The Questionable Quartet
November 18, 2014 10:42 AM   Subscribe

The First Family of Marvel Comics has a new movie coming out in 2015, and its creators have taken certain liberties with the property. While they've kept a tight lid on information so far, curious details have leaked out. If you thought the controversy over the characters was bad, this rumour could outdo even that. Spoilers galore, proceed with caution.

The previous Fantastic Four movies from Fox performed moderately well, but were critical failures and are not recalled fondly by fans. Since the F4 was the title that launched the modern Marvel Comics, there's a certain irony to their cinematic failure. Fans have been waiting a long time to see the team presented well, but it appears that wait will continue.

The revelation that (white) Johnny Storm would be played by (black) Michael B. Jordan while Johnny's sister Sue Storm would be played by (white) Kate Mara was derided, although some are suggesting that shouldn't matter. But then came official reports that archnemesis Doctor Doom would be reimagined as an anti-social computer programmer/blogger named Victor Domashev.

Now comes a rumoured plot synopsis that suggests team leader Reed Richards will be a 27 year old genius convenience store clerk. Can it possibly get any worse for the World's Greatest Comic Magazine?

(There is no apparently no truth to the rumour that Marvel is cancelling the Fantastic Four comic just to sabotage the movie.)
posted by GhostintheMachine (160 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Clearly, they are trying to make a worse FF movie than Roger Corman. Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:45 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


The movie's screenwriter, Jeremy Slater, has Tweeted: "For those who care, that plot synopsis currently making the rounds is 100% bullshit."

Then again, that statement could be read as either a denial of the rumors or an admission that this whole misguided enterprise is total BS.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:45 AM on November 18, 2014 [10 favorites]


Is Fox completely clueless. I think having a blended family being the background on the Storms is definitely doable but the Doom and Richards character changes might definitely be a step too far. They understand that Reed isn't Peter Parker right?

FF should be about a family exploring the great unknown with lots of argument and Reed being clueless not just a normal rock 'em sock 'em tentpole action film.
posted by vuron at 10:47 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


All efforts to make a Fantastic Four movie are doomed to failure until they bring back H.E.R.B.I.E.

After that they will still be doomed to failure, just for a different reason.
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:47 AM on November 18, 2014


No, all FF movies are doomed until they feature an appearance by Yancy Street Gang.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:50 AM on November 18, 2014 [13 favorites]


Finally, a movie with an evil blogger as the villain. The long national nightmare is over.
posted by GuyZero at 10:51 AM on November 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


It's ok, never really liked the Boring Four, so I have low expectations and less care. At this point, Marvel Studios are the only ones putting out good to great superhero movies. Everyone else will have to try very hard for more dollars.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:53 AM on November 18, 2014


A blogger? Timely.

Meanwhile, I think all superheroes should be cast as POC from here on out, just to piss off the racist fanboys.
posted by brundlefly at 10:53 AM on November 18, 2014 [14 favorites]


For me, it was less "controversy over the casting of the characters" and more"white fanboys cannot imagine a world where a FICTIONAL character can be anything other than white so they act accordingly."

I can't find the gifset but there is one of Michael B. Jordan being asked about the frothing of the mouth of casting a black Johnny Storm and replying something to effect (with a devilish smile) "Whatever. They will still pay to go see it."
posted by Kitteh at 10:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I find it even harder to believe that a random unsourced 4chan/Reddit rumor is true than to believe that a Fantastic Four movie will actually be good. And that synopsis just sounds like Fantastic Four fanfic from somebody who really loved Clerks.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


If the idea of a black Johnny Storm bothers you, you aren't a comics purist, you're just a racist. If the idea of a Johnny and Sue Storm with such disparate apparent races as to suggest they aren't biological siblings bothers you, you may not be a racist, but you're still obnoxious.

If, on the other hand, the idea of yet another FOX F4 movie bothers you... well, that's pretty reasonable.
posted by 256 at 10:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [20 favorites]


I'm cool with the Storms but messing about with Victor Von Doom, the overlord who needs to be over-the-top in grand monarch fashion, is a little too much. I'm wondering if they went too far while trying to stress, say, the loner vs. family angle. (You want to humanize Doom? Bring us Secret Wars. Go ahead. Do it. And maybe you'll make better action figures this time.)
posted by Spatch at 10:57 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


That synopsis starts as an obvious parody of grim and gritty reimagining a and then devolves into the most boringly generic superhero movie ending ever - which makes me fear it might be real.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


And they're going to have Barbie as a computer engineer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:00 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


I wish to declare my support for the proud people of Latveria in denouncing this insult to their glorious leader.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:00 AM on November 18, 2014 [27 favorites]


(Also I would bet money we are going to get an N-Zobe/teleportation origin for the Four in the style of Ultimate Fantastic Four - it just seems the obvious out from the Space Race not being a thing anymore.)
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


What would be really great is if they decided to skip the origin story and just start with the FF established and doing their thing. Pretty much everybody knows the story, and it doesn't really need to be told again, or could be done in a quick "News Feature" flashback.

If we are going to have a non-white member of the team, how about Reed Richards? I'd love seeing an African-American scientific genius rather than the "young hotshot" of the team. Heck, if they get the right actor, Richards might get some gravitas rather than being a kind of oblivious jerk.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2014 [18 favorites]


The idea of Doom as a #GamerGater makes me chortle, but in full disclosure I wouldn't mind if the Marvel movie empire burned to the ground so perhaps I'm not respecting the canon here nearly enough.
posted by rorgy at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought the casting was both a good and reasonable take on the family dynamics that define the FF more than most superhero teams, and an excellent troll of the same troglodytes who got the vapors over a black Heimdall or female Thor or Muslim Ms. Marvel. Everything else about this movie just sounds like either another set of trolling or a massive misreading of what FF is usually about.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey Fox, I know it's basically impossible to actually lose money on a movie thanks to shell corporations and whatnot, but have you ever considered how much you could get for selling the rights to Fantastic Four back to Disney/Marvel? Not to mention the fan gratitude for handing it over to people who have demonstrated an ability to do it right.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I wish to declare my support for the proud people of Latveria in denouncing this insult to their glorious leader.

