This summer is starting to look Fantastic.
January 27, 2015 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Fantastic Four, that is. The first teaser for Marvel's 3rd kick at the can of rebooting the Fantastic Four dropped this morning.
posted by Kitteh (128 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Or is it second kick at the can? Does Roger Corman count (because I counted him)?
posted by Kitteh at 7:03 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Roger Corman totally counts. Technically this is FOX's 2nd kick, though - if Marvel owned the movie rights I'd be far happier about this.
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:05 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


This worries me because it occurs to me that the Fantastic Four franchise has become Marvel's "crap sink," soaking up all the awfulness and allowing the Avengers and Guardians franchises to soar. If they were to succeed in making the Fantastic Four not suck, that would be disrupted. Crap might flow elsewhere and I fear for the future of the movies that actually matter to me.
posted by Naberius at 7:07 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


That looked way too Deep and Serious for my tastes, but I'll probably still wind up seeing it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:08 AM on January 27, 2015


I just can't see a way where they make a Fantastic Four movie that isn't either overwrought or dumb, or both. The comic book framing is really important, to me, and when it gets too ponderous (this trailer may as well be Armageddon) it collapses under its own weight.

BUT! I said the same thing about both the Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy, and both of those movies were terrific. So maybe it's the Marvel thing, or maybe it's Naberius's crap sink theory. So we'll see!

I'd love to love it.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:10 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the Roger Corman Fantastic Four isn't a real FF movie, then the Tim Story ones aren't either.

This looks like an interesting take, but I can see why Fox's marketing has been slow to put out any visuals from it. If you edited out the half-second bits with the Thing-ified Ben Grimm, Johnny's flame-on, and Reed's arm-stretching, this would look like a pretty run-of-the-mill sci-fi flick.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:11 AM on January 27, 2015


I like how "driving through a cornfield" has become shorthand for "manly, rough-hewn applied science and math."

It's like a hipster intellectual filmmaker had to refuel his NetJet in Des Moines, and he looked out the window and went, "Whoa!"

See also: Interstellar, Star Trek reboot, etc
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:13 AM on January 27, 2015 [50 favorites]


That was intriguing. It looks like a serious and dramatic take on the genre and there's no reason that can't work.

However, I know little about the original comic book and always thought it was incredibly silly in every instance I saw of it. It would be wonderful to see a move that didn't leave that impression.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 AM on January 27, 2015


It's going to have a score by Philip Glass? That's an interesting choice for a superhero movie.
posted by octothorpe at 7:14 AM on January 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


As usual, 25% women lead characters.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:15 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Director Josh (Chronicle) Tranks told Collider that in addition to Marvel's Ultimate Fantastic Four comic, his film draws a great deal of inspiration from David Cronenberg's films Scanners and The Fly.

"I'm a huge David Cronenberg fan, " he elaborates, "and I always viewed Fantastic Four and the kind of weirdness that happens to these characters and how they’re transformed to really fall in line more with a Cronenberg-ian science fiction tale of something horrible happening to your body and [it] transforming out of control. {...} maybe the biggest influence for me in terms of an overall view and communicating tool to the various department was Scanners or The Fly. {...} I think a real misconception people have comes from the adjectives. Fantastic means the tone needs to be fantastical, and we’re talking about fantastical things, but it doesn’t mean 'pop.' People need to refresh their understanding of the English language because “fantastical” means The Fly. "

Mind you, David Cronenberg isn't a fan of superhero movies himself: "A superhero movie, by definition, you know, it's comic book. It's for kids. It's adolescent in its core. That has always been its appeal."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:17 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


As usual, 25% women lead characters.

25% is higher than normal.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:19 AM on January 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


I guess that The Fly is pretty close to being a superhero (or super-villain) origin story. Never thought of it that way.
posted by octothorpe at 7:21 AM on January 27, 2015


Crap might flow elsewhere and I fear for the future of the movies that actually matter to me.

Don't they have a new Daredevil movie in the pipeline? Those are usually good for keeping that flowing away from the ones we care about.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:25 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


As usual, 25% women lead characters.

On the plus side, there's a 100% increase in black characters!

Yeah, that's the frustrating aspect of this renaissance of comic book movies. They're all based on characters and situations from the 40s-60s, when things were obviously less advantageous to women and minorities.

Marvel and DC have been trying to change, but it's a maddeningly slow process. Sometimes it seem as though it would be better to start from scratch and build new teams for today's audience. I'd love to see a version of Warren Ellis's The Authority on the big screen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 AM on January 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


There have been all sorts of rumors about how bad the script and production is for this movie. (The script rumors thankfully appear to be untrue). But as of today they're still doing reshoots of a feature that was supposed to have wrapped a year ago.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:26 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the Roger Corman Fantastic Four isn't a real FF movie, then the Tim Story ones aren't either.

