ByShannon McShortall, writer at
I have been reading comics since before I could read. When I learned how to read, they became significantly better.
Shannon McShortall

The newest Fantastic Four has been hated since it’s announcement and people have slowly developed more and more hatred towards this film. I, on the other hand, have gained more and more faith. At this point, I’m actually excited to see it because of how interesting it looks. Excited to the point that I’m actually watching it on the first day it comes out in Australia. Usually, when I have faith in something, it turns out ok. I knew Guardians of the Galaxy would be awesome as soon as it was announced. I knew Ant Man would be awesome throughout its entire production. But nobody has any faith in Fantastic Four. Even when the first screenings proved positive for viewers, people started scouring it for the cracks, attacking using as many excuses as they can. From “one of them is a friend of Michael B Jordan” to “There’s only four of them” to “They were paid to see it”. So before I go see it tomorrow and write a non-spoiler review, I’m just going to go into why I think the film is being misjudged.


Let’s deal with the African-American elephant in the room here. People are still getting angry at the casting of Johnny Storm as black. Think about how backwards this argument is. The casting doesn’t matter as long as he gets the character right, which from the trailer we can deduce that he’s going to be doing amazingly. Coincidentally, people love Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’s black. The character was originally white and only in the Ultimate universe (which the new Fantastic Four is allegedly based on) is he black (coincidentally, the comicbook version was made to look like Samuel L Jackson anyway). People have also complained about Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm, pointing out how his body size is “nothing like Ben Grimm in the comics”, except that it is. Ben Grimm has looked like Michael Chiklis every now and again, but he’s always been more of a Jamie Bell body type. People say that Ben Grimm is the team muscle, and Jamie Bell doesn’t look strong at all. This is probably the most imbecilic comment of all. “Ben Grimm” isn’t the muscle. “The Thing” is. From what we’ve seen of the Thing, he looks accurate to the comic and looks like he’ll definitely be the muscle. Another major complaint is that of the Mr Fantastic casting. Most think Miles Teller playing a young, joking Reed Richards is going to lead to disaster, but Reed has always been a wise-cracking guy. The fact that he’s young is telling (no pun intended) that it’s when they’re just starting out, which is what it is. People change their opinions on casting when they seem them in action. Castings that people didn’t like at first include Robert Downey Jnr’s Tony Stark, Heath Ledger’s Joker and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, which are now loved and called some of the greatest characters of all time. Sure, the casting is different from the comics. That doesn’t make it bad. In fact, it makes it good, which leads on to my next point.

It’s Going To Be Nothing Like The Comics

Tying in with the casting, people think (for several reasons, including Doom being a hacker) that the film will be nothing like the comics. What people don’t realise is that this is a good thing. I’ve mentioned this before, but the Fantastic Four comics (especially the ones in the last decade or so) aren’t actually that good. The Fantastic Four in the comics work best when mixed with other characters. Spider Man makes the Fantastic Four better. The X-men make the Fantastic Four better. Civil War added drama to marvel’s First Family. They’ve been to reinvigorate the team for years, even killing Johnny Storm briefly. I can read DC and Marvel and have immense enjoyment, but Fantastic Four always manages to bore me. No comicbook fans actually talk excitedly about the Fantastic Four comics and there hasn’t really been a notable Fantastic Four story ever. This is why I think the film will be amazing. It looks nothing like the comics.

People complain about how Hollywood has no original ideas, but yet will gladly attack comicbook movies for not being 100% accurate. The actors for this film have stated before that they were asked not to read the comicbooks beforehand, which everyone lost their minds about. This is a perfect example of the intended direction. Why don’t people want to have fun anymore? Why does a film have to be a visual representation of its source material? This film just looks like a good character driven sci-fi film, something in the line of Christopher Nolan (an idea that has been echoed in statements that the film is tonally the same as Batman Begins). They’re trying to make the film more of a sci-fi and make the powers more realistic sounding. A power description was released a while back which described Mr Fantastic’s powers as the ability to “warp the space around him, and appear to stretch his body into impossible lengths”. This is a very creative interpretation of Reed’s powers. Yet another point against those that say it’s not based on the comics, it’s allegedly drawing from the Ultimate universe of the comics (although personally, I’m seeing it as a completely different universe) so people could always go in with that mindset.

