‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot Writer Describes Film As a Coming of Age Story

Published 1 year ago by

Fantastic Four origin story Fantastic Four Reboot Writer Describes Film As a Coming of Age Story

Continuing the current trend, 2015 will bring plenty of sequels, reboots and superhero movies occupying big box office slots, and Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four ticks two of those boxes. Starring an eclectic cast that includes Miles Teller (Footloose) as Reed Richards, Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ben Grimm, Kate Mara (Transcendence) as Sue Storm and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four reboot was penned by Sherlock Holmes screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who has another high-profile superhero movie out this year.

Kinberg was in attendance at WonderCon over the weekend to promote the imminent release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and described the nature of his Fantastic Four script and Trank’s intended approach as “grounded, gritty, [and] realistic” – being somewhere between Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Trank’s breakout hit Chronicle in terms of tone.

Now that all four cast members have been announced it’s clear that the Fantastic Four reboot will portray them as being much younger than they were in the last two movies. As in the Ultimate Fantastic Four universe, the origin story will take place when Reed, Ben, Sue and Johnny are all college-aged (which might be where the Spider-Man comparison comes from). Speaking to Den of Geek, Kinberg explained that the Fantastic Four aren’t quite finished growing up when the movie begins.

“We’re definitely telling a younger story that the original films did. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is. They’re older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story.”

fantastic four movie reboot cast 570x294 Fantastic Four Reboot Writer Describes Film As a Coming of Age Story

Kinberg also confirmed that filming on Fantastic Four is set to begin filming in Louisiana in two weeks, though he remained cagey when asked about specific plot details – such as how the team will end up obtaining their powers. With the Fantastic Four being so young the idea of them being sent out into space and bombarded with cosmic rays seems somewhat less plausible (even with plausibility adjusted for a comic book movie), and doesn’t quite fit with the idea of a grounded and realistic retelling.

Kinberg did drop one significant hint about their re-imagined origins:

“There is archetypal imagery of how they get their powers, for sure, and it does involve some sort of scientific travel.”

If not space travel, then perhaps inter-dimensional travel or teleportation? The latter seems more likely given the existing indications that the Fantastic Four reboot will draw on the Ultimate Universe for inspiration, since the Ultimate Fantastic Four acquire their powers after being caught in a malfunctioning teleportation experiment.


Fantastic Four is set for release on June 19, 2015.

Source: Den of Geek

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  1. Which sucks for people coming to the comments thread to actually discuss the film. It’s gonna flop because what? Jordan is Torch?
    I have a question: what are you excited for? DoFP? Or F4?
    I’m anticipating F4 all day!

  2. I agree with the whole stint on take it back in time, inter dimension travel is a hell of a lot more interesting than the original comics anyway. It makes sense and actually happens, unlike giant alien monsters flying into each other in outer space. Of course please don’t bring in Mila Jonovich, but we seriously need a dramatic story.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the campy vibe too. But I never wanted Fantastic Four to be campy. It is high time Fantastic Four be more like Ben Grimm, full of vigor and just enough realism to scare the living hell out of W. Paul Anderson. I hope they bring in Willem Dafoe. Go fantastic four, pound the living daylights out of the Super Skrull!!

    • Inter-dimensional travel happens? Where can I go to book my trip?

  3. Coming of age, alright…sounds pretty infantile to me!
    (“Rugrats: the Sequel”!).

  4. “Kinberg also confirmed that filming on Fantastic Four is set to begin filming in Louisiana in two weeks”, which means that one already has a script and said script has been approved. AND “There is archetypal imagery of how they get their powers, for sure, and it does involve some sort of scientific travel.” Hmmmmmm. Some sort of scientific travel? This does not sound very good. I see ruin, devastation and colossal loses for this film. Oh my.

  5. “I cant wait until Marvel gets the rights back”

    Yeah and you know what they would probably do….sit on it and probably not even think about FF for another decade if even.

    • No, they’d probably turn it into a Netflix show like they did with a couple other properties they got back from Fox/Sony. Then, if it was successful, they’d probably incorperate them into anything after phase 3 or possibly a little bit into Avengers 3.

      I would be somewhat surprised if Disney/Marvel didn’t reboot the entire cinematic universe when they reacquire the rights to the reamining properties.

    • If this movie tanks (and it has *fail* written all over it at this stage) Fox will have another 5+ years to sit on it (we don’t know what the contractual details are for the time period) before they have to either make another movie or let the rights revert back to Marvel.

      Even then Fox can simply make some junk, “direct to video” production to satisfy the terms of the contract (and Fox stated they will do just that). Only a couple billion tossed at Fox by marvel will get the FF rights back me thinks.

      • This movie has released very little information about it so far. It’s dubious to judge a movie on a trailer, as it is. (Because, really, a trailer tells you next to nothing about plot, development, pacing, etc.) To judge it on that one article from that one website, and the couple of casting choices, is like pursuing criminal charges on an unborn fetus.

  6. Route for this you a-holes.

    Route for this.

  7. Sounds like they’re going for the younger post-teen atmosphere with this reboot. Sorta like The Amazing Spider-Man.

    I’ll wait for it to hit Redbox or OnDemand. :-(

  8. Sigh. As a long time comic book fan, I’ve never seen a comic book movie go so much out of its way to make me not want to see it. There’s usually someone who pops up saying ‘aw, you’re going to see this film anyway’ but I don’t think I can watch it. I’ll reserve a slither of hope that the trailer might be good but it would have to be the best trailer in the history of cinema. I’ve no doubt the film will look good but I seriously don’t think I could see this film.
    After two mediocre films and now this, I find it incredible that they can’t make a brilliant Fantastic Four movie- everything needed for it is in the first 100 or so issues of the comic.

