Saturday 2 May 2015

Fox, please just give up on the Fantastic Four

So apparently Fox have announced that in their new (hate-boner commissioned) Fantastic Four movie Reed Richards will not have stretchy powers. Instead he will warp time and space around his limbs.


And no, this is not about “respect for the source material” or some fannish nonsense like that. I don't mind changes to the source material that do something to improve the plot. Take, for instance, making Drax an alien in Guardians Of The Galaxy instead of an altered human: that was a good idea because Star-Lord being completely disconnected from any human contact was important to the plot.

This, though? This is a change that will likely do literally nothing. His power is still making his limbs longer its just instead of being made out of rubber flesh he'll be manipulating time and space. Why? Because it's less silly and apparently Fox is one of those companies making comicbook movies that still cares about looking like adults.

I watched Avengers: Age Of Ultron on Thursday and they showed the Fantastic Four trailer beforehand. It was painfully generic, said nothing, showcased none of the supposed changes to the story besides Johnny being black and that science lab scene that makes it seem oddly likely the FF's powers will be induced intentionally instead of being a tragic accident. You know what, though? I can kind of dig that just this once. Yes, it ignores the central tragedy that all the pop art insanity of the FF is built on but since a) they screwed that up good and proper last time and b) I really, really doubt this thing will get a sequel, it might be interesting as a one off thing.

That still doesn't solve what seem to be the central problems here: this is a movie Fox doesn't want to make; has previously failed to make work to the point of cancelling the series on a cliffhanger; and has only commissioned so the rights won't revert to Marvel Studios and no one has to explain to their bosses how Marvel made hundreds of millions on an idea they couldn't score a profit on.

Its just dumb. Really dumb. Time and effort is being wasted here for no reason other than spite. Millions of dollars, too, on a film rebooting a series that couldn't make a good enough profit even when it largely prototyped the astronomically successful method Marvel Studios uses on all its films.

I'm serious. More with the first one than the second but Fox's last Fantastic Four efforts gave them pretty faithful costumes and aside from Doom they all had their established personalities and interpersonal dynamics intact. What alterations were made were either in service of streamlining the origin story or pointless alterations to Doom's personality to reference the actor's role in Nip/Tuck. Hey, I didn't say it was all good.

Yet now they seem to be going with the dark and gritty treatment that has gone so well for DC-Warner because this is just how insecurity manifests in the production of superhero movies. 


Saranga said...

The trailer makes the film look terrible. An FF movie should be silly and fun, not serious and dark (colour palette wise). I don't think I'll bother seeing it.

James Ashelford said...

For me it goes on the lowest tier of interest: "If someone else buys the DVD, I'll borrow it." below "When the DVD comes out." or "Well, if you're going to cinema anyway..."