‘Fantastic Four’ to Be a ‘Chronicle’-Esque Coming-of-Age Origin Story
Remember that plot synopsis roaming the web a few months back stating the new ‘Fantastic Four‘ reboot would imagine the crop of superheroes as government weapons? Director Josh Trank and 20th Century Fox have since come out to bash it for its falsity, but while we still have till 2015 to see the new vision for this comic book property, writer-producer Simon Kinberg won’t leave us hanging.
2014 WonderCon held its annual convention in Anaheim, California, this past weekend, and Den of Geek was on hand to chat with Kinberg about Trank’s re-envisioned ‘Fantastic Four,’ which stars Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch/Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell as The Thing/Ben Grimm. All along, the film’s production team has been promoting this film as something completely different than what we’ve seen on the silver screen, and new details from the screenwriter himself reinforce this element. He said:
We’re definitely telling a younger story that the original films did. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is. … They’re older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story.
Fundamentalist comic book fans have continuously bashed most details emerging of ‘Fantastic Four,’ from the previously mentioned (and now fake) plot details to the possibility that the main villain, Dr. Doom, would be reimagined as a woman (which was also proven to be a fake). While the unknown of a re-envisioned comic book world is a terror for some fans, you’ve got to give it up to Trank and co. for at least sticking to their guns and doing something completely different. To paraphrase Warner Bros. in this regard, studios can’t just copy exactly what Marvel Studios and Disney are doing and expect the same results.
That said, there will be some familiar markers for us to latch on to, as actor Toby Kebbell will portray Dr. Doom, and Kinberg also teased that we’ll be getting some semblance of that classic power-bestowing encounter, or, as Kinberg said, “some sort of scientific travel.” He also spoke with the folks at IGN, pegging it more towards the feel of ‘Chronicle’ (also directed by Trank):
This ‘Fantastic Four’ movie is in some ways a reboot, and in other ways just a standalone origin story. And by the end of the movie — we really don’t call them the Fantastic Four, they’re not celebrity superheroes. The tone of the movie is much more grounded and real and gritty, more in the direction of ‘Chronicle’ than in the direction of the original ‘Fantastic Four’ movies. So it is about how really four — and in some ways five, you know, with Victor Von Doom — how five people go from being normal people in the world to being transformed into something, sort of, when it first happens, abnormal and then by the end superhuman.
In addition, Kinberg was pressed on the growing possibility of creating a shared cinematic universe within Fox’s Marvel properties (i.e. between X-Men and Fantastic Four) to compete with Disney’s Avengers world. While previous statements from those working on Fox films have made this sound like something that eventually happen, Kinberg pointed out some of the bumps that they’d have to overcome, should they move forward on that front:
There’s an inherent challenge combining ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘X-Men’ in the movie universe because they sort of exist in different planes or dimensions even. Like in the ‘Fantastic Four’ world, it’s a contemporary world, there’s no mention of mutants because otherwise they wouldn’t be that fantastic. And then in the ‘X-Men’ world, as we’ve seen, there aren’t any famous celebrity superhero Fantastic Four.
‘Fantastic Four’ will shoot this year for release on June 19, 2015.