I will not bore you with yet another tirade, among the slew of other opinions geared at this 2015 Fantastic Four reboot (disdained by some as Fant4stic). I, personally, didn't like it, and some others agree, but there are some who liked it. Everybody has their opinion; that's okay. In turn, I do not give my own opinion to dictate to you whether or not you ought to like this movie. Rather, this article will detail my personal hope for the franchise, in light of recent developments.
Anybody who has been keeping track of this sort of thing, should be aware by now--reviews, to put things mildly, have been less than kind. Regardless of your personal views, or mine, the numbers are clear--the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot is not looking to be off to a good start. Among other issues, the Director himself, Josh Trank, has tried to distance himself this final product, less than a week into its big-screen debut. There are even claims that the folks at FOX are asking their viewers what they should do with the franchise from this point onward.
Well, as unfortunate as it is that FOX went through all that trouble, I don't think any of their viewers needed a formal survey to render their choice as to what they ought to do with the Fantastic Four property. Some want to see the Four keep on truckin', just as they are (sequel, X-Men crossover and all), while others think it best to just trash the Four for good, never to return to the big screen.
I, on the other hand, think that the problem is neither one with the characters nor the actors who portray them. The Fantastic Four themselves are an iconic team, with amazing potential in the right hands. Likewise, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and the rest of the cast, did an excellent job, with the (*ahem* cruddy) material FOX gave them to work with. No, instead, I think the problem is the company by whom this movie was produced. If it were up to me, this franchise would be given another try...this time, by Marvel Studios.
It has occurred to me that there are three reasons why folks tend to dislike reboots:
- A desire for new material (which is completely understandable, because the same ol' same ol' gets boring after a while)
-Rebooting 'untouchable' material (a movie that is already widely considered to be a timeless masterpiece that can't be improved upon, or widely considered an irredeemable piece of garbage that was likely doomed from the start)
-The reboot is poorly executed (perhaps the movie is one fit for a reboot, with a unique new concept and not within 'untouchable' territory, but the script or the dialogue or the plot progression just don't cut it)
As to the first concern, it could be argued that, despite FOX's many attempts, the Fantastic Four have yet to receive a quintessential movie that accurate outlines, to the general public, who this team is meant to be (unlike what has been done by Marvel Studios for Iron Man, Captain America, etc). FOX has only ever covered the Four encountering Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer, and a giant cloud meant to pass for Galactus, but that doesn't nearly cover the whole of their adventures.
Fortunately, Ant-Man saw the end of Marvel Studios' line of superhero origin movies. Starting Phase 3, the MCU has already confirmed that they will kindly spare us from having to endure yet another go at Spider-Man's origin (including Uncle Ben's demise). Likewise, we will not be forced to sit through a new version of the fateful accident that transforms our beloved superhero quartet. Doctor Doom would be saved for later, in favor of Kang the Conqueror, the Skrulls, or...?
I would even invite Josh Trank and the 2015 Fantastic Four cast to jump ship from 20th Century FOX, as soon as their contracts allow, so that each could try to find new roles within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or, if they were so inclined, within Warner Bros' DC Cinematic Universe). As good-looking and talented as these actors are, Marvel Studios might not recast them in the roles of the Four, but they're ripe for the fancasting, elsewhere in the MCU.
And, perhaps most important on this little personal wish list, a fourth shot at the Four would not be placed in the hands of Josh Trank (though I would love to see his efforts perhaps channeled into a new Marvel Netflix series). Rather, I would love to see James Gunn do what he has done for the Guardians of the Galaxy, to the Fantastic Four. And then, we would finally have a quirky, crazy, wild and endearing Fantastic Four movie, to cherish forever.
Despite the picture above, the failure of this Fantastic Four movie does not have to spell the end. Of course, FOX has pulled its previous Fantastic Four movies out of electronic media, in favor of 2015's Fant4stic, and Marvel Comics has ended all standalone Fantastic Four comic series. Though, these may be (and most likely are) just preparation for the return of the team, bigger and better than before.
After all, these reviews of FOX's latest attempt, again, are looking rather dismal. Add to that, the fact that FOX is looking to get an X-Men live-action TV series off the ground (and while they can do whatever they want with the X-Men on the big screen, a TV series seems to require Marvel Studios' permission). Perhaps these, among other factors, might lead to negotiations for the return of the Fantastic Four, to the Marvel Studios roster. Only time will tell.
All in all, what do you make of the current circumstance for the Fantastic Four? Should the franchise stay on the FOX side, working up to a sequel (Fant5stic?), and eventually a crossover with the X-Men movie franchise? Or is it best for the franchise (and all cast and crew involved) for the F4 rights to somehow revert back to Marvel Studios? Let us know, in the poll and comments below!