Corman's movie was made solely to retain the rights to the franchise and hold up a bigger studio for more money. It doesn't count.
posted by Etrigan at 7:29 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Chronicle was great. Trailers are deceiving. Therefore, the best evidence is that this could be good.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:30 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Corman's movie was made solely to retain the rights to the franchise and hold up a bigger studio for more money. It counts.
posted by themanwho at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


The cast is too young. They look like kids.
posted by cazoo at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


After finishing the giant omnibus of Planetary recently, I so want to see that made into a film. Or a really good series.
posted by Kitteh at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


But as of today they're still doing reshoots of a feature that was supposed to have wrapped a year ago.

Which means nothing. Reshoots are pretty common and at least sound they're trying to fix the production. Hell, World War Z has a trouble shooting schedule and extensive reshoots and I thought that turned out really well. Yeah, a lot of people disagree.

Don't they have a new Daredevil movie in the pipeline?

No, it's a DareDevil mini-series on Netflix, set to drop on April 10th on this year. It's part of Marvel Studios expansion into tv, so I'm optimistic that it won't suck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am looking forward to the DD Netflix series, as well as Jessica Jones (they announced David Tennant to be in it as a villain!!).
posted by Kitteh at 7:35 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


If the Corman doesn't count, then neither does Van Morrison's New York Sessions 67, and i REFUSE to live in that world
posted by Greg Nog at 7:37 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


It looks like a serious and dramatic take on the genre and there's no reason that can't work.

So said the producers of Man of Steel.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:38 AM on January 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


After Whiplash and The Spectacular Now I'd pretty much pay to watch Miles Teller flip a yoyo for 90 minutes. That kids got charisma in spades and pretty decent range.
posted by echocollate at 7:38 AM on January 27, 2015


they announced David Tennant to be in it as a villain!!

And he's playing a character named ZEBEDIAH KILLGRAVE.
posted by Iridic at 7:41 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


It looks like a serious and dramatic take on the genre

...but darker!


CPB: I came in to ask if that was the same field a young Kirk drives through in the 23rd century.
posted by biffa at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funny, I don't remember Reed and Sue Richards, accomplished super-scientists, being CW-oveflow twenty-somethings.
posted by Willie0248 at 7:44 AM on January 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yes, when I think Fantastic Four, I think dark, gritty, and serious.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:45 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's Wallace and the kid from Whiplash!
posted by ChuraChura at 7:48 AM on January 27, 2015


Fantastic means the tone needs to be fantastical, and we’re talking about fantastical things, but it doesn’t mean 'pop.' People need to refresh their understanding of the English language because “fantastical” means The Fly. "

Great! Another reboot where my unrelated vision about a different genre trumps decades of popular understanding of the franchise! Be sure and grab some free lens flare with that Cronenbergian corn field!

Really, though, I think that FF which is, at its heart, as much about the interplay between the people as about the world-threatening calamity just may not be compatible with the requirements of a year 201x blockbuster where the plot is just a carrier for the FX.
posted by tyllwin at 7:49 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's going to have a score by Philip Glass?

"Mr. Fantastic On the Beach."

"Sheesh, Reed, you wanna turn off the tunes? They're hammerin' my head like a pile driver."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:50 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


There have been all sorts of rumors about how bad the script and production is for this movie. (The script rumors thankfully appear to be untrue).

You mean that their Doctor Doom isn't an anti-social programmer named Victor Domashev whose screen name on blogging sites is ... "Doom"?

Funny, I don't remember Reed and Sue Richards, accomplished super-scientists, being CW-oveflow twenty-somethings.

That's because the screenwriter imagines them to be, quote, "older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world", and that the film is, quote again, "a coming of age story."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2015


That was intriguing. It looks like a serious and dramatic take on the genre and there's no reason that can't work.

Yeah, I don't know. The FF shouldn't be silly, but their best stories (as I remember it; I haven't looked at an issue in maybe 20 years) had a sort of gleefully-serious take on really absurd premises -- giant guys in huge purple helmets eating planets! Bat-winged overloads from crazy star-filled Other Dimensions! Armored Monarchs of small Balkan countries where men are men and wear laderhosen while firing blocky ray guns! I think the trick for a good FF movie would be to take one of the more absurd plots and villains and do a completely poker-faced version of it with lots of sciencebabble monologues interrupted by Ben or Johnny say "Oh, come on, Reed!" (or just blasting the villain if he/she/it is doing the babbling).

A serious take on an absurd universe would be much better than a deeply serious movie.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:56 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


The visual language, particualarly the "space" suits, reminds me more of the four from (semi-spoiler) Planetary than from silver age or later official versions of the Four.

Wonder if the villains will be anarchists in white suits?
posted by bonehead at 7:58 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


That trailer has such an Interstellar vibe, I half-expected Michael Caine to show up and start talking about the universe or something.

But on the other hand, Michael B. Jordan. I am already there.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:00 AM on January 27, 2015


Some images here, for example. It's the use of high contrast, I think that doing it, as well as some of the costume design.
posted by bonehead at 8:02 AM on January 27, 2015


I have to admit between Planetary and the Venture Bros. and just, like, y'know, their origin story, it's really hard for me not to think of Reed Richards as a supervillain these days.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 8:03 AM on January 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


> "After finishing the giant omnibus of Planetary recently, I so want to see that made into a film."