IT IS ABOUT ETHICS IN SUPERSCIENCE REPORTING! THUS DECLARES DOOM!
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2014 [40 favorites]


I'm wondering if they went too far while trying to stress, say, the loner vs. family angle.

Which is silly, because no one is more alone than a head of state!
posted by winna at 11:03 AM on November 18, 2014


So, really looking forwards to Impossibles 2.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on November 18, 2014


Honestly, none of this stuff really matters. If the movie comes out and can capture the energy and entertainingness of the current Disney-affiliated MCU stuff (Avengers, GOTG, etc), fans will love it and it will do well. If it doesn't, people won't like it as much.

All the "omg did you read this character description" is hyperbolic bullshit based on rumor, with nothing at all to do with whether the movie is going to be any good. And if the movie is good, nobody's going to care about changes to character backstories or fudging with canonical aspects of that particular 'verse.

I thought the TV show version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer sounded stupid compared to the way the premise and characters were done in the original film. I couldn't have been more wrong. None of this fan whining matters as long as the finished product is fun to watch.
posted by Sara C. at 11:04 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


If we are going to have a non-white member of the team, how about Reed Richards? I'd love seeing an African-American scientific genius rather than the "young hotshot" of the team. Heck, if they get the right actor, Richards might get some gravitas rather than being a kind of oblivious jerk.

I have a fantastic idea.
posted by Etrigan at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


Big Hero Six is pretty comparable to a workable Fantastic Four movie, actually. I think that turned out very well, though the writing was extremely commity driven and it's Save the Cat as hell.
posted by Artw at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


From what I've heard, they are shoehorning and reworking the script for Chronicle 2 into this property, figuring they can get a cheap superhero cashin movie out of it. And also they will retain the rights this way, which is very sad, because Marvel Studios would treat the property right.

The treatment of Doctor Doom sounds right, it's the actor playing him in the film who is coming forward with the info. And this is a shame because Doom is one of the best comic book villains ever created. He's evil, but he's noble and grandiose. He's not a mere hacker and would never be.
posted by Catblack at 11:08 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


#notallDOOM
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:09 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I thought Gotham sounded sketchy at first and it won me over largely on the strength of the cast. I'll be pleasantly surprised if Fox F4 movie is good instead of a blatant cash grab and a way to keep the rights but there is a ton of warning signs about this movie that make it seem like Green Lantern will be considered a good movie in comparison.

Making the team more inclusive is basically the only positive thing i have heard about this project.
posted by vuron at 11:10 AM on November 18, 2014


I want a Fantastic Four TV series about their adventures in the Nega-Zone.
posted by hot_monster at 11:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think my ideal Fantastic Four movie would heavily de-emphasize the Fantastic and focus on the Four, because every previous attempt to feature the Fantastic has fallen completely flat.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:11 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pixar knocked it out of the park.
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


REED RICHARDS is draping an enormous sheet over the facade of the Baxter Building that reads "I assure you, we're open."

REED: "I wasn't even supposed to come in today!"
BEN: Buncha Savagelanders in this town.
REED: That's what I said!
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:13 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


He's not a mere hacker and would never be.

If Doom wanted to hack your computer, he would send a fleet of 30' robots to break into your building, reducing it into smoldering rubble, then pass your computer through the Negative Zone in such a way as to create a perfect duplicate of its data structure (only flipped, of course), then flip it back using a second robot army. Because... robots! And when Doom hacks you, he wants you to know you've been hacked.

Doom's only mistake ever was trying to stiff Luke Cage on like a $500 invoice. That was a sad day for Doom.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2014 [29 favorites]


Doom also made the rookie mistake of underestimating Squirrel Girl. No real surprise that she trashed him.
posted by vuron at 11:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


YOUR WARRIORS OF "SOCIAL JUSTICE" ARE POWERLESS TO PREVENT DOOM FROM WEARING HIS ANIME SHIRT!
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on November 18, 2014 [23 favorites]


Al Ewing is writing a fantastic Doom in heroic mode in his Loki at the moment, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Loki Doom buddy cop movie would be fun. Especially if everyone thinks that they are villains and gets in their way of stopping the real villain
posted by vuron at 11:19 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


True, the only person who can be as self-aggrandizing, hyperbolic, prone to over react at the tiniest of perceived slights, and prone to overreaction as DOOM is a white dude on the internet.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:20 AM on November 18, 2014 [15 favorites]


Chronicle was awesome. I'll save my strong emotions until there's something to see and I'll stay hopeful until then.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:21 AM on November 18, 2014


IT'S FLOPPERIN' TIME!!!

But seriously, this sounds bad.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:21 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


#NOTYOURDOOMBOT
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Finally, a movie with an evil blogger as the villain.

Doesn't Ender's Game have this covered?

It's been a while since I read it
posted by trunk muffins at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


If I were in charge of the Marvel circus and suddenly had to write a Fantastic Four movie, I have two thoughts about where I'd go with the story.

The focal character of the whole thing needs to be Ben Grimm. He's a dude who already feels a bit like a fourth wheel in this family - Reed and Sue are a couple and Johnny is Sue's brother. The whole thing about Ben's power is that it makes him feel like he's even more isolated from the world than before (but he starts feeling pretty isolated and grumpy, too). The story arc would be a classic FF story something like Ben feels isolated, Ben gets transformed and feels even *more* isolated, Ben rejects the FF's and tries to get cured, Ben realizes that he needs his powers to save his friends, Ben embraces his powers and saves the day, Ben realizes the rest of the FF love him, and at the end he seems to embrace his new identity but there's a hint that he's just repressing it. During the credits, he's eating shawarma with Bruce Banner who is saying something like "at least you kept your personality").

The second thought has to do with making Sue Storm the focal character (and I think this is the way they should go). There are three overbearing men in her life - her know-it-all fiance, her hot headed brother and her brooding ex-suitor. She loves them all, but they're always acting like she isn't there and she is frustrated about how marginalized she feels. Low and behold, she gets super powers that symbolize how she already feels. As they become a super team, the other three are always trying to do things to protect her and, in the process, not letting her actually do anything. The climax of the story is her not only saving the entire city herself (pushing her powers to some sort of crazy limit to prevent it from being destroyed or some such) but also saving the other three doofuses and ultimately being tacitly acknowledged as the leader/spokesperson for the team. Also, she tells Reed the wedding is going to have to wait a little while.

