In 2003 we were subjected to a film known as Daredevil. It starred Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Ferrell and Michael Clarke Duncan. The film was not received well by critics and fans, everyone blamed the director Mark Steven Johnson and Ben Affleck for that films failures until in November of 2004 the directors cut of Daredevil was released and that film made it very clear who was to blame for the quality of the theatrical cut of the film, Fox. More specifically producer Gary Foster was to blame for that films awful pacing, sloppy editing, reshot scenes with terrible acting and overall, a plot that skips over anything that would have made the story interesting. Sound familiar?
What's interesting about the whole fiasco with Daredevil is the mentality that producer Gary Foster had on the film, which you can see here. (Skip to 1:30 to hear what i'm talking about)
This sounds awfully similar to the Fantastic Four movie we got this year, everything I just mentioned about the theatrical cut of Daredevil in that previous paragraph is true about this film. Even the "Speed" of the film is similar to how the theatrical cut of Daredevil worked, everything interesting about the movie cut out to make it quick. The only difference? It's even more apparent what Fox did this time, cause not only was there a tweet brought out by Josh Trank, the director of the movie, who distanced himself from the final product, but allegedly Trank has gone to 4chan today in order to explain what happened. Due to the quality of the screen shot I was able to find I won't just post the picture into this article. However i will give a small list to detail the changes that were apparently in his cut of the film before Fox came in. Warning there are some minor spoilers in this section.
- 1) Fox told him the film was too drama heavy and told him to add more action scenes, which they would ironically cut out of the final cut anyway.
- 2) Several scenes with the Thing fighting in the military were to be in the film, There were budgeting problems with these scenes, Fox refused to put forward the money needed to finish them and the Things cgi wasn't finished in time for these scenes so it was cut.
- 3) Several scenes that would have payed off character arcs were cut out as well, including a sub plot with Johnny and his car, as well as a subplot with Sue learning how to use her powers.
- 4) Reed and Sues romance was cut.
- 5) Ben had an arc that would have gone into more detail about him being abused by his family, however Fox cut it considering it too tragic for a comic book movie. Don't understand why they kept that opening scene with Bens family in but i digress.
- 6) Up to 15 minutes of Reed out in the wilderness after he escapes from captivity were also cut.
- 7) Many Doom scenes in full costume were cut, and Tim Blake Nelsons character was hinted to become the mole man in a future sequel.
- 8) Reshoots were done without his permission and brought in 2 months before the film was set to release, which explains Sue Storms wonderous amazing changing hair.
- 9) And the biggest thing, Tranks original cut was 143 minutes, he had intended it to be around 120-130 minutes. As you can see from the actual runtime the film is only an hour and a half.
This information did come from reddit, so this could all be someone impersonating Trank and it could all be a total load. However, from the way the movie plays as well as Tranks previous tweets, several sources around the interwebs confirming stuff like this and Foxs track record of doing this in the past I'm going to go on a limb here and say this is probably what happened to the film. Especially with what apparently has been cut, so many scenes from the trailers have been cut out of the film, including scenes with Doctor Doom in his full costume, what looked like scenes with Ben Grimm fighting the military, even the more classic looking blue suits promised by Miles Teller in an earlier interview. Now while the film Josh Trank is describing may not have been loved by everyone, Comic purists especially, it does seem like this film would have gone over well with the general audience and critics, if the film was written well of course.
Daredevil went through a similar thing as this film did, just not to the same degree, they allowed Mark Steven Johnson to make the movie he wanted to make and then at the last minute took his film and gutted it into the sad mess of a movie we got. However with this movie, not only does it seem they did that, but they went even farther having demands and forcing things in and out of the movie willy nilly while they were even shooting the movie. Causing Josh Trank to buckle under the pressure and cause all of the behind the scenes drama that was reported about him a while ago that also appear to be true, including being drunk on set, destroying the house that Fox rented out for him and even being difficult with the actors. Now while this is still an unprofessional thing to do and really only helped to make the film worse it shows that somewhere at Fox Gary Foster has apparently reincarnated as another executive and decided to make Fantastic Four: The Daredevil Theatrical Cut Edition
Now why do I bring all of this up? Cause i find it interesting, if this is true then it proves one big thing. Fox hasn't learned their lesson, time and time again, they meddle, they interject and they cut, and the movies always turns out terrible. Where do i start? Xmen The Last Stand, Xmen Orgins, Daredevil. What I don't understand about them doing this to a film again, is that its been proven that when Fox hires a director and a writer and lets them do their own thing, the final product is usually a pretty solid effort, just look at Xmen First Class and Xmen Days of Future Past.
Unfortunately even though Trank has meant well with these tweets and Reddit posts i'm sure, this does nothing but end up hurting both sides, even if Fox does deserve the bashing they will get for what happened here. However, thanks to what Trank has done here his career at Fox is over, even if it wasn't just this, his rumored allegations of being drunk on set, and destroying the house rented out to him by Fox will. While Trank should be given some of the blame for the quality of the film we have here, this shouldn't mean that his career as a director should be ruined because of studio meddling. People thought with the recent streak of decent to really good Xmen films that Fox had finally cleaned up their act. That doesn't seem to be the case here. Fox doesn't know what they are doing. Before this film i was on the side that the studios who own the films should be allowed to do what they want, they paid for the rights, they have the right to make the movie they want to make, however, that being said, they have proven time and time again that clearly Fox, or at least whoever is in charge of their comic book movie division doesn't know how to just let the filmmaker that they hired do what they were hired to do.
Now the final question is this, is history bound to repeat itself? Will we see a directors cut of Fantastic Four that shows Tranks true vision? The directors cut being deemed a good movie but being largely unnoticed by the general audience? With it all finally culminating in the Fantastic Four going back to Marvel Studios? Only time will tell. What are your guys thoughts on this whole fiasco? List off your comments down below. And if you enjoyed the article I'm very glad that you did.