You’ve really got to feel sorry for the Fantastic Four, with the iconic comic book characters best known among casual audiences as the stars of a series of consistently terrible movies rather than one of the most important and influential superhero teams in history. Fans will be hoping that Marvel Studios can apply their winning formula and give them the big screen treatment that they deserve, but it admittedly wouldn’t be too difficult to top their previous outings.
The first live-action Fantastic Four was only made out of desperation to keep hold of the rights and was never even given a theatrical release, while Josh Trank’s infamous 2015 version bombed spectacularly at the box office, gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the worst comic book movies ever made and ultimately set the director’s career back by years.
Sandwiched in between, of course, were Tim Story’s two efforts, both of which did decent commercial business but came under fire from fans and critics alike for being far too kid-centric and plagued by miscasting, with the notable exception of Chris Evans’ Human Torch. Fantastic Four and sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer both made over $300 million at the box office, but the franchise was ultimately abandoned.
With Disney having taken over Fox and inherited their vast content library, though, some of the titles in the studio’s Marvel back catalogue have been making their way to Disney Plus, and 2005’s Fantastic Four will be joining several of the X-Men movies when it arrives on the platform this week, on August 28th. There isn’t a whole lot to recommend about it, but fans might get a kick out of seeing Chris Evans as another Marvel superhero years before he played Captain America.