The 2015 adaptation of The Fantastic Four has caused major backlash with the film and comic book community online. Until the beginning of this year, the public honestly didn’t know anything about this movie, except for the problems that were occurring on set and in production, especially with director Josh Trank. This has created a divide on people’s perceptions on how this film will turn out, with many people making strong negative comments before any footage or stills were released.
At this point it is quite obvious that there were major problems in the production of the new Fantastic Four (or Fan4stic) film, leaving everyone to have a lack of faith in the film’s response to the public. We, at this point, are quite aware that Fox in honestly not confident in this film, they released the trailer at the beginning of this year with a summer-season release, which is completely late in the game for most films. This only causes more mayhem from the comic book community and worry that this film is just not going to live up to the hype that most marvel movies in the MCU have.
While they released the initial teaser trailer late in January, there were immediately complaints from both comic book fans and cinephiles together. The look of this trailer, in all honesty, was way too generic and has been described by many people as looking at a trailer for a space film, rather then a superhero film. In my opinion, this trailer is something that I feel like I’ve seen countless times in recent years. It feels like something they put together in the last minute, with rare character interaction and looking like another trailer of last year’s space film, Interstellar.
This does not make the film look exciting at all. With many people turning to the internet to rant their feelings of hatred towards the film, with only a minute teaser trailer being shown. However, it does gives a last minute feel, hinting at the problems that the film had in the production and the rumours that circulated around the community. With Marvel fans on the debate, they all in unison agree they’d prefer a Fantastic Four movie (and X-Men at that), to return under the control of Marvel studios instead. The struggles of the film are just written in the initial look of the film, with a trailer that seems like any movie fan could edit at this point in time. Especially for a film that is said to be about family, the lack of interaction is definately not selling the characters or film in any way, shape or form.
However, with the release of the second trailer, hopes for the film rose up for some Marvel fans. The trailer gave a better look at character interaction and a proper look at the beloved villain, Doctor Doom. Although, it has left a bad taste in many people’s mouths when they announced that the villain is different to how he was depicted in the comic books. The character is not being called doctor doom, but Victor Domashev. In an interview with Collider, Toby Kebbell, the actor portraying the character states:
He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story. And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that. The Doom in ours—I’m a programmer. Very anti-social programmer. And on blogging sites I’m “Doom”.
This gives more questions then it answers.
However, it follows the ideas that Hollywood has been doing for a few years now, which is adapting source material and characters to fulfil the image of this technological age of society we are now in. It seems like the most menacing people in the world aren’t the tough ‘macho’ image they once were, but rather the people behind a computer screen.
This early image of the film allowed us to see the dark tonal shift in this film, in comparison to the 2005 adaptation that was incredibly campy and is seen more like a comedy then a superhero film. There is also no need to mention the even more campy and terrible 1990s version that was unreleased, but is up completely up on YouTube. I think the darker shift will work better, and will allow the film to stand on its own, despite all the negativity surrounding it.
There has also been some major backlash with the casting of the film. Despite, Miles Teller (Whiplash, The Spectacular Now), Kate Mara (House Of Cards), Jamie Bell (Snowpiecer) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) are all seen as great actors, there is a worry circulating the Internet whether these people would work as the characters of the comic books and whether they would have the right chemistry on screen. One of the bigger problems Marvel fans are having is the casting of Jordan as the Human Torch, due to his race.
While the character of the human torch is portrayed as white in the comics and is the sister of Sue Storm (played by Mara), many people believe the casting of the African-American actor was a miss by Fox. It is hard to believe that this is a issue in 2015, while there is absolutely no speculation or hate for Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury, who is also a white character in the comics.
Jordan recently came out saying in EW:
“It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?”
In retrospect, it is honestly hard to judge a film from the small amount of footage that has been released, but, the track record for this film so far is not selling its image in any way, shape or form. Despite the studio stating this film is about to be surrounding the theme of family, there is no image of this really in the trailers they have released, focusing more on the space and spectacle aspects.
There was a time where people weren’t sure if this film was going to be released. Sure, that seems like a difficult notion to believe due to the large amounts of money put into the project, but the problems on set were no secret to the public.
Although, these initial problems may have already created to make up our minds for us. We never know how a film will turn out in the end despite its problems. Look at James Cameron’s Titanic, for example, that had a huge amount of problems and went on to become one of the most successful films of all time.
Whether all the negative press surrounding the film is true or not, the Fantastic Four does have the potential to surprise the public. Although, the current image of the film is not looking up to par with Fox’s release of X-Men Days of Future Past last year and the scheme of comic book movies in recent years. All in all, we have to wait to August to see how this film plays out.
How do you think this film will turn out? Do you think it will succeed or do you think the negativity surrounding the press with influence the film’s turn out?
Article by Emilia Aslan