I wouldn't mind seeing a Fantastic Four movie about Randall Dowling, Kim Süskind, William Leather, and Jacob Greene.
posted by kyrademon at 8:04 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I so want to see [Planetary] made into a film.

Right after Global Frequency wraps up. I hear Whedon is busy these days anyway.
posted by bonehead at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2015


I wouldn't mind seeing a Fantastic Four movie about Randall Dowling, Kim Süskind, William Leather, and Jacob Greene.

Especially if you started them off as typical heroes and then halfway through got the audience to say "these people are horrible!"
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


JAKITA WAGNER FTW
posted by Kitteh at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I hear Whedon is busy these days anyway.

I actually would not want Whedon to make a Planetary film.
posted by Kitteh at 8:07 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looks better than the last two. But so far Marvel Studios is the only studio making comic book movies that isn't blanding up their characters and concepts because they're too embarrassed of the deep silver age streak in them, so though this might be pretty good, I don't have high hopes that this will be anything like the Fantastic Four movie I want.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:11 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Regular F4 movie, right up to the point they talk to Galacticus, at which point they speak to him off-camera (as they did in the original). World saved (for later).

The sequel starts with Snow in a diner 30 years later.
posted by bonehead at 8:11 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fantastic Four movies will continue to flop until they include some motherfuckin' Kirby dots, for the love of Lumpkin.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:12 AM on January 27, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ug, another superhero origin story. When will hollywood learn that that's just about the least interesting story to tell? And any FF origin story that doesn't include a rocket is going to be crap. And yes, I know, negative zone and whatnot. I mean, an origin that doesn't have the four of them going off alone... ok, ok, what I mean is this movie is going to be crap.

Also, Roger Corman totally counts.

(And a Global Frequency movie would only be great if they are all members of a rock and roll band.)
posted by Catblack at 8:12 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is NOT a Marvel Studios movie, folks. Marvel still does not have the rights to FF, this is not part of the MCU, so it can't be the crap-sink (because they have zero control over it), nor will it be connected to any of the Iron Man, Captain America, Avengers, Thor, Agents of SHIELD etc series.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:12 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Needs more weird.

I guess they're mostly adapting the Ultimate Universe version of the FF, where they're all reimagined as genius kids? Considering that Mark Millar wrote that and now he's Fox's movie guy? Oh well.

More superhero period pieces would be cool and I feel like Fantastic Four would be a good candidate for that. There have been endless awkward attempts to write around how sixties FF is, how Reed's main motivation was to beat the commies, no matter the cost. This trailer is another wad of ponderous music and people looking super serious about the glossy today. Looks competent, I guess? Those shots worked okay in the Chris Nolan films they're lifted from, sure, fine, clever logo, yes.

I'd rather see some midcentury super science with a rad soundtrack, but I know that some movies can only exist in my dreams. So I'll file an appropriately weird FF movie next to the Punisher v. Daredevil 70sploitation movie that should exist but never will.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:15 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


On the one hand, this trailer is garbage. On the other hand, it's so incredibly vague that I don't really come away from it knowing anything about the movie.

So FF could still be good. I mean, it won't. But it could.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:15 AM on January 27, 2015


It’s a strange world. Someone should keep it that way.
posted by bonehead at 8:21 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's Wallace and the kid from Whiplash!

Not Wallace. Johnny is played by Michael B. Jordan, who was in The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and Fruitvale Station.
posted by suelac at 8:22 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about a movie where the FF are dogs but nobody else is dogs and nobody comments on them being dogs. Like Ben Grimm is a bulldog and Reed is a dachshund? I'd watch that. A ton of people would watch that. It would probably be a bigger hit than this will be.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:26 AM on January 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


A ton of people would watch that.

Only if Doom is a howler monkey.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:29 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


And they could have a cross-over adventure Spider-Man; only in this universe, he's a pig...
posted by entropicamericana at 8:29 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


...only in this universe, he's a pig...

It's been done.
posted by marxchivist at 8:35 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


o rly?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:36 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


They should do the trial of Reed Richards
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:37 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Hey, remember how much everybody liked the Man Of Steel trailer? Can our trailer look exactly like that?"

This looks like a fair bet to be better than the previous attempts, but that's not saying much.

A really good FF movie would be weirder, campier, and at the same time completely serious about itself. In other words, more like Jack Kirby's best work, of which there is hundreds if not thousands of pages, so it's difficult not to be frustrated when they keep widely missing the mark. HE WROTE IT ALL DOWN FOR YOU, IT'S RIGHT FUCKING THERE.

Anyway, I've got my fingers crossed, but at this point if we get a Fantastic Four movie that's better than The Incredibles, I'll be amazed.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:39 AM on January 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


A ton of people would watch that. It would probably be a bigger hit than this will be.

Did you see the (fairly) recent version of Underdog? I think "a ton" is a bit of an overestimation.

