles Teller got critics raving and even Oscar buzz for his leading performance as an ambitious drummer in last year's Academy-Award winning "Whiplash" and also stunned in his breakthrough indie hit "The Spectacular Now". Kate Mara got a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Zoe Barnes in Netflix's " House of Cards" and has had roles in "American Horror Story" and the Oscar-nominated "127 hours"; Jamie Bell has been around for a pretty long time and built a solid career, being one of the youngest best leading actor BAFTA winners, beating the likes of Russell Crowe to the award at age 13 (!!!) for his role in "Billy Elliot". He now stars AMC's "TURN", and recently had small but scene-stealing roles in "Snowpiercer" and "Nymphomaniac vol. 2". Michael B. Jordan got not one, but six breakthrough performance awards for his portrayal of Oscar Grant in the heart-wrenching indie "Fruitvale Station", not to mention his scene-stealing roles in "The Wire", "Friday Night Lights" and his great performance in Josh Trank's "Chronicle" (but we'll get to that later). Outside the main four, we'll also get to see the amazingly talented Toby Kebbell (whom you probably seen as Koba in last year's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes") as Dr. Doom, Reg E. Cathey ("House of Cards", "Se7en") as Franklin Storm and Tim Blake Nelson ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?") as Harvey Elder.
The family dynamic
One of the most memorable aspects of the Fantastic Four, and what has always really made them stand out, is their family dynamic. They're not your usual ragtag group of misfits, they're a ragtag family of misfits and it's absolutely fascinating to read that being played out in the comics. This is what could make or break the movie, and it seems that it's going to be a very important aspect of it. It's been made clear by their interviews that the cast have the chemistry down, and both Josh Trank and writer/producer Simon Kinberg have pointed out how the family dynamic is important to them and the fans. On top of that, the trailers have shown us the team's bond, giving us peeks at Reed and Ben's strong-as-ever friendship, Reed and Sue's possible romance and even a shot of Sue crying over what seems to be her brother's body.
It's going to be heavy on the sci-fi
Before Reed Richards and Sue Storm became heroes, they were scientists. In fact, even after they get their powers and, y'know, become responsible for saving the entire planet a couple of times, that is still what they are first and foremost: scientists. And the movie promises to explore the scientific element of the four, even showing in their website microscopic images of the character's powers in action on top of the already sci-fi-heavy trailer, even drawing comparison to movies like "Interstellar" and "Super 8". Trank has also revealed that his inspirations for the movie include David Cronenberg's work, and that's never a bad thing.
Okay, I get that most people don't particularly care about a movie's score, at least not enough for that to completely change their opinion on said movie. But this is Philip Glass and Marco Beltrami we're talking about. They are legendary composers and have gotten a bunch of Oscar nominations, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, Philip Glass doesn't usually score for blockbusters. In fact, he's known for being very selective with his work, scoring for short movies and lesser known films even as now as a respected composer. And so the fact that he's chosen to score for Fantastic Four is pretty much the best sign there is.
Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg
You've probably watched Josh Trank's 2012 sleeper hit "Chronicle" by now, right? Well, if you haven't, you should probably watch it right now. It stars our very own Michael B. Jordan, and offers a completely fresh take on superheroes -- and no, I'm not just talking "edginess". It's a dark movie at times, yes, but it's also an extremely fun one that perfectly portrays young friendship and how young people (probably would) react to getting powers of their own. Trank directed the three leads with brilliance and they all have a very clear role in the film and an impeccable group dynamic. What more could you possibly want from a Fantastic Four movie?
Simon Kinberg, however, is known for a different type of movies. Perhaps you've heard of a little low-budget indie flick called "[X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942)"? Does that ring a bell? Well, Simon Kinberg wrote that.
I could go on and mention the amazing SFX team (responsible for no less than Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Avatar, Lord of the Rings and King Kong) or how good the source material is, but I think I've said enough on the subject. Hopefully now you'll at least think twice before boycotting the movie.
The Fantastic Four will hit theaters August 6th.