Issues The Upcoming Fantastic Four Film Needs To Avoid

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Issues The Upcoming Fantastic Four Film Needs To Avoid

Issues The Upcoming Fantastic Four Film Needs To Avoid

Marvel will attempt to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise again, but Jon Watts – the director of the latest Spiderman movies – will be handling directorial duties. Since 1994, companies have been trying to get Fantastic Four off the ground. The first live-action movie in 1994 was never officially released. Despite also getting negative reviews, Tim Story’s Fantastic Four in 2005 garnered a solid return of over $300 million worldwide; however, its sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer, failed to match that overall total. For a third time, Fox tried to reboot the franchise in 2015 and that turned out to be a total train wreck that barely made $170 million worldwide. So why is the Fantastic Four franchise such as hard property to figure out? None of the four films have gotten any good critical reception and it’s clear that the audience’s patience with the franchise is pretty thin. With Marvel backing the Fantastic Four this time around, there’s some hope we’ll finally get a good Fantastic Four movie. Jon Watts has done an amazing job with the Spiderman series thus far, so it helps that a director with strong credentials in the Marvel lore is backing this project. As I previously asked: Why is it so hard to figure out the Fantastic Four franchise? Let’s dig a bit deeper into that question and the issues that the upcoming film needs to avoid.

The Live-Action Characters Feel Like Cartoons Stuck In the Real World

This is arguably the biggest issue of the past three films. I can’t speak on the 1994 version as I’ve only seen snippets of the film. However, the last three have been bland exercises in storytelling because the films never truly embrace the four heroes who are the focal point of the franchise. Now, the Fantastic Four isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy weird, but Reed, Sue, Johnny, Ben more often than not feel like cartoon characters trying to fit into the real world. The Tim Story films tried for a campier approach, but the problem is that Story doesn’t truly take any risks in the storytelling department and that the world surrounding the Fantastic Four is mundane. Still, the campy and fun approach was the right call as Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four highlighted, the dark approach to the property just doesn’t work. The gritty and realistic world in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies worked so well because the DC hero was a dark and brooding guy with believable powers. Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben’s abilities are too silly to take a realistic approach with, and putting these characters in a muted and grounded world subdues the personalities of everyone introduced in the world. The Fantastic Four needs to be lively, colorful, campy, and bold. The film doesn’t have to go too over-the-top, but the world needs to match the personalities of the four heroes.

Avoid Having Doctor Doom As The First Villain

In the comics, Dr. Doom is one of the greatest villains in the Fantastic Four series, so it’s understandable why he’s been chosen as the first big bad of these films. Unfortunately, both Trank and Story’s version of the character fails to make a strong impact because he’s not written as a compelling character. The upcoming film doesn’t need to drop this character entirely. In fact, having Victor Von Doom in the first film would be great! Instead, the well-known villain should take a backseat and headline the second film (if it gets to that point). Doom’s name is unfortunately associated with the bad films thus far, which is why it’s better if the new FF goes with a different villain. It’ll feel like deja vu if Dr. Doom is the main bad guy for another origin Fantastic Four movie, whereas a new big bad gives the franchise an opportunity to recreate a fresher and more original story. In the meantime, Watts can build up the rivalry between Doom and Richards, with the explosion coming in the second or third installment. In fact, perhaps Dr. Doom could actually help out the Fantastic Four in the first film? The supervillain has been an anti-hero in some of the comics previously, and this would be a fresh approach to the live-action character. Of course, the end result would be for Doom to turn on the heroes eventually, but this route would actually do a better job of developing the character and keeping him relevant at the same time. Whatever approach Watts decides to take, Doom is an important character so it’s best to keep him in the universe, but having him take a backseat as the villain would be the smarter play.

Having Bad Scripts

This one is under the duh category, but Fantastic Four live-action films have yet to produce a good film. Even the unofficially released 94 version sits at 30% on rotten tomatoes. One of the core issues is that Tim Story and Josh Trank never truly understood the world, dynamic, and characters in Fantastic Four. Sure, they got the basics right, but none of those films felt like a Fantastic Four property. Whatever route Watts takes, this script has to be great. Fans will likely give this a chance because it’s under the Marvel name, which has a strong track record of great films. However, if the FF fails to deliver a strong film then this could end up killing the franchise for good. All the pieces are there for a great film, let’s hope that Watts will be able to solve the puzzle.

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