The 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four was not well received by fans. Holding a 10% Rotten Tomatoes critic rating and a mere 20% audience rating, it only managed a $56 million domestic box office and is largely considered a failure.
One of the big complaints that fans had with the film is the way that iconic character Doctor Doom was handled. Toby Kebbell, the actor who played the villain, recently commented on the audience reaction and other problems that contributed to the general dissatisfaction surrounding the movie.
Speaking with IGN during Blizzcon, Kebbell stated that he was disappointed in the film’s reception but added that “…the fans aren’t wrong. The fans want what they want to see and if they don’t get satisfaction, they let you know.” Kebbell went on to say that he felt that the film was going to go over well but that the fans obviously didn’t agree. He felt that the fans had every right to their opinion on the film, adding that “…their reaction is honest, I can only appreciate honesty.”
Fantastic Four is known to have had a very troubled production with a lot of finger-pointing after the fact regarding whose fault the film’s failure was. Kebbell referenced the conflict between director Josh Trank and studio 20th Century Fox. Though he didn’t refer to specific details, he did state that:
“I think it’s vitally important that if there’s a problem on set, that it’s voiced and we solve it there and I think that collaboration is very important. Not to say that didn’t happen on set, but the collaboration is vital and if we don’t do that, then we suffer.”
Though there is little love for Fantastic Four among fans, many consider the actors themselves to be largely blameless for the end result. The performances that Kebbell and costars Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell are often considered high-points in an otherwise terrible movie; a poor script, questionable direction and studio interference typically take most of the blame. Despite the poor reception, however, Fox still has the Fantastic Four sequel on its slate for a 2017 release even though many (including star Kate Mara) don’t believe it will actually hit theaters.
Of course, some fans likely believe that Kebbell is simply giving lip service to the larger fan community in his answers. It could be argued that complaints about how Doctor Doom was handled in the first two Fantastic Four movies would make it clear that the fans as a whole don’t want Doom to be a super-powered enemy with a straightforward plan to destroy the world. Assuming that Fantastic Four 2 does get made for a 2017 release, the studio will have to be careful about how it treats other iconic characters that make an appearance.
A sequel to Fantastic Four is currently slated for release on June 9, 2017.