Soooo. . . is the plagued one Fantastic four movie part of Marvel’s Phase Four or not? Rumors and hypes about Marvel’s First Family have been circulating for so long that it’s really become difficult to figure out what’s really going on. And if you’re in doubt about the way things are going in MCU, there’s one person who is the ultimate authority: Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Unfortunately, Kevin Feige, the MCU’s hype-man extraordinaire, is unusually hesitant about the Fantastic Four and their place in upcoming Marvel plans. Suspiciously reserved, even. It is almost almost like he’s starting to regret dropping that Fantastic four announcement last year. Could it be that the project is already in trouble?
Look, we know that sounds paranoid. But we’ve been hurt by Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm before. Do we need to remind you how the Fantastic four have had some pretty bad luck with Marvel movie adaptations?
There are four feature film adaptations of the Fantastic four, and none of them would be considered a success by Marvel fans – although one satisfied bean counter is enough to get a sequel. It is significant that the consensus among Fantastic four connoisseurs is that the best Fantastic four movie is from Pixar The Incredibles, a film about a super-powered family clearly inspired by Marvel’s creations.
But before The Incredibles put all Fantastic four movies to shame, they had to be there Fantastic four movies to start with. And the first ever made didn’t even make it to the cinema. Roger Corman’s Infamous 1994 Fantastic four adaptation has gained notoriety in the bootleg market thanks to its low-budget rific charm, but most people agree it doesn’t do the Marvel characters justice.
History has been a little kinder to Tim Story’s Fantastic four movies from the mid 2000s. If nothing else, they include Chris Evans first foray into the Marvel Universe – this time playing the Human Torch. But the adaptation of Story (and its sequel) failed to capture the sense of awe inherent in the concept of a superfamily of scientists. The movies were silly, forgettable, light-hearted fluff.
Fast-forward to 2015, and the pendulum swung very hard the other way for the most recent Fantastic four adjustment. Josh Trank’s ill-advised take on Marvel’s main team of cosmic explorers was dark, miserable, and ultimately rather nonsensical. It killed everyone’s hopes for a “serious” Fantastic four film and caused Trank to take a five-year break from making movies. Yes, it was that bad.
So with all that fantastic history behind us, can you blame Marvel fans for being a little apprehensive about the future? Fantastic four vehicles? Sure, the MCU has an exceptionally good hit-to-miss ratio, but this is the Fantastic Four we’re talking about. If the new film follows the trend of its predecessors, it could turn out to be Marvel Studios’ first critical and box office failure.
But again, here’s what we know for sure: Jon Watts, the filmmaker behind the hugely successful recently Spider Man movies, has officially been tapped to bring the Fantastic Four to the big screen one more time. Feige made the announcement himself in December, and the internet loved it. But further details have been scarce since then – despite incessant online speculation about possible casting news.
When asked directly, Fantastic four casting statements, Kevin Feige actually told AND online: “I don’t think it’s fast. This [Black Widow] is our first red carpet event in two years. We’ll see what happens with upcoming gatherings and fan events where we can release more news. I hope someday in the near future.”
That’s a pitiful response, Mr. Feige. Especially when we have rumors of John Krasinski & Emily Blunt as Mr. Fantastic & The Invisible Woman. Of course we get it: we’ve literally listed a number of reasons why Marvel needs to be extremely careful when dealing with the Fantastic Four – and that means they may need to be more secretive than usual.
But it would be nice to know who at least is Dr. Doom is going to play.
Is the Fantastic four film your most anticipated Marvel project? What do you think of the previous one Fantastic four modifications? Let us know in the comments!