OK, since it only takes 10-20 people to make ton, I am sure that more than a ton of people watched Underdog, but my point is still valid.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:41 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ultimate FF was better than Ultimates but it wasn't particularly great either. This has potential but at it's essence FF should be about 60s era futurism mixed with family drama. I would love to see an FF where they were initially powered up in the 60s version of the MCU and then went missing because they were trapped in time on doom's time machine.
posted by vuron at 8:43 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I'll file an appropriately weird FF movie next to the Punisher v. Daredevil 70sploitation movie that should exist but never will

There will never be a Daredevil as good as could've been with Bullitt-era Steve McQueen as Matt Murdock and Apocalypse Now-era Marlon Brando as the Kingpin.

George Clooney would make a passable Reed Richards.
Paul Bettany would make a good Reed Richards, were he not otherwise Marvel-ly engaged.
Edward Norton would not make a good Reed Richards.
posted by eclectist at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm actually surprised so many people in here think that this is a Marvel Studios movie. It's not, and Marvel wants this movie to flop. If it flops, it won't start off a new franchise, and Marvel/Disney will have a better chance of getting the FF rights back in the near future.

Marvel will probably do their best to underscore the fact that this is not a Marvel movie so that people won't get the brands and companies confused. They've already essentially taken the FF out of the comic book universe entirely. They're cancelling the FF series; artists are no longer allowed to use FF characters on any promotional materials; etc.
posted by painquale at 8:51 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


trial of Reed Richards

trial of Galactus whatever

man remember Lyja the Skrull whatever happened to her
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:52 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd rather see some midcentury super science with a rad soundtrack

Me too. My ideal FF movie would be all Milton Glaser-y, Bell Labs-meets-Mid-century-modern, with a soundtrack in the key of "The Shape Of Things To Come." It needn't even be a period piece, just a world built around those design elements.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:55 AM on January 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


The sequel starts with Snow in a diner 30 years later.

I'm sure I'm going to kick myself the minute somebody explains this, but could someone do so anyway? Thanks.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:56 AM on January 27, 2015


Paul Slade, it's how the comic Planetary starts.
posted by Kitteh at 8:59 AM on January 27, 2015


Marvel will probably do their best to underscore the fact that this is not a Marvel movie so that people won't get the brands and companies confused.

If this is true, they could start by removing their logo from the trailer.
posted by dogwalker at 9:03 AM on January 27, 2015


A movie about the First Family from Astro City would also be pretty neat.
posted by kyrademon at 9:08 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just as long as The Thing says 'It's clobberin' time!'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Love in the Time of Clobberin'
posted by jason_steakums at 9:17 AM on January 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


The trailer reminds me a lot of Ang Lee's Hulk.

I think the Cronenberg take on the team is probably going to bomb. It's not a new take. Presenting the FF as grostesque monstrosities has been done plenty of times in comics, usually in other titles (e.g. Planetary) or in What Ifs. The FF are an obvious target for that kind of parody. It's clear that their origin story is basically in the horror genre, so turning them grim and gritty and realistic is a straightforward thought experiment. But the reason they are successful is because they defeat the possibility of horror by being most comic-booky team of all. (Mark Waid made this an in-universe decision of Mr. Fantastic's, but even before then, it was intrinsic to the comic's success.) They are the team that invented the Marvel Universe, and the MU is built upon defeating personal disability and tragedy with heroism and humor. Spider-Man and the X-Men and the Hulk are the other obvious figures in this lineage, but the Fantastic Four were there first.

The Thing is not popular because he's a shambling monster---he's popular because he's a shambling monster who is also a lovable sad sack who chases after Johnny when Johnny gives him a hotfoot and who refers to himself as Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew and who shouts "It's Clobbering Time!" while punching robot emperor Draculas. You can't take the silver age comicbookiness away from them without turning them a lot more generic and uninteresting.
posted by painquale at 9:20 AM on January 27, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm going to be very disappointed if Viktor Von Doom is a genius metal skinned mutant again rather than a disfigured genius ruler of a microcountry in a super suit, like in the original stories.

'Cause then in the future we could have Dr. Doom vs Ironman!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 9:21 AM on January 27, 2015


So we're watching The Fantastic Four and everything's trucking along according to an accelerated Save The Cat timetable. We meet the Four, some heavy-handed thematic motifs are laid out, a couple obvious plot twists are set up, they gain their powers. In the middle of an expository scene, Reed suddenly frowns and seems about to say something-

And then the movie starts over. Complete with a few abbreviated previews.

It's something like the same story, but this time we're in a hyper-operatic Jack Kirby mode: everyone has a strangely angular head. Everyone is wearing some sort of space harness. Everything emits black dots of energy. Soon after the team receive their powers, a thought bubble appears over The Thing's head:

( ( SOMETHIN' FAMILIAR 'BOUT ALL THIS! DEJA VOO ALL OVER AGAIN! I'LL HAVE TO BRING THIS UP WITH STRETCH... ) )

But the universe reboots again before he can say anything. And reboots again. In quick succession, we see:

-the origins of a Dark Four with a megalomaniac Reed
-the "Fantastic Fur" from the Spider-Ham Universe
-a Sue Storm who encompasses the other team members as alternate personalities
-mindless freaks from a Skrull propaganda reel
-a Golden Years Four, who all qualify for the AARP

Original Flavor Doom is behind it all, of course. He's discovered that the cosmic energy surge which gave the Four their power was the byproduct of a Universal Phase Pulse, an inflection point between realities. By reaching through time and space to the bubble of causal narrative around the pulse, he can continuously reboot the cosmos until it assumes a configuration to his liking.