  9. On a side note is that Harry Potter in Mr Fantastic’s outfit?

  10. “..coming of age story”….I just threw up a little bit in my mouth…


  11. they lost most of us when they said “lets make the brother black and say hes adopted”

    • Only those of you who seem to have an inexplicable problem with it. None of you can ever seem articulate why it’s wrong, or how it hurts the story telling prospects.

      • It hurts the story by forcing a change to the dynamic between what are supposed to be siblings. Maybe you can explain how it helps the story, instead. Because that is the real issue: the change does not help the story at all. It is not story motivated, it is PC motivated. Changing the character’s race does not benefit the story in any way. That is what most people have a problem with. Add that to the double standard of character race swapping, and you still can’t understand why people might take issue?

        • There is no dynamic change. Your brother is your brother, your sister is your sister. If you’ve grown up together your whole life, being adopted doesn’t change that in the least. (Let’s just even ignore the whole genetics thing where sometimes siblings come out different colors.) If some don’t understand that, that’s their deficit, not the movie’s.

          To your other point, why does casting a black actor to play…any character, have to be politically motivated? Johnny Storm’s character isn’t white because of creative vision. He’s white because when the FF were created, no mainstream comic characters could have been anything else. Black superheroes didn’t exist in the 1960s, and we all know why. We don’t have those kind of restrictions now. So when casting actors to play him, what really good reason to do we have to say “we should ignore this entire pool of young actors because they’re the wrong color”? There’s a seldom a good reason to ever do that. That’s not PC. And there’s no double standard, unless you ignore even just the last 50 years of human history.

          • Actually your completely wrong about their being no Black Superheroes in the 60’s…Stan and Jack created The Black Panther in 1966 who in addition to not being a sidekick was the leader of an African Nation.Stan and Gene Colan created The Falcon in 1969 and lets not forget Gabe Jones,a Member of The Howling Commandos in 63 and Robbie Robertson in Amazing Spider=Man in 67. These were some very progressive fellows working at Marvel in my opinion.Next time I recommend checking your facts first or we will think your a spokesman for Fox News

      • Well, as good as the actors may be, they all seem wrong for the part. They may be fine for this, but then this doesn’t look like the Fantastic Four I’ve always thought of them as being. It’s easy to pick on Michael B Jordan as the central problem with this movie but he’s turning out to be the least of it, this nonsense about the film being ‘ground’ and ‘gritty’ is one of the issues I have with it. The FF live in a fantastical world where they go to places like the Negative Zone- what ‘grounds’ it is the relationship between the FF who have the recognisable relationship and character problems- the irresponsible youngster who has to grow up, the overlooked girlfriend who discovers she’s capable of a lot more, the science genius who finds more time his work than his girlfriend, the friend who despite his personality, is the outsider and becomes more alienated when they all get powers. It’s all there in Kirby and Lee’s classic comic. It doesn’t need to be Twilighted or Chronicled for the youngsters. It just needs someone with vision to bring these classic characters to life, we didn’t get that in the two previous films and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that here.

        • Don’t pay any attention to “grim and gritty”. Every decade, movie makers try to come up with a new buzzword for “we’re trying to make the movie good.” (Last decade the buzzwords were “synergy” and “edgy”.) In the context of Superhero movies, they’re additionally trying to convince you that it won’t be the movie cliche of a comic book movie. In other words, all they’re saying is they’ll try to make it realistic, as opposed to campy. (e.g. Batman and Robin) Concepts that were invented as part of a larger fantastical universe will totally lose impact if you don’t proved a reasonable explanation for them. That’s all “grounding” means. Whether they’ll do it effectively or not will remain to be seen in the final product.

          • Nothing so far convinces me that this is a film I’ll be seeing, which, as a comic book fan, is a shame. And I’m giving it more latitude than I would most films because I love the genre- I’m waiting for the trailer to see if it can wow me, but that would have to be some trailer.

      • It’s late and this is well worn turf; but, here goes:

        #1 Ben Grimm. Jamie Bell is a fine actor, but he is not Ben Grimm. Looks nothing like him, isn’t believable as him. I have nothing to say about the version of the Thing he will be playing in CGI. I will when the first images are released.
        #2 Miles Teller is a wooden actor. He does not come across as intelligent or in any way similar to Reed, except a vague resemblance. He looks like a mix between the Fonz and Reed. I kinda expect that portrayal.
        #3 Mike Jordan is not Johnny. He will be 6 inches taller and buffer than Ben Grimm/Bell, 3 inches taller than Teller and almost a foot taller than his sister Mara. He is a good actor who has been miscast.
        #4 Kate Mara might be a good invisible woman, but this movie looks bad so I have no hope for her.

        #5 The movie is loosely based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four. A version of the FF which has almost zero fans. It was canceled.
        #6 Chronicle was a dimly lit, found footage movie with telekinesis. That does not mean Trank has any idea how to make a quality FF movie with so many moving parts.
        #7 Fox has a history of botching comic movies unlike any other studio.

        Need more points? if so let me know.

  12. The news on this movie just gets worse and worse. Casting is horrible, origin is nothing like the comic.

  13. Here’s the thing: When you think you’ve got a hit on your hands, you release as much footage as you can, to build hype. We’ve seen this successful model *well* over a dozen times from Marvel, Sony, and DC, in their most-successful franchises. Even Fox loves releasing its hype content ASAP, look at DOFP and First Class.

    What you don’t do when you’re confident in your product is hide it away for as long as possible. That’s what you do when you know that people won’t respond positively to the materials.

    Frankly, Fox is doing everything it can to make this reboot look like a complete disaster. From combative and antagonistic PR to tossing out the old comic books to Trank thinking he has a better handle on what audiences want from a FF, it looks like Fox already knows this is a suck film and doesn’t want to throw good marketing money after a sh_tty product.