As self-professed comic book movie fans, we often look back on Josh Trank’s 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four and wonder what could have been.
With a kick-ass ensemble in tow (Miles Teller! Michael B. Jordan! Kate Mara!), not to mention the director of fan-favorite Chronicle at the helm, expectations were understandably high. But leading up to its theatrical release, things began to unravel really rather quickly for Fantastic Four – to the point where Josh Trank posted a telling tweet on the eve of launch, declaring that 20th Century Fox’s finished cut was a far cry from his own creative vision.
And then, the scathing reviews began to drop, and Trank’s dreams of a superpowered success story slipped away. Put simply, Fantastic Four was a disaster, and during a recent interview with Polygon, the filmmaker – whose biopic Capone is on the verge of a VOD release – recalled the deeply personal trials and tribulations he felt leading up to (and indeed after) Fantastic Four‘s release.
One thing, in particular, led Josh Trank to sleep with a loaded gun – the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm and all the death threats that followed.
I was getting threats on IMDb message boards saying they were going to shoot me. I was so fucking paranoid during that shoot. If someone came into my house, I would have ended their fucking life. When you’re in a headspace where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself.’
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Originally a white character in the comics, Josh Trank’s version of Johnny Storm became a point of contention (ridiculous as it may seem), prompting Michael B. Jordan and the late Stan Lee to publicly defend Trank’s decision. But the hate and toxicity continued, leaving Trank so paranoid that he bought a loaded .38 Special and kept it by his nightstand. The filmmaker got rid of the gun soon after production was finished.
Capone, on the other hand, has become the latest Hollywood project to skip theaters entirely due to COVID-19. Look for Josh Trank’s account of America’s most notorious gangster to debut via digital platforms next Tuesday, May 12th.