Of all the Marvel Comics properties, Fantastic Four seems to be the easiest to explain on paper (close-knit super-powered family has adventures in SCIENCE) but, oddly, the most difficult to translate onto film. Fortunately for fans of Marvel’s first family, the upcoming reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise is in the hands of director Josh Trank (Chronicle) and producer Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class).
With talent already behind the camera, Fantastic Four just needs a solid script in order to differentiate itself from its less-successful predecessors. The journey toward that goal has recently been bolstered from a somewhat unexpected source – Seth Grahame-Smith, writer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Seth Grahame-Smith has been brought in to polish the current script for Trank’s Fantastic Four. Previous contributors to the script have included Zack Stentz (Thor), Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class), Jeremy Slater, and director Trank himself.
Like Trank, Seth Grahame-Smith is a comparatively young but up-and-coming creative talent. He vaulted onto the cultural stage in 2009 with the novel/act of creative vandalism Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The combination of undead ninja action scenes and Jane Austen Victoriana spawned a slew of imitators (for example, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) and allowed Grahame-Smith to pursue more free-form exercises in cheeky historical adventure. He has since published Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the Nativity-as-crime-caper Unholy Night.
It’s unknown what in the existing screenplay Grahame-Smith has been hired to alter. Given his reputation for black humor and tongue-in-cheek pastiche, Grahame-Smith may be adding a bit of levity to the script – or, perhaps, balancing out existing humor with darker elements. Given that both sides of the continuum are ever-present in the universe of Fantastic Four, it could go either way.
For all his geek bona fides, Grahame-Smith may be a controversial choice to tweak the script for a property as venerable as Fantastic Four. After all, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter didn’t exactly light the world on fire. Also, his sole other feature film credit is for the screenplay for the cheesy-yet-tepid Dark Shadows.
It would take one heck of a disaster to create a Fantastic Four film worse than those already produced (this includes both the two by Twentieth Century Fox and the infamous unreleased Roger Corman debacle). Though Seth Grahame-Smith has some dubious entries on his resume, he has proven himself as a writer of comedic adventure. Hopefully, his contributions will streamline and enliven Fantastic Four rather than hinder it.
Fantastic Four is expected to hit theaters in 2015.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter