Chronicle writer Max Landis knows how to create original concepts and bash out killer scripts. Whether his intended visions for the prolific amount of screenplays he’s penned over the years truly come into being when passed to a director, you can’t doubt his enthusiasm for the craft. Even when he’s not contracted by studios and producers, he’s often busy tapping out a sequel or reboot to a movie that he might not own the rights to — but has oodles of passion for. Super Mario Bros., Ghostbusters, Lethal Weapon 5 are just a small pool of examples.
The most high-profile? Fantastic Four. Following the film’s public denouncement by every critic worth their salt, he posted the opening pages of his spec script to Twitter. Naturally, it hewed closer to the comic book and people on the whole thought it showed enormous potential. While that only offered a glimpse into the beginning, we now know what would have transpired thanks to an interview the writer undertook with The Daily Beast:
“I had Doctor Doom as a good guy, one of Reed’s college friends, and my whole movie he’s trying to find and help them but it wasn’t clear if he was good or bad—until the finale of the movie when you realize his connection to Reed, and that they’re best friends. The audience who knows Doctor Doom thinks he’s going to turn bad, but the movie ends with him saving them. And in the sequel he’s probably good, too. You know, you Sam Raimi-Spider-Man it—at the end of the sequel he gets all [frick]ed up and shows up in the Doctor Doom armor. But then in the third movie he’s like, ‘What have you done to me?’”
Compared to what ended up on the big screen, that’s quite a departure. One of the glaring errors with director Josh Trank’s take was the rushed ending, tossing out any chance of character development for Dr. Doom. While the man behind the mask Toby Kebbell gave it his all, the friendship he had with Reed was glossed over hastily, and then he was largely forgotten for most of the flick. If Fox has any sense, Landis might be just the person to save Fantastic Four from permanent derision.