There are no good stories for Reed Richards and Johnny Storm. Reed is incapable of meaningful change and Johnny Storm has the coolest power, but is basically a happy guy who is living out his dream. Let him be the foil for Ben or Sue, but don't give him his own story. Not even a subplot. I'm serious.

Also, Doom is always the villain. Always. If the four of them are sitting in a coffee shop trying to have a nice conversation, Doom is at the next table having a loud conversation on his smartphone annoying everyone else. If the four of them are driving to work, Doom cuts them off in his environmentally unsound SUV. He's always the villain.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:24 AM on November 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


I enjoyed the Kirby/Lee FF as a kid during the Silver Age, but haven't really kept up with the comic. Hated the two previous FF movies and thought Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans were the only two actors well-suited for their roles.

The villains in those films were particularly messed up. The only way Dr. Doom could have been less threatening is if they had changed his costume to a floral sundress with some espadrilles and a floppy straw hat. And turning Galactus from a giant humanoid in an Aztec/astronaut costume into an amorphous cloud? Don't get me started...

This time around, Kate Mara seems like the only one of the FF who somewhat resembles the comic character as originally conceived. As for the blended-family/black-Human-Torch thing, it sounds like they came up with that just because the director really wanted to work with that particular actor, which to me is a dubious reason to mess with the FF's back story. I am not optimistic as to how this will turn out.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:25 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dammit, Fox, just pick up Bendis' Ultimates reboot and do exactly what's there. It's great, it's up to date, it honors both the gee-whiz science! early-60s vibe of the original and keeps it current.. It's just great.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, really looking forwards to Impossibles 2.

While I'm assuming you're referring to The Incredibles, there's a possibility you're referring to The Impossibles, so I thought I might check. Though we'd need to get The Impossibles 1 out of the way first.

Oh, what the hell, why not move straight on to the sequel?
posted by Grangousier at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


What's sad about the leaks/fanfic/whatever characterization is that it would have been fucking awesome to have a reverse Mandarin-in-IM3 twist to all of what we've heard (especially Doom) when the movie comes out. If only, y'know, there hadn't been the IMO excellent Mandarin twist in IM3, which would make it look derivative and lazy now.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2014


I am severely skeptical of the "synopsis", because:

a) I know that this is going to sound outrageous, but people have been known to lie on the Internet. There was a very detailed fake synopsis of Star Trek: First Contact circulating well before the movie came out that, aside from getting the villain (the Borg) right, was utterly unlike the actual movie, and also complete shit.

b) Comic fanboys lose their shit over the stupidest stuff; even before the Michael B. Williams controversy, and the one over Idris Elba as Heimdall, there was John Byrne making a point of saying (re: Jessica Alba as Sue Storm) that anytime he saw a Latina with blonde hair he thought "prostitute." (You will note that all three of these things are race-related.) Trolls gonna troll, and it's a big target for them.

That having been said, I'll be interested to see if and what they do with this; I don't really care all that much if they change up things as long as, you know, it's good. If you want that classic Doom in his metal suit slouched on his throne, holding his pimp cup (but never actually drinking from it, because then you'd have to see if Doom either tried to slop it through the grille in his mask or extend a little sippy-straw for it), there are plenty of reprints for you to enjoy, over and over again. (Changing up things simply for the sake of changing them up rarely works, though; see for example Mark Waid's Leather Doom--the leather was, I shit you not, the skin of his ex-girlfriend. Sadly, there was no scene where Doom danced naked in front of the mirror, purring, "You wanna fuck meDoom? I'd fuck meDoom.")

Also, hell yeah to the Loki/Doom buddy cop movie, even though the current which-studios-have-which-characters arrangement forbids it. Loki flooring it and sending the car flying through the air and drifting around corners and Doom pounding the dashboard with his gauntlet and yelling, "Bah! Doom was three weeks away from retirement!"
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


The Galactus/Cloud thing was very Hollywood Superhero Logic: "A giant man in purple is too silly! Let's replace it with something extremely generic that doesn't make that much more sense!"
posted by Artw at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2014


Doom is getting too old for this shit!
posted by vuron at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also never make a superhero /villain electrical, that is a proven loser.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


The only way Dr. Doom could have been less threatening is if they had changed his costume to a floral sundress with some espadrilles and a floppy straw hat.

Is it wrong of me that I kind of want to see this movie?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think the cloud galactus was also in the Ultimate universe as well. Yeah it sucked there too.
posted by vuron at 11:32 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was bees. Angry robot space bees.

Too far, Science Ellis!
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wasn't the Galactus/Cloud thing taken from Warren Ellis' treatment of Galactus in the Ultimate Universe?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014


But, see, as a cloud Galactus represents pollution and... OH MY GOD WE MADE GALACTUS.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


What the makers of FF:RotSS didn't understand was that a planet-eating cloud who employed a silver guy to fly ahead of it to check out the prospects was silly, but that same silver guy employed by a colossal guy, taller than a skyscraper with an AMAZING HAT was so insane that it it left silly far behind, at which point it really didn't matter whether it made sense or not.
posted by Grangousier at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Loki calling "I'll drive!" and hopping in the car before Doom can SMASH CUT to car being destroyed by a giant mining drill while Loki looks on, keys held in his shaking hand.

NONE DRIVE BEFORE DOOM
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:34 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


I could swear that Super Hero Squad has actually shown Doom in a dress (or maybe an apron) with a floppy straw hat. I know they've shown his Doom Mom in a wig and dress. And they've had him in a bathrobe.

In summary, Super Hero Squad is delightful.