Plus, it’s not like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that close to the comics. Non-comics fans will think that Scott Lang is the primary Ant Man. They’ll think Nick Fury in the mainstream Marvel comics is black. Which brings up another thing. Why are people ok with the mixing of universes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to create a unique and original version, while the very idea of a new universe in Fantastic Four drives “fans” into a frenzy.

“Marvel Studios could do it better”

Well maybe they can, but we haven’t even seen the film yet. Why are we attacking the film and saying that Marvel can do it better? I honestly don’t care personally if Marvel can’t use the Fantastic Four properties. The Fantastic Four have always, to me, seemed like they were trying to hide away from the rest of the Marvel universe. They holed themselves up in the Baxter Building and only came out briefly for massive events, with Reed only being used as the go-to smart guy and playing a role in the Illuminati. The characters themselves work only slightly well with others. As a whole, they’re barely involved in the world around them. The only things that Fox can give Marvel would be the villains. These villains only being Galactus and Dr Doom, considering the fact that Marvel allegedly already has the Skrulls. Plus, Fox has proven themselves with the X-men franchise in recent years.

The Villains In The Film

Harvey Elder/Mole Man will be a secondary villain in the film. Honestly, Mole Man is an underrated villain, but I get why people might not like him. This understanding coming from the idea that in this age of dark films, a villain with a fun background is considered taboo. Why can’t we have villains like Mole Man (not that he’ll even probably become Mole Man in the film)? But I’m not going to dwell on it. I’d rather bring up the main villain, Dr Doom. One of the few things that was released about the film (which shows the work put into hiding away spoilers for the film, but it could also be a sign that nobody was interested in spoilers) was that Victor Von Doom (now Victor Domachev, to appease those who are against a fun villain name) was going to be a programmer with a blog. People immediately downplayed the originality of this idea and said that he’s supposed to be a dictator. He isn’t supposed to be a dictator. He slowly gains his position in Latveria. The film is about his journey as well. It’s not like his intelligence has immediately been lowered down to an “average hacker”. He could be a hacker who can do so much more. It’s almost as if people decided to hate him just because everyone was finding any excuse to hate the film.

The Thing Isn’t Wearing Pants

What's going on down there?
What's going on down there?

Yes, right after the racist rage at Johnny Storm being black, next up is the Thing not wearing pants. This major deviation from the comics is by far one of the most appalling things I’ve ever seen (that was sarcasm).

Seriously though, how desperate to hate something can people get? This just here is so sad.

The Trailers Haven’t Revealed Much

People are complaining about this, saying it's a sign of a bad film, but this is a good thing. We don’t know much about what to expect. This is how trailers should be done.

Simon Kinberg and Josh Trank

Trank’s previous work has been almost wholly good. His only other projects he’s written or directed have been good (Chronicle and The Kill Point). Kinberg wrote X-men: Days of Future Past (as well as producing it), Sherlock Holmes and created Star Wars Rebels, alongside producing X-men First Class. In terms of the film, Simon Kinberg has said that “it’s not a disaster. It’s a good movie”.

The fact that people are hating on this film makes me like it more. I think the film 100% won’t be as bad as people are making it out to be. It’ll definitely be good. It’ll likely be great. Personally, I think it’ll be fresh and interesting and great. Just don’t go into the film wanting to hate it. Go into it neutral. Judge it based on your own standards. Don’t be a sheep. I think it'll be a great sci-fi film, but I feel like diehard fans of the Fantastic Four that want the stories and characters they've already seen boringly redone onscreen, it may not appeal to. But I'll find out tomorrow.

I’m going to see the film tomorrow and I’ll write a non spoiler review for that, no matter if it's good or bad. Either way, it looks very interesting.


So, what's your course of action going to be?


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