With the rights to the characters now back in the hands of Marvel Studios, maybe Kevin Feige will finally be the person to give the Fantastic Four the big screen treatment that their reputation as one of the most recognizable and iconic teams in the history of comic books deserves.
If you include the infamous 1994 adaptation that was never released, and only existed as an attempt to prevent any rival studios from snapping up the property, then the Fantastic Four have been the subject of four failed movies in a row. Tim Story’s family-friendly blockbusters may have done decent business at the box office, but even the most generous fan would only describe them as mediocre at best.
However, they ended up looking like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in comparison to Josh Trank’s 2015 reboot, which quickly earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the worst superhero movies ever made, and bombed spectacularly following highly-publicized tales of extensive reshoots, heavy-handed studio interference and reports of bizarre behavior on Trank’s part.
While many thought Fantastic Four had killed his career completely, Trank is currently on the comeback trail with Tom Hardy’s crime biopic Capone set to hit digital download later this week, and while doing press, the filmmaker has inevitably found himself answering countless questions about his previous movie. In a recent interview, the 36 year-old admitted that while working on his version wasn’t exactly a great experience for everyone involved, the media still blew some of the stories surrounding the turbulent production way out of proportion.
“There was a deep level of mis-characterization in the media about what was going on with the film. For me, it was unfair because the perception publicly was that there was one person responsible for this not going the way it should have gone, which is an easy thing to believe. I was communicating ideas that didn’t mesh well with everybody else’s. That’s not their fault and it’s not my fault. It was the wrong combination of people to get together and make something creative.”
Having escaped from the Hollywood bubble following the Fantastic Four debacle, Trank seems to have returned as a much more culpable and mature filmmaker. And if Capone ends up receiving enthusiastic reviews, then we could yet see the man once labeled as Hollywood’s next big directorial talent make the most of his undoubted potential.