Though Teen Titans Go! is even funnier.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:37 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Hey, have you read the latest Fantastic Four?", said nobody I grew up with.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:37 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats midst starry galaxies,
When all at once I saw a world,
And it looked pretty good to me.
It had been a while, you see,
So I consumed it, utterly.
posted by Naberius at 11:39 AM on November 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


The issue of FF where Johnny is crashing at Peter Parker's apartment and basically he completely tires out Spiderman being a colossal douche bro should be required reading for any screen writing on FF. Keeping in mind that Peter is one of the most annoying heroes in the Marvel universe and even he struggles with a weekend with Johnny. It is literally a miracle that Ben has never killed Johnny.
posted by vuron at 11:43 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Wait, so "some guy on the internet" posted this? And it appears to be an attempt to destroy the Fantastic Four?

Are we in ARG territory here?
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Write the four like the ones in Planetary. Sue Storm asploding heads like Scanners.
posted by benzenedream at 11:44 AM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


As long as Mark Cherry is writing the music, I'm going to watch this.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:45 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I loved Planetary. And the FF were so far off my radar, I was several issues into that before it dawned on me they were its inspiration.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm cool with the Storms but messing about with Victor Von Doom, the overlord who needs to be over-the-top in grand monarch fashion, is a little too much.

So the only comics I ever read regularly were the Star Wars ones back in the 70s, and so I don't know a lot and can't get into the headspace of people who sincerely care about these elements.

But to me, this reads like the conceit in the Moore Galactica that the names from the original series were just callsigns, because having a dude actually named Apollo might be a little silly.

The Galactus/Cloud thing was very Hollywood Superhero Logic: "A giant man in purple is too silly! Let's replace it with something extremely generic that doesn't make that much more sense!"

I have to admit that while I did not particularly enjoy that movie, if there had been a point where the Big Bad was revealed to be a giant dude with a funny hat I might have just pointed and laughed, and then changed the channel. Because a giant man in purple, or a lucha libre wrestler an AU tall, really is kinda too silly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:47 AM on November 18, 2014


brundlefly: "
Meanwhile, I think all superheroes should be cast as POC from here on out, just to piss off the racist fanboys.
"

White Luke Cage! Scottish Bumblebee! Pan-asiatic Storm!

I hope they bring in some of the more avuncular traits of Dr. Doom, like where he's just babysitting the Reed kids.
posted by boo_radley at 11:47 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought the TV show version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer sounded stupid compared to the way the premise and characters were done in the original film. I couldn't have been more wrong. None of this fan whining matters as long as the finished product is fun to watch.
Sara C.

I know from previous threads that you don't particularly like the Marvel movies, or comics movies in general, but I think you're missing the problem here.

It's not just the normal fanboy bullshit that something isn't exactly like the source comic. It's that they're making it so different it might as well be another property, and indeed someone upthread says this script is a reworking of a planned Chronicle 2 script.

To take your Buffy example, it would be like the TV series being a police procedural about a homicide cop named Sara Buffy that doesn't feature vampires or the supernatural. At some point it's just an entirely different story just using the brand for name recognition.

Reworking the FF is fine, it's been done plenty of times and all of the comic movies have redone things, but at the end you do want a Fantastic Four movie.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:47 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Also never make a superhero /villain electrical, that is a proven loser.

Static had a pretty good run, as I recall. And Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass keep comng back for more....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:48 AM on November 18, 2014


boo_radley: "avuncular traits of Dr. Doom, like where he's just babysitting the Reed kids."

I need y'all to slow down and realize this is a real thing that is happening and not just me cracking wise.
posted by boo_radley at 11:51 AM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


At some point it's just an entirely different story just using the brand for name recognition.

Not to say that this strategy can never work either, with all the variations on Batman being the most prominent example and the most recent example being Disney/Marvel's Big Hero 6.
posted by FJT at 11:53 AM on November 18, 2014


>No, all FF movies are doomed until they feature an appearance by Yancy Street Gang.

Absolutely. Also Willy Lumpkin and the Forbush Man

Marvel Studios also can't use the evil shapeshifting Skrull alien race because rights to them are tied up with the FF.
posted by Catblack at 11:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Ctrl-F "Hostess" = 0 results)

None of this is canon, anyway.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:54 AM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think if you're going to change the race of one of the characters it should be Reed. I also think that any FF movie should take place, or at least start, in the 1960s. You can have the black super genius sneak his white girlfriend, her little brother and best friend on an unsanctioned mission to space before the opening credits and, if you're determined to have the movie take place in 2015, you can have them get sucked into the Negative Zone in 1964 and spit back out the day after tomorrow.

Give Doom a break and make Annihilus or the Skrulls/Super Skrull the villain.

It's not rocket science.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:55 AM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


At first I was a bit annoyed about the Johnny Storm casting (why not make Sue black too? I'd have no problem with that.)

But having heard fanboys demand that Black Panther be played by a white dude "for balance" I find it hard to care that a white character is getting replaced.

In fact, I demand that the movie include Squirrel Girl (who accidentally defeats Doom and ends the story) and the new female Thor, just because.
posted by Foosnark at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2014


Also never make a superhero /villain electrical, that is a proven loser.

Static had a pretty good run, as I recall. And Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass keep comng back for more....


They started that way! (Also, Elektro, I guess)
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on November 18, 2014


A Captain America that is just a suit full of bees and also his shield is bees
posted by boo_radley at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2014 [19 favorites]


Remember when Larry Page had a plan that made him sound like a supervillain waiting to happen? If you're going to update Doom, do that, but come into the story like 10 years later after his private science country has had a chance to go all Bioshock and get involved in international politics.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


A good FF movie should celebrate the greatest romance and relationship in Marvel Comics.

SCENE 1: Reed Richards peers intently at a complicated scientific experiment.

SCENES 2 THROUGH 87: Prince Namor flies in, scoops up Sue and they proceed to Imperius Rex on every flat surface in New York City.

SCENE 88: Meanwhile, the Thing lights his cigar.
posted by delfin at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Not to say that this strategy can never work either, with all the variations on Batman being the most prominent example and the most recent example being Disney/Marvel's Big Hero 6.

Well, all of the Batman variations at least share the same core concepts. It's not like the new movies jettisoned Bruce being orphaned, rich, dressing up like a bat, and beating people up.

