‘Fantastic Four’ Is Out With Another Reboot, But Have You Seen The 1980s Version?

Fantastic Four are back.

Yes, the Marvel superhero team made their comeback to the big screen on Friday with another high-octane reboot. And while it is faring pretty well at the box office so far, how many of you know that the latest Fantastic Four installment has a predecessor long lost in time?

In 1994, B-movie king Roger Corman produced a film version of Fantastic Four which never hit the screens. According to Metro, The Fantastic Four was initially meted for a movie as early as 1983, when producer Bernd Eichinger met with Stan Lee with an intention to buy the rights for a cinematic version of the superhero team. Though no deal went through immediately, Eichinger was successful in landing the rights three years later, and tried to rope in studios to help him produce what would have been the first Fantastic Four movie.

However, owing to budgetary concerns, both Warner Brothers and Columbia raised questions about the project, which led a desperate Eichinger (his rights expired at the end of 1992) to draft in Corman for a low-budget indie production. According to Uproxx, the first Fantastic Four was made on a shoestring budget of $1 million.

What came out of it was a cheesy, weird movie — the trailer of which you can check out below.

So instead of watching the Miles Teller-starred Fantastic Four reboot this week, how would you like to pay dear old Corman a visit? At least Dr. Doom looks quite a handful, doesn’t he?

This Fantastic Four version was not only made, but touted for a full-scale release in 1993 with its trailer running in cinemas, and the cast even promoting the movie at San Diego Comic-Con. However, the movie never actually got a release. Nobody can actually confirm how that came to pass, but according to popular theories, when Marvel executives saw how cheaply Fantastic Four had been made, they bought it out and destroyed the prints to prevent it cheapening the brand. In the meantime, Eichinger formed Constantin Films and finally made the 2005 Fantastic Four film and its 2007 sequel.

Quite a story, isn’t it? As it turns out, according to Metro, a few years ago, Stan Lee apparently confirmed reports that the original Fantastic Four was never intended to be seen.

“That movie was never meant to be shown to anybody.”

Well, Stan, you know what — there is the internet!

If you want to check out the full 1994 Fantastic Four movie, you can watch it here.

[Photo: Wikipedia]