But Doom doesn't count on the Four slowly awakening to their situation, becoming the Meta-Four - consistent personalities across infinite incarnations. Once they hip to their predicament...well, you know what time it is.

Future films are all stand alone stories, with a new cast every time.
posted by Iridic at 9:21 AM on January 27, 2015 [21 favorites]


> "But Doom doesn't count on the Four slowly awakening to their situation, becoming the Meta-Four ..."

But what are the meta-four a metaphor for?
posted by kyrademon at 9:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have a hard time getting excited about a Fantastic Four production that Tommy Tune isn't involved with.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:33 AM on January 27, 2015


And then the movie starts over. Complete with a few abbreviated previews.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby present "If on a Winter's Night... An Enemy!"
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:43 AM on January 27, 2015 [15 favorites]


^ comment of the year 2015, all you other chumps can go home
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:44 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Certainly gives the Antman trailer a run for it's money in terms of being gloomy and unnformative.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on January 27, 2015


Yeah, yeesh, the tone on this thing is waaaaaay off. Way off.
posted by Ipsifendus at 9:57 AM on January 27, 2015


It needn't even be a period piece, just a world built around those design elements.

Works for Archer.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:58 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many Sue-Storm-naked-and-embarassed-in-public scenes this version will have ...
posted by alby at 10:05 AM on January 27, 2015


It's clear that their origin story is basically in the horror genre, so turning them grim and gritty and realistic is a straightforward thought experiment.

My wife and I watched Justice League: The New Frontier last night (I recommend it, as all the things people say they're looking for in here is in that!), and one of the extras was about the history of the Super Hero Team. In it, they talk about the Justice Society in the 40s, and then a brief no-mention mention of "Seduction of the Innocent", and then to the 60s, the DC reboots, and then who shows up? Stan Lee!

And he says, flat out, that the entire point of the Thing was just in case it fell flat, they'd have a "monster" character. Also that the publisher of Marvel at the time heard from the publisher at DC how well Justice League of America was selling while they played golf, and said "we need a team".

(then flash forwards a few years, where in Superman they did a FF pastiche which turned out horribly for the astronauts. Except for their leader, Hank Henshaw, who became a technopath, then a disembodied mind who possessed technology, and then he was the Cyborg Superman.)
posted by mephron at 10:07 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I got excited when there was talk of Cronenberg, but then I realized that I've never read any of the comics and this guy might be Abramsing the FF franchise. So to all you Fantastic Four fans, on behalf of all the grieving Star Trek fans -- I am truly sorry for the loss of the franchise to non-fans who don't get the point of the original work(s) of fiction that you came to love.
posted by Mooseli at 10:09 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


the film is, quote again, "a coming of age story."

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. >.< >.< >.< >.<
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:12 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mooseli, I think it's a bit less painful for FF fans than Star Trek fans who were disappointed in Abrams just because most FF fans pretty much never get their hopes up about getting a good movie.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:20 AM on January 27, 2015


I mean, for FF fans it's exceedingly rare that we even get good comics out of the franchise, though the few that are good are great.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:22 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I suspect we have to have a new one, because if the 2005 Johnny Storm and Captain America were ever to meet, it would get a little awkward.

I've had a lot of thoughts on the 2005 version over the years. It wasn't exactly a bad movie, but lord knows it also wasn't good. I didn't care whatsoever about Reed Richards character, it was the movie that finally convinced me once and for all, that as much as I liked Jessica Alba and many of the campy movies she had been involved in, she just isn't a very good actress.

So there it could be worth washing my hands of the franchise, right? But no, because on the other hand, you have Michael Chiklis rocking the Thing (ha, pun.) and Chris Evans completely killing the Johnny Storm character. His acting brought such glee to the role, while everyone else is moping around, that he becomes the complete star of the show, totally eclipsing every other character in the film.

So I wanted to hate it, and there is a lot there worth hating, but at least for Evans and Chiklis, I'll give the '05 version a pass.
posted by quin at 10:28 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]



Me too. My ideal FF movie would be all Milton Glaser-y, Bell Labs-meets-Mid-century-modern, with a soundtrack in the key of "The Shape Of Things To Come yt ." It needn't even be a period piece, just a world built around those design elements.