But more generally I'm not talking about "working". Adherence to a source is no indicator of success and movies can succeed enormously without doing so. I just think if you're going to change a property beyond recognition, it might as well be a new property.

I, Robot is a good example. It's actually a pretty solid action movie, but has absolutely nothing to do with the Asimov story beyond a few surface details. They should have called it something different so later someone could do an actual I, Robot adaptation.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they should make the whole movie about the Venture Bros version of them. Where Schmeed Schmichards* is basically the same but more of an asshole, Schmue Schtorm can only make her skin invisible which is super gross, her brother Schmonny has to be kept in an anoxic environment or he catches on fire and starts screaming in horrible pain, and Schmen Schminn is a giant scab with deeply reduced mental capacity.

Also they can use the VB spiderman who has just shitloads of eyes and shoots webs from his ass-al region.

*I have forgotten whatever names they used in the actual Venture Bros.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


I think if you're going to change the race of one of the characters it should be Reed.

Are you reading Mighty Avengers? You should be reading Mighty Avengers.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


They should get Stephen Colbert to play Reed Richards. His riff on the character on the Venture Bros. was phenomenal.
posted by Renoroc at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


A quick look at the Wiki page for Big Hero 6 will have you scratching your head as to why they didn't just start from scratch.
posted by Artw at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2014


1. The synopsis linked to feels like it could be the real thing. It's not obviously bullshit. The story has that feeling of a writer kind of embarrassed to be working in the superhero genre trying to cross it over into SF, and it holds together well enough. A lot of the standard tropes of Hollywood movies are there. It could be real.

2. It's probably not. Hello, internet! This far in advance, anything aside from photographs from the set or official releases of info are generally nonsense. Back in 2000, I read all kinds of synopses about the upcoming X-Men movie, all of which were made up by random assholes. (I suspected as much at the time, of course, but it's still fun to read them and imagine.)

3. If it is real, it's unlikely the movie will be much good. Tamping down the powers until the end and making the elder Storm into a paternal figure cut hard against the power fantasy at the root of the team. Making Doom a petulant asshole instead of Comic's Greatest Megalomaniac Mad Scientist, yeah, that pushes the story more towards realism, but is that what you should be aiming for? Some characters can be handled quasi-realistically without too much damage to their appeal, like Batman. Some don't work unless they're four-color explosions of crazy. That's the FF.

Hiring Josh Trank, who made a realistic, serious superpower movie, seems like a bad idea for the FF. Marvel made a much smarter move hiring James Gunn, who made whacked-out movies, for Guardians of the Galaxy, a story that has to be done big and colorfully. That said, I've been so very wrong in predicting who could make what movie well that I should shut my internet pie-hole.

4. The synopsis feels like a weak attempt at establishing a franchise. It holds back too much for too long. The end of this synopsis should occur around 30 minutes into the movie. Instead, in this version, the FF are only mildly powered for almost the whole thing and dealing with Big Daddy Storm over top of them throughout. Yikes. How is that fun?

5. I do like the casting. Good choices all around. So much better than the casting for the first one (Evans and Chiklis excepted, yeah).

6. It could still be a great movie. Right now, based off of the synopsis, it doesn't look promising, but hey, it's the internet. Who the hell knows. Even if the synopsis is correct, it could still be great. Movies are huge enterprises made by a lot of people working very hard. Strange things can come out of it.

7. In conclusion, "DOOOOOOOOOM!" Man. Who is the greatest ham of our age? Who could embody the greatest ego of all comic book supervillains? Who could let fly with a line like "Bah! The accursed Richards seeks to foil me again! But he will faill, for I AM DOOM!" and make us love him for it? Hm. There has to be someone.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


A good FF movie should celebrate the greatest romance and relationship in Marvel Comics.

Yes but which one of these are you saying is the greatest romance/relationship? (hint: it is Thing + Cigars).
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia, Dr. Doom is Romani. And big surprise that nobody is complaining about a British Dude playing a Russian sounding Dr. Doom.
posted by FJT at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2014


> "They should have called it something different so later someone could do an actual I, Robot adaptation."

Because crowds are demanding the opportunity to watch a malfunctioning robot slowly circling a selenium pool?
posted by kyrademon at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


For me, it was less "controversy over the casting of the characters" and more"white fanboys cannot imagine a world where a FICTIONAL character can be anything other than white so they act accordingly."

It's more that the character of Johnny Storm is exactly the entitled white fratboy, with super powers, so making him black is kind of....exactly the wrong choice. Reed black? Fine. Johnny fucking collar-popping Storm? Hell to the no.
posted by corb at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think they should make the whole movie about the Venture Bros version of them.

Don't forget Baron Werner Ünderbheit IV, monarch of Ünderland, a sovereign autocracy located entirely within the state of Michigan.
posted by Iridic at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I am totally down with Johnny and Sue being part of a blended family; aside from all the other benefits of inclusive casting it underscores the theme of FF that they're a family that found each other. A programmer named "Domashev," though? DOOM CANNOT TOLERATE THIS.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:12 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, so a cocky black Johnny Storm is a bad thing? Because given the awesome of Michael B. Jordan I completely disagree. Also, the last thing a superhero movie needs is another white dude playing this role. If you want that, please watch pretty much anything else and you will get that wish granted.
posted by Kitteh at 12:12 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really don't think a movie is the best fit for the FF. A TV series would allow new Marvel superscience concepts to be explored week after week instead of just some big bad that has to be taken down in 2 hours, which gives a better sense of exploration and discovery. Ditto Dr. Strange.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:13 PM on November 18, 2014


>an actual I, Robot adaptation

Not to derail, but Automata from earlier this year was pretty good. Used puppets for most of the robots, to it's betterment. They only gave the robots 2 laws instead of three, and it's been a few decades since I read the original, and I'm sure it goes way off base from the book. But I found it far better than the I, Robot movie from a few years ago, covering the same territory better.
posted by Catblack at 12:14 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


More seriously, while I could conceive of an I, Robot, say, mini-series that was closer to the source material while still being enjoyable to watch, I think any writer on earth would rightly insist on changes so significant as to render many of the characters and events unrecognizable except for the germ of the basic ideas.
posted by kyrademon at 12:15 PM on November 18, 2014


Wait, so a cocky black Johnny Storm is a bad thing?

