The turmoil behind the production of 2015’s disastrous Fantastic Four reboot has been well-documented. Disagreements between director Josh Trank and Fox led to major reshoots, with the former left deeply disappointed with the final product. Five years later, in a new interview with Polygon, Trank has elaborated on the anguish of being forced to oversee reshoots he never wanted, and on the motivations Fox may have had behind ordering them.
Here’s what he had to share:
“[Studios] really do pay attention to what people are saying on Twitter. They look at that and they say, ‘Shit, people are freaked out about how it’s not going to be funny. So we need to spend $10 million to do a comedy rewrite.’”
On the reshoots, Tranks said:
“It was like being castrated. You’re standing there, and you’re basically watching producers blocking out scenes, five minutes ahead of when you get there, having [editors hired] by the studio deciding the sequence of shots that are going to construct whatever is going on, and what it is that they need. And then, because they know you’re being nice, they’ll sort of be nice to you by saying, ‘Well, does that sound good?’ You can say yes or no.”
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If I’m being honest (and I’m always honest), I’m not convinced Trank’s unadulterated Fant4stic vision would have been any more viable than the dismal hodgepodge we ended up getting. Sure, it would’ve been more coherent. But that aside, was a humourless post-Nolan Fantastic Four movie really in keeping with the spirit of the characters?
I’m not saying the Barbershop-balderdash of Tim Story’s movies was the way to go, either. It’s a catch-22. Marvel would inject comedy without drowning the script in cheap campiness, but as they showed us with Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, would never authorize a production weird enough to do the source material justice. So, for the time being, we’re stuck with limbo.
If you’ve got any thoughts on Trank’s not so fantastic Fant4stic experience, leave a comment in the usual place. Thankfully, the director has sufficiently recovered from his ordeal to return to filmmaking, with his new movie Capone set to be made available for streaming on May 12th. One suspects it will play slightly better than his last effort.
As for the Fantastic Four, they’re now in the hands of Marvel, the latter having acquired the property as part of Disney’s Fox buyout. Will they push the boat out though, or live up to my less-than-optimistic prediction? Your call.