Yep. Take a page from the X-Men playbook and change up the setting - and this time go whole all in (First Class didn't really feel like it was set in the 60s TBH, the styling was very shallow) As mentioned - you don't have to set it actually in 1968 just extrapolate out the feel and look of it. Hit that mid-century sci-fi bell hard, borrow the best stuff from The Venture Brother's aesthetic with a score by Mel Henke, sets by Jonathan Adler, and costumes that look like these illustrations of superheros hanging out - large splashes of color and chic settings - Set the tone somewhere north of the UK spy-fi Avengers series mixed with direct comic homages like Down With Love. Don't be afraid to be Kirby-esque and oddball and sincere (it's one of the best traits of the MCU so far, it's relative lack of grimdark) and you'd have a property that's distinct from the DC movies and visually not likely to be confused for MCU movies.

I mean if you're making a FF movie you're not fighting with Batman, you're fighting The Incredibles.
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on January 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I have a soft spot for the 2005 version (not so much the Silver Surfer sequel) because it was a decent effort and again, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm was just perfect. (Many hearts were won that day when he skiied down the hill and needed nowt but a tiny pink jacket to cover his nethers.)
posted by Kitteh at 10:38 AM on January 27, 2015


I'm actually surprised so many people in here think that this is a Marvel Studios movie.

I'm not. The Fox logo barely flashes, and then we get four seconds of MARVEL.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:40 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


2005 FF film redeemed but briefly.
posted by Kitteh at 10:49 AM on January 27, 2015


After finishing the giant omnibus of Planetary recently, I so want to see that made into a film.

I've always thought that Planetary, with individual issues that covered the different genres of pulp fiction that build to an overarching plot, would make a fantastic tv show.

Funny, I don't remember Reed and Sue Richards, accomplished super-scientists, being CW-oveflow twenty-somethings.

Do you prefer a Reed that is twice Sue's age as he was in Stan and Jack's FF, or a Reed that was a grad student when pre-teen Sue fell in love with in as in John Byrne's FF.

Sue has always been youngish in their origin, it's Reed that has been getting progressively younger (and less creepy in his initial relationship with Sue) over the decades.
posted by thecjm at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the trailer the branding is very confusing. Marvel might now have the rights, but the Marvel Logo was extremely prominent.

It seems like they have pitched it far too Grim-dark, but I am prepared to wait until the final product is out and I can see it in it's entirety before I judge it too harshly.

I say this as a geek who never had any real affinity or particular love for the comics source material, so it's not my sacred geek cow that might be being turned into gawdawful generic-action hamburger
posted by Faintdreams at 12:05 PM on January 27, 2015


The IP address at the :45 second mark is an easter egg. (It appears to be slightly random as to which site it sends you to.)
posted by Catblack at 12:23 PM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


It seems like they have pitched it far too Grim-dark

Surely it would be better to go Grimmdark.
posted by Iridic at 12:29 PM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


The IP address at the :45 second mark is an easter egg. (It appears to be slightly random as to which site it sends you to.)

I got sent to Latveria!
posted by Kitteh at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the grim dark of the far future, there is only Thing.
posted by quin at 12:32 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


... that was indeed a dour and horrible trailer. It's a shame: the best Fantastic Four material is very optimistic and lighthearted, and there really are some good stories in there. (I thought their recent anime-ish cartoon adaptation was pretty fun, for instance.)

JAKITA WAGNER FTW

She is the best, and what I really want to see is her fighting Batman. I know the licensing is impossible, but if that's wrong, I don't wanna be right.
posted by mordax at 12:50 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


The cinematography, especially the scenes toward the end, look like the terrible CGI sets in the Green Lantern movie. It just looks incredibly bland.

One thing I loved about the Avengers is the vaguely rickety sets shot in what to me was intended to be a 'natural' look, ie. not color corrected and not overly saturated.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:53 PM on January 27, 2015


One thing I loved about the Avengers... was intended to be a 'natural' look, ie. not color corrected and not overly saturated.

The first Avengers movie was shot (partially) in Super 35, which is the medium that Whedon was used to working in from his 90s TV shows. Age of Ultron is all digital (according to IMDB), so I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up looking worse in this regard.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:02 PM on January 27, 2015


Me too. My ideal FF movie would be all Milton Glaser-y, Bell Labs-meets-Mid-century-modern, with a soundtrack in the key of "The Shape Of Things To Come yt ." It needn't even be a period piece, just a world built around those design elements.

A couple of people have expressed this wish, and I am only saying this out of a genuine interest to... fulfill?... this wish. But if you haven't seen it, there is a 1966 film called "Fantastic Voyage" that has the period aesthetic, because it is, of course, from the period. Super scientists get shrunk down and placed in a super sub to do super surgery inside a human body. It's a decent approximation of a 60s era FF comic and a surprisingly sharp flick viewed now. It does also have the period sexism, but that's in the comics, too.
posted by Slothrop at 1:14 PM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Plus Raquel Welch!
posted by briank at 1:23 PM on January 27, 2015


The first Avengers movie was shot (partially) in Super 35...

That makes a lot of sense.
I think that really grounded the movie and helped balance out the extreme space surfers and their flying wyverns.

I'm thinking particularly of the last shot in the trailer, which looks as bad to me as anything in the recent Star Wars movies. It looks really dated.