I'm saying that I don't think racial consciousness has progressed far enough in this country that you can have a douchey fratboy black guy and have him be the pinnacle of entitlement. Unless they're acting as though racism magically doesn't exist for Johnny Storm, which is even more handwaving bullshit of the greatest magnitude.
posted by corb at 12:15 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really don't think a movie is the best fit for the FF. A TV series would allow new Marvel superscience concepts to be explored week after week instead of just some big bad that has to be taken down in 2 hours

Maybe a multi-movie adaptation of the amazing Hickman run? It's a perfect Big Awesome Science FF story that has a mind-blowing overarching plot but a lot of fun stories inside of it.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2014


>Wait, so a cocky black Johnny Storm is a bad thing?

Not if Chris Tucker plays him.
posted by Catblack at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2014


I'm saying that I don't think racial consciousness has progressed far enough in this country that you can have a douchey fratboy black guy and have him be the pinnacle of entitlement.

Given that people were saying racial slurs about the casting of a black Johnny Storm, I'd be willing to roll those dice because I've had enough of fans believing the entire comics world is white unless they tell you otherwise.
posted by Kitteh at 12:17 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


At some point it's just an entirely different story just using the brand for name recognition.

They did this with Gatchaman CROWDS and it was the fucking bomb.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:21 PM on November 18, 2014


I understand what Corb is trying to say though. It's hard to make a PoC into a complete douchebro like Johnny is in the comics so you'd probably have to tamp down some of the Bro elements of his character or make him grow more in the movie which is kinda a move away from the comic book character because Johnny has the emotional depth of pond scum for the most part.

But of all the problems with this script whether it's real or imagined the casting is really the least of the problem because comic book character is not the movie character. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe several characters have been modified to make them either more likable than their 616 characterization.

Tony Stark in the MCU is a primary example, he's quite a bit more sympathetic than he often is in the 616 where he's often a technocrat of the worst sort with no second thoughts about rounding up his former friends (god I hate the Civil War storyline).

So making a black Johnny more sympathetic really isn't a major problem for me. However making Doom into a petulant gamergate wannabe would be a major violation of his essential character which is that despite being bombastic and kinda a dick at times he ultimately is the hero of his own mytharc.
posted by vuron at 12:26 PM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I do think the plot synopsis is fake, if only because there is no reasonable way to suggest a mid-20s scientific ubergenius would be working as a convenience store clerk. (Really working to avoid a "stretching credulity" comment here but utterly failing.)

Whoever wrote this took the few little points we've had confirmed (non-biological siblings, programmer Doom, containment suits), combined it with elements from the Ultimate F4 origin (although the actors are still too old for that), and made something that's a good combination of believable and infuriating. I'm willing to bet some of it is right, but it's mostly wrong, and the end product still won't be recognizable by anyone who's read the comics, unfortunately.

I also like the idea that Fox is somehow putting out a multimillion dollar movie (with pre-planned sequel) just to "keep the rights" from reverting to Marvel, and Marvel is cancelling the comic just to undercut the movie. Both those concepts make about as much sense as the convenience store angle.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:28 PM on November 18, 2014


I thought it was pretty much confirmed that Fox has to rush out a FF movie in order to keep the rights from reverting to Marvel/Disney.

Personally I think the MCU is stronger without the X-men franchise and endless Spider-man sequels because they actually have to develop lesser characters like the GotG which would never be made if they had the X-men and Spidey.

I'm much more mixed in regards to the FF being absent from the MCU because the FF has been a completely mediocre comic for a large percentage of it's existence but it still has a vast quantity of really compelling characters and storylines that Fox seems to show no interest in developing. MCU would almost certainly be stronger with FF and FF would be better in a MCU framework.

I mean as long as Franklin and Valeria never ever ever show up. Holy shit that would be fucking awful.
posted by vuron at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Related to nothing else, I initially read 'Kate Mara' as 'Kate O' Mara' and got confused about how the Rani was going to play Sue Storm...

(Also I didn't realise Kate O'Mara had died, so a belated . from me)
posted by threetwentytwo at 12:40 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hopefully Michelle Gomez will live forever.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


At some point it's just an entirely different story just using the brand for name recognition.

Sure, but since the movie isn't actually out yet, we don't know if any of these rumors are true or how exactly any of this shakes out.

Last week there was a rumor of a movie about Spiderman's Aunt May. Massive fan hysteria ensued about what a stupid idea that is for a movie. Then a few days later there was an official announcement of a comic centered around Aunt May. And I think it's a limited series, too.

Wait till the movie is out. Then critique the actual movie. Don't waste your energy flipping out about rumors.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's the kind of thinking that leads to me watching one half of Man of Steel "to give it a chance" and deeply regretting it...
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on November 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


So that electricity derail made me look up Static again, because I actually recently re-watched some early episodes of the animated series. I really liked their episode about dealing with racism. And then I looked up the comics, and it turns out his best friend was gay, and they made a storyline about coming out and going to a gay rights convention? That takes some pretty impressive guts.

I was never really hooked onto Fantastic Four because there weren't any animated series being broadcast when I was at a certain age, and I never had access to comic books. I've liked seeing the snippets of Thing stories that circulate around.
posted by halifix at 1:32 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do think the plot synopsis is fake, if only because there is no reasonable way to suggest a mid-20s scientific ubergenius would be working as a convenience store clerk.

You're more optimistic than I.
posted by brundlefly at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Relevant.
posted by kyrademon at 1:53 PM on November 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Fantastic Four Read Mean Tweets From Doctor Doom

Sue Storm: "I bet you're pretty easy to find when there are fresh cronuts in the Fantastic 4 office, fatty."
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:55 PM on November 18, 2014


I understand what Corb is trying to say though. It's hard to make a PoC into a complete douchebro like Johnny is in the comics so you'd probably have to tamp down some of the Bro elements of his character or make him grow more in the movie which is kinda a move away from the comic book character because Johnny has the emotional depth of pond scum for the most part.

