Both Fantastic Four movies had a multitude of issues – direction, story, most of the special FX, lighting, blah, blah, blah – but the one thing (pun intended) I enjoyed the most was Michael Chiklis’ performance as The Thing. It was too bad that he was covered in orange foam and makeup for most of both movies because he is, in my opinion, a fantastic actor.
Personal issues with the films aside, the biggest problem came in the form of the suit Chiklis wore to play The Thing. The suit in and of itself was actually a very good special FX job and it made for a great practical effect. That problem is that it stood out when compared to the other three CG-heavy super powers on screen.
Since there was no practical way to show a man stretching, a man on fire flying and a woman turning invisible those FX had to be done with CG. I can appreciate 20th Century Fox’s desire to make a practical effect but in this case I whole heartedly believe it was the wrong decision to make.
It would seem that the suits in charge of 20th Century Fox have heard the fans’ complaints because I have it from a source inside the Fox SFX department working on the Fantastic Four Reboot (officially titled Fantastic Four Reborn) that The Thing will officially be 100% CG.
This is excellent news because with all the advancements in CG technology, a properly done CG Thing will look absolutely fantastic! One of the major complaints about the 2nd Thing suit was the size ( I say 2nd because Roger Corman made the 1st suit in the 90s); Thing is supposed to be a big, hulking, rock monster type creature who is able to lift hundreds, if not thousands, of tons and dwarf everyone on his team in size. This just can’t be pulled off in a practical suit.
A few great examples of what a properly done, oversized person/beast/superhero done in CG look like would be Mr. Hyde from Van Helsing, Hulk from Ang Lee’s 2003 movie as well as the newer Hulk and Abomination from The Incredible Hulk. Now before you start bashing me that most of those films sucked, with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, they all represent what a properly done 100% CG large character can look like.
Another thing my source noted was that work on Fantastic Four Reborn has been put on the back burner until X-Men: First Class is in the can and shooting for that film doesn’t begin until September 21st, 2010. So it could be awhile before we see any images or graphics related to the Fantastic Four Reborn film.
On a personal side note – my proudest moment of Comic Con this year came when Michael Chiklis asked for me to take his picture with one of our Minimalist Superhero Posters that we were handing out at the Con.
What are your thoughts on a completely CG Thing clobberin’ up the screen?