I liked the look of Man of Steel and think that Superman's powers work with that cinematic style. He just *is* fast and strong and you don't need chi energy or eye flames. Characters with stranger power sets benefit from a more heightened/colorful style where Kirby dots and flame proof pajamas make sense.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:27 PM on January 27, 2015


I mean, for FF fans it's exceedingly rare that we even get good comics out of the franchise

Okay, I gotta address something here.

The FF comics that are more-or-less universally considered to be the great runs are:

Lee/Kirby (102 regular issues)
John Byrne (63 regular issues)
Walt Simonson (20 regular issues)
Mark Waid (36 regular issues)
Jonathan Hickman (66 regular issues, counting the Future Foundation comics)

Not counting all of the annuals they did - and there were lots of those - that's 287 individual issues for a comic which, in its various runs, has gone for about 650 issues. That's almost 45% of the book that's widely considered to be excellent quality; lots and lots of superhero comics don't come anywhere near that mark. And I'm only talking about the runs that are widely agreed to be excellent superhero comics (and, in the case of Lee/Kirby, Waid and Hickman, arguaby some of the best superhero comics ever written). I didn't include the perfectly decent Roy Thomas run that came in between Lee/Kirby and Byrne; didn't touch Chris Claremont's surprisingly fun run of F4 comics in the early half of the naughts; no mention of Matt Fraction or James Robinson's recent runs on the title, which were both very fine; no discussion of Robert Aguirre-Sarcasa's excellent limited run where he bankrupted the 4 and made them get real jobs; not even touching Dwayne McDuffie's insanely fun work on the book when he temporarily replaced Reed and Sue with Black Panther and Storm, which was an inspired idea. Even Mark Millar's F4 comics are good.

With the exception of a few widely panned runs (Tom DeFalco and J. Michael Stryzcinski are the two big offenders), Fantastic Four has consistently been a Murderer's Row of good-to-holy-shit-it's-good superhero comics. Anybody who works in the medium wants to write it.
posted by mightygodking at 1:29 PM on January 27, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can't argue the list. It's odd, because I love most of the runs you've listed, I can't argue the numbers, yet I know I'm not alone in having the feeling that the FF comics get perpetually short shrift from Marvel and I'm not alone in having the strange perception that there's less going on for the FF in comics than there actually is at any given moment - it's a pretty common sentiment. And when you look at the numbers, it really doesn't make sense. So maybe it's botched handling of them in other titles contributing to the perception (hello Reed's Civil War characterization hot on the heels of Waid/Wieringo's phenomenal work), great runs getting cut shorter than they should have been, stuff like that.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:04 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not Wallace. Johnny is played by Michael B. Jordan, who was in The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and Fruitvale Station.

Johnny is played by Michael B. Jordan, who was Wallace in The Wire.

But yeah, he's a good actor!
posted by saul wright at 2:14 PM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]




I'm suitably impressed by this trailer. I was very nervous about all the stories coming out on this production, and they all could still bear fruit. But as a long-time fan (starting mid-70s) I'm seeing enough good things here that makes me hopeful. Every superhero movie has deviated from the "classic" versions, with good reason and generally with good results.

I don't get the love for a campy version of the F4, and those were the worst elements of the Tim Story movies. The F4 are a family of explorers, boldly voyaging into the unknown, with a sense of wonder and joy (and bickering).

I'm hoping this is the Batman trajectory. There was a 60s camp version that somehow becomes beloved (and is fine on its own), that gives way to a first-shot movie series that doesn't quite hit the right notes, followed by a reboot that grounds it in as much realism as possible while presenting a wholly fantastic world.

But I hope Doom isn't the main villain here, and they actually have Mole Man to start. Doom deserves better.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:34 PM on January 27, 2015


Bryan Singer likes it.
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on January 27, 2015


Johnny is played by Michael B. Jordan, who was Wallace in The Wire.

What about Johhny, String? WHAT ABOUT JOHNNY?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:11 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Marvel has been ruining the Fantastic Four comic for years now. It is coming to an end soon.

Since Fox has the movie rights to the Fantastic Four, Marvel has been sabotaging the FF comic in an attempt to sink the franchise. I think Marvel will reboot their FF comic and reboot their whole universe coming in March after that Secret Wars reboot.

So in the comic book world, Marvel is making big changes to their books and characters. Merging the Earth-616 and Ultimate Earth together. Killing off unpopular characters and rebooting the ones people like.

This new FF film means nothing to Marvel, and Fox was in a rush to keep the FF movie rights that they did a complete reboot of the story.

I think I'll wait until this film hits the DVD and Bluray market before I watch it, just to be safe. I don't want to waste $10 on a ticket and then $14 on a soda and popcorn only to be dissapointed that Fox totally goofed up on the FF, and in trying to cater to a younger market, made it a flop.
posted by Orion Blastar at 3:31 PM on January 27, 2015


Eh, they'll be back. And they've had several highly regarded runs in the time Fox has been doing the movies.

Marvel in 2016 *is* going to be heavy shaped by the movies though.
posted by Artw at 3:41 PM on January 27, 2015


Marvel routinely cancels and restarts its series. Fantastic Four is the foundation of their world. It's not going away for long.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:59 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I expected to hate this, and didn't, so I guess that's sort of a positive.