Though it must be noted that this is really a recent development. From the 1960s up through the 1980s, Johnny was portrayed as hotheaded and insensitive, but not actually willfully stupid or dickish to anyone other than Ben Grimm and Spider-Man, both relationships being portrayed as a kind of misguided sibling rivalry. Honestly, it's really not until they undo his marriage to Alicia that Johnny becomes the Boy Who Never Grew Up, and it was Mark Millar -- ugh! -- who decided to write Johnny as basically a wannabe celebrity with so little depth even Reed can't stretch that thin.
posted by kewb at 2:40 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am all for ignoring something established by Mark Millar. May have done it a couple of times already, in fact.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also, I have long wished that a 1960s FF film could have been made with Sidney Poitier as Reed, because, like some others upthrewad, it would make the whole "has to steal his own rocket back from the government" thing would be made much more interesting for it, and the Sue-Namoir-Reed triangle, too, would have a whole other dimension.

And, nota bene to the poster who thinks Sue/Namor is the greatest relationship in comics...dude's a monarch with, like, 15th century gender role ideas whose big move in their courtship is pretty much always "Kill/incapacitate all her friends and her brother, then drag her to my inaccessible kingdom before launching an invasion of the city where she lives."
posted by kewb at 2:44 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


So the only comics I ever read regularly were the Star Wars ones back in the 70s, and so I don't know a lot and can't get into the headspace of people who sincerely care about these elements.

You do know that Darth Vader is pretty widely acknowledged as George Lucas's thinly-veiled take on Doctor Doom, right?

Doom has already conquered your headspace, and he needs no "Force" to do so other than the magisterial force of Doom's own magnificence! Bow before Doom!
posted by kewb at 2:48 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


There are some advantages to waking up late. Seems like I missed peak rage for this particular controversy. It's probably a fake synopsis, like Jeremy Slater said.

Not that this movie isn't doomed. It's going to crash and burn like the Hindenburg, but probably for different reasons than Reed and Ben being convenience store clerks.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:48 PM on November 18, 2014


And, nota bene to the poster who thinks Sue/Namor is the greatest relationship in comics...dude's a monarch with, like, 15th century gender role ideas whose big move in their courtship is pretty much always "Kill/incapacitate all her friends and her brother, then drag her to my inaccessible kingdom before launching an invasion of the city where she lives."

And we wouldn't have him any other way, would we?

Namor is a pretentious, glorious jackass. That is what he is. Sue responds to this with the eyeroll it deserves, as she is a happily married mother of two. But "happily married" has its limits, and when Sue reaches one, where does she go?

I know where she goes.
posted by delfin at 2:51 PM on November 18, 2014 [8 favorites]


making Doom into a petulant gamergate wannabe would be a major violation of his essential character which is that despite being bombastic and kinda a dick at times he ultimately is the hero of his own mytharc.

Even beyond this particular bastardization, I just hate the reluctance to go Full Kirby with the character. He's Vladimir Putin if Putin was also a super-scientist and a wizard and wore medieval armor and spoke about himself IN THE THIRD PERSON AND PERMANENT CAPS-LOCK. He's the perfect comic-book villain and this is the age of completely comic-booky superhero movies. For the love of Doom, go for it!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:06 PM on November 18, 2014 [10 favorites]




delfin: "I know where she goes."

DOOM IS NO MAN'S SECOND CHOICE
posted by boo_radley at 3:33 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


Does doom even ever eat except at a super long table with some kind of intense drama going on?
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


man, now I just want to read Sue & Namor excerpts all day.
posted by corb at 3:43 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Does doom even ever eat except at a super long table with some kind of intense drama going on?

Never!

Well, maybe the occasional breakfast sandwich in the car.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:59 PM on November 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


Well, maybe the occasional breakfast sandwich in the car.

Well, I'll be... Thanos is the one who found he Anti-Life Equation! And it was under our noses all along!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:08 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Doom, to television "I AM AMUSED! BUT BE WARNED, WALTER WHITE, FOR TRULEY DOOM IS THE ONE THAT KNOCKS!"
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on November 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


The Wikipedia entry for Latveria is a fun read. I had forgotten that the capital city is named "Doomstadt."
posted by Iridic at 4:25 PM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia entry for Latveria is a fun read. I had forgotten that the capital city is named "Doomstadt."

Here is the awesome: he is Victor von Doom - The Conqueror from a place called Doom, literally translated from sie Hochsprache. Of course his capital is Doomstadt.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:53 PM on November 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


There comes a point in comics fandom where old stories are just things taken for granted, especially when they're the classics, and you forget how absolutely batshit insane things like this are:
The State University in Hegeman, New York offered Victor a scholarship. While attending classes there, he first met Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. Doom became obsessed with developing a machine that could project the astral form of a being into other dimensions, seeing it as a way to free his mother's soul from Mephisto's clutches. Reed pointed out a flaw in Doom's calculations, but Doom arrogantly ignored his warnings, feeling Reed was trying to upstage him. The machine exploded, scarring Doom's face. He was soon expelled for conducting unethical experiments. From then on, he blamed Reed Richards for the destruction of his face as well as his expulsion.

Disgraced and bitter, Doom traveled the world. Eventually he came upon a small Tibetan village of monks who assisted him in creating a suit of armor. He returned to his homeland of Latveria to overthrow the leader and declare himself king. He then began to use his country's resources in order to further his plans of world domination. These schemes led Doom into conflict with the Fantastic Four on many occasions, as well as many other superheroes.
"Ok, Victor. So you were expelled. Here's what you're going to do. You're going to take a little 'me time', do a little traveling, and go sort things out at home. And then, that guy that tried to offer you advice? You're going to trick him and his family into locating Blackbeard's treasure for you which is actually magical stones once owned by Merlin by using your goddamn time machine, and if that fails, you're going to launch that guy's house into space."

This is why he's the best villain.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2014 [18 favorites]


Wait till the movie is out. Then critique the actual movie. Don't waste your energy flipping out about rumors.

