Fantastic Four has returned to movie theaters once again. Tim Story directed 2005’s Fantastic Four and its follow up, 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. 2015’s Fantastic Four was directed by Chronicle director Josh Trank.
Studios have yet to bring out a Fantastic Four film worthy enough to receive good reviews and do justice to the legend of one of Marvel’s earliest comic books.
This is actually the fourth attempt to bring the Fantastic Four to screen, though it’s the third attempt by 20th Century Fox. There was actually an earlier, unreleased Fantastic Four film produced on a shoestring budget by cult filmmaker Roger Corman. That almost satirical take on the Marvel superheroes makes Fox’s FF movies look great.
Marvel is unable to make a Fantastic Four film itself right now, not until 20th Century Fox gives back the rights. With the awful reviews the current film is getting, it might open the opportunity for the rights to switch hands for a proper adaptation.
Vox brashly explained what the problem is with Fox’s latest attempt.
“But a new depth of terribleness was found on Friday, when Fox’s reboot, Fantastic Four, absolutely murdered what was left of the franchise. Fantastic Four‘s death wasn’t humane. This was no quick knife between the eyes. Rather, it felt like there had been an open attempt to make the movie stink. Bad acting, bad writing, and bad direction combined to create an unmitigated garbage fire that’s currently charting at 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Kind of harsh, but it’s no surprise, seeing as Director Trank and other sources that worked on the film expressed that there was a chaotic on-set situation and impulsive production decisions on Fox’s part.
But it seems Marvel has all but given up trying to get back the rights to its landmark superhero team. Marvel already cancelled the Fantastic Four comic books, not saying when they would return.
The Vox article goes on to explain how all this still works out in Fox’s favor.
“Even though Fantastic Four was terrible, the deeply cynical side of me believes Fox doesn’t care how bad it was. The reality is that Fox has to produce movies by a certain date to retain the rights to its Marvel characters. Fox would, no doubt, prefer a good movie that makes piles of money. But even with disaster, it’s managed to keep the rights to the Fantastic Four.”
So either Fox needs to give up trying to make a decent Fantastic Four, or people will have to wait until another studio gets the rights, if that ever happens.
[Screenshot via 20th Century Fox / YouTube]