But it does seem a bit generic, even for a teaser trailer, and I still have many qualms about what the take on the characters seems to be. Reed shouldn't be callow, and I'm still having trouble with the idea of Sue and Johnny being step-siblings.

If you want to cast Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch, why not also cast a black actress as Sue Storm? I don't have any suggestions off the top of my head, but surely there's someone out there comparable in talent, cost, etc. to Kate Mara (who I like!) and who more closely resembles Jordan that could have done the role.

That would have kept Johnny and Sue looking like brother and sister, as they should; avoided the need to mess with their back story; and, if they wanted to go that way, also added a potentially interesting contemporary layer to this version of the FF. (Seems like a good script writer could do something with the idea of a black woman who's a very powerful superhero, yet also literally invisible. Paging the estate of Ralph Ellison...)

Tonally, I wish the reboot of the FF were going to be more like the new TV version of the Flash (also a foundational character of the Silver Age, with all the good and bad that entails). They've kept intact most of the important stuff - costume, powers, secret identity, general origin story, and some of the Rogues Gallery - while updating other elements as necessary, and so far have pretty well avoided the cliches of grim/dark/gritty. It's not a "great" show necessarily, but it's fun and entertaining, and I think a similar re-imagining of the FF would be interesting.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 4:30 PM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Reed shouldn't be callow, and I'm still having trouble with the idea of Sue and Johnny being step-siblings.

Staying true to the source material literally doesn't matter a whit to Hollywood audiences. They could make a Fantastic Four movie starring Tyrion Lannister, Ripley from Aliens, Han Solo and Lana from Archer. Not the actors, the literal characters. With a half way decent script and director, it would the hit of the summer.

Hell, I'd watch it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 PM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


For fans of the Lee/Kirby comics, or just those curious about them there's a new podcast from Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillan: The Baxter Building

They're reading it in order, so it of course starts with a flare gun being fired that launches the words THE FANTASTIC FOUR into the sky. If the movie does not have that, and THE FANTASTIC FOUR must be written in full, then it is automatically crap and a faliure.
posted by Artw at 6:16 PM on January 27, 2015


Staying true to the source material literally doesn't matter a whit to Hollywood audiences.

Thanks for pointing this out, since no one here has ever seen a Hollywood movie before, much less one based on adapted source material! Without you explaining it to us, we would have had no idea what to think!

Plus, now we can just table any future discussions of Hollywood adaptations before they even start, which will be a real time saver.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:21 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not having Mole Man played by Patton Oswalt is the real crime here.
posted by Catblack at 10:41 PM on January 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


I dunno, I think I'm voting "Hot Mess" and gonna pass on this one, & I'm full-on Marvel over DC. But I just never really got it up for the FF, even with the old-school Ben Grimm talking like he drank from the bottle of "Distilled Mid-20th-Century NYC".

And this trailer didn't have a "Here's a raccoon w/ a machine gun!" moment like GotG, or any RDJ like in Avengers.

Maybe FF is Marvel's Superman Movie franchise: "Pick it up, dust it off, & send it back in! We can make it work this time! *BAM* *FACEPLANT* Fuck! That's OK, next time will be even BETTER!"

Dr. Doom is a computer geek. Next up, Galactus is just a bit nibbly, not really eat-whole-planet famished. It's the new Antares diet, very slimming, tamps down the cosmic appetite.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:23 AM on January 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Paul Slade, it's how the comic Planetary starts.

Thank you. I haven't read Planetary - but this thread's getting me thinking maybe I should.
posted by Paul Slade at 8:54 AM on January 28, 2015


It's the new Antares diet, very slimming, tamps down the cosmic appetite.

Galactus's version of paleo is only eating planets with paleolithic levels of technology. Once they are working metal, well, whose body evolved to do that?
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:04 AM on January 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


They could make a Fantastic Four movie starring Tyrion Lannister, Ripley from Aliens, Han Solo and Lana from Archer. Not the actors, the literal characters.

Shut up and take my money!
posted by quin at 4:39 PM on January 28, 2015


If you want to cast Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch, why not also cast a black actress as Sue Storm? I don't have any suggestions off the top of my head, but surely there's someone out there comparable in talent, cost, etc. to Kate Mara (who I like!) and who more closely resembles Jordan that could have done the role.

There was actually just a post on tumblr the other day about a sort of wish-list for dark-skinned actresses whom people could see playing Storm (the Ororo Storm, in this case, not the Sue Storm)
posted by Greg Nog at 5:28 PM on January 28, 2015


Without you explaining it to us, we would have had no idea what to think!

Ok, if you'd prefer to fret about Johnny and Storm being step-siblings instead of siblings, feel free!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 PM on January 28, 2015


Thank you. I haven't read Planetary - but this thread's getting me thinking maybe I should.

YOU SHOULD GO WITH THIS FEELING
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:18 AM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Netflix released a trailer for Daredevil.
posted by Tenuki at 12:26 PM on February 4, 2015


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