I think the problem is that it's not implausible that Hollywood would get another adaptation so wrong. The famous hook/gimmick and the brand name are all that matter. Sure, some compromises are needed either because something's too dated, or translation to live-action, but it's like they can't just end it there.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:41 AM on November 19, 2014


So what you're all saying is that you think that this movie is.....Doomed?
posted by I-baLL at 5:02 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Wikipedia entry for Latveria is a fun read. I had forgotten that the capital city is named "Doomstadt."

I just assumed that the capital was previously named something normal, like "Petrograd" or "Springfield", and Doom renamed it in tribute to his own towering, Trumplike ego.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:53 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Petrograd is probably a bad example of a town name not (re)named in tribute to a ruler's ego.
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:24 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Because a giant man in purple, or a lucha libre wrestler an AU tall, really is kinda too silly.

There was a giant man in purple destroying a planet in Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was more scary than I was expecting. Galactus could definitely work, given the right director and script.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:41 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the thing with the Marvel movies that people really respond to is they seem to have shrugged off the "too silly" conversation entirely, replacing it with "that's cool, how do we make that work?". They'll change stuff, sure, but they are fundamentally unembarased to be doing a Marvel superhero book and willing to just go with the spirit of that rather than hiding behind the notion they are making something "more serious".
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on November 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


...also they don't go the other way, and play the material entirely as a joke, like Joel Schumacher did. Though that kind of thing largely seems to be extinct in favour of the grim and gritties.
posted by Artw at 7:47 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


So what you're all saying is that you think that this movie is.....Doomed?

Well, I don't expect it to be fantastic. The plot is reed-thin, without as much coverage as a hospital johnny, so the possibilities are kind of grimm. It's certainly ripe for a perfect storm of bad studio/directorial decisions, but it's not like the fans can sue....

I better stop. I think I got some comic-ray enhanced dairy, and I'm Galactose-intolerant....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:56 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


Michael Caine as Victor Von Doom
Morgan Freeman as Reed Richards

I don't care who else is in it.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:09 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Morgan Freeman as Reed Richards

Fox had approached Freeman to make Rendezvous with Rama, but they wanted to change Rama to a VW bus.
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:14 AM on November 19, 2014


Michael Caine as Victor Von Doom
Morgan Freeman as Reed Richards


Lucy showed us that Morgan Freeman can get through reams of science babble while looking grave. He would be perfect as Reed Richards, although he would have to up the "self-absorbed jerky" quality. Michael Caine is shouty enough, but he has exactly one accent: Michael Caine. I kind of favor Brian Blessed, but he has the same problem. Maybe Kenneth Branaugh? He can chew scenery like a champ, if he is so motivated, and he does a mean range of accents. Or you could go for Tom Hiddleston doing George Sanders as Shere Khan, if you want a non-shouty Doom.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:47 AM on November 19, 2014


Does Freeman do anything else these days?
posted by Artw at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Michael Caine as Victor Von Doom
Morgan Freeman as Reed Richards

I don't care who else is in it.


Patrick Stuart as Stu Storm
Ian McKellen as Johnny Storm
Brian Blessed as Mr. Grimm
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tilda Swinton as Namor.

Idris Elba as Molecule Man.
posted by Artw at 8:51 AM on November 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Tilda Swinton as all four heroes, plus Doom, the Silver Surfer, and Galactus!

It sure would be fantastic!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:09 AM on November 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Idris Elba as the earth, the moon, the stars and Idris the Living Planet.
posted by Artw at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Petrograd is probably a bad example of a town name not (re)named in tribute to a ruler's ego.

Exactly the parallel I was going for, actually.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2014


Well, I don't think Peter the Great picked St Petersburg at random so I'm not getting your parallel.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:29 AM on November 19, 2014


I'm now assuming it is canon that Doom obstinately built Doomstadt on a swamp it had no business being built on.
posted by Artw at 10:40 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


He filled in the swamp with broken robots, a major repurposed building material that is plentiful in Latveria.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:59 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


The fake medieval stone buildings are actually supported by stacks of Doombots standing on each other's heads.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Before Doom Took over Latveria was all drab communist concrete and pre-fab. He Disneyfied the fuck out of it.)
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh. My. God. It's all so clear now. Doom's whole back story is a lie! He never went to Tibet! There were no monks! He took his faulty astral-machine to California and got work on the long-delayed Haunted Mansion project at Disneyland! His armor was build by bored animatronics technitions and the first doombots were surplus Abe Lincoln chassis from the Hall of Presidents! It's all so clear!

Hollywood, memail me; I have a script for you....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:41 AM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Klaus Kinski would've made a great Doom back in the day.
posted by kewb at 11:58 AM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


MORGAN FREEMAN AS DOOM.

You know it would be awesome.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 2:04 PM on November 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


James Earl Jones as...
posted by Artw at 3:12 PM on November 19, 2014


... Susan?
posted by kyrademon at 6:29 PM on November 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


...excellent. She'll need a cape of course.
posted by Artw at 6:46 PM on November 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems Rotten Tomatoes has an apparently official synopsis of the new movie:

"THE FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. (C) Fox"
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:20 PM on December 2, 2014


Which is basically Ultimate Fantastc Four.
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on December 2, 2014


While I don't think there's ever been an official statement saying it's based on UltF4, various comments and assumptions have pointed to it as at least partly the inspiration here. But what's most annoying is how vague the information remains. There's any number of directions this could be taking, and some are very exciting. I've read F4 since the late 70s, and while I love the original I thoroughly enjoyed much of the UltF4 run and thought it had a lot of potential.

But the incredible lack of information - and release of only vague descriptions - troubles me. If they actually said, "based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four" (or even "loosely based"), that would be fine. And there's no reason not to say that. By making it still somewhat nebulous, it suggests they've taken door #3, and there could be anything behind that door. It's like a variant of the Monty Hall problem. They've already turned down the big prize behind door #1 (616), and we're waiting to see if they picked door #2 (Ultimate universe) or door #3. There's no guarantee there's a goat behind door #3; heck, it could be a prize better than the others for all we know. But betting odds aren't in its favour. And Doomashev the Uberblogger isn't helping tip the scales in a positive way.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:03 PM on December 2, 2014


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