Every day seems to bring another morsel of information on Fox’s forthcoming Fantastic Four movie but nobody really has any idea what the film will actually be like. With less than a year to go before the Four hit theaters, though, one of the stars has said it’s definitely not going to be “overly comic-book.”
Miles Teller, who will play Reed Richards in next year’s Fantastic Four reboot, said in an appearance reported by Vulture that the new flick could drop some of the, er, more fantastic elements.
“It’s told in a different way,” Teller said at the screening of his new film Whiplash. Teller was saying that the new Fantastic Four will be different from Fox’s previous takes on Marvel’s First Family. “We don’t have Michael Chiklis in a big Styrofoam thing, and I think that [a more grounded approach] is what people are into.”
The Chiklis mention makes reference to Fox’s first two forays into the fantastic: 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Those two films together pulled in nearly $300 million in domestic receipts and more than $600 million worldwide, but they failed to spark the sort of ongoing franchise Fox is looking for.
Fox would like for Fantastic Four to generate the sort of excitement seen with its X-Men franchise and Teller pointed to that property as a guiding star.
“X-Men: First Class is doing that,” Teller continued. “You’re dealing with these characters, but you’re making them into real people in how they exist day-to-day. People wanted it to be taken more seriously than the kind of Dick Tracy, kitschy, overly comic-book world.”
Fans of the comics might not be too happy with the implications of Teller’s take. The Fantastic Four have long had a sillier, more comic-book edge to them, and it is rare to see the Four in the comics veer into the darker waters that Marvel’s X-Men often wallow in.
Oddly enough, Teller then goes on to cite a summer blockbuster that arguably goes in just the direction Teller says the new Fantastic Four doesn’t go: Guardians of the Galaxy.
“[Guardians] was a really fresh take on it, I think people responded to that,” Teller said, citing a space opera with a talking tree and a murderous raccoon among its main characters.
Whether Teller’s words should give Fantastic Four fans hope or heartburn is difficult to say, as every bit of news on the film has met with some sort of controversy. When Oscar nominee Michael B. Jordan was cast in the role of Johnny Storm, the news sparked a pretty racist backlash from fans who wondered how Jordan could be the brother of Kate Mara, who plays Susan Storm. It appears that Susan will be Johnny’s adopted sister, but some fans are still miffed over the development.
When Fantastic Four does open on August 7, 2015, Fox hopes it is able to replicate the success that Marvel found with Guardians. The late summer is sometimes seen as the wastebin for blockbusters, but Galaxy‘s performance this year has made the studios rethink that assumption. Fantastic Four, though, may struggle to make headway in a summer that will also see Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as a number of other potential blockbuster entries.