Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot shed its intentional shroud of mystery with the debut of the film’s first trailer a few months ago, revealing a dark, moody tone far removed from the goofy, oft-derided mid-2000s franchise. Rather than follow the previous films’ adherence to the characters’ origin stories, the new film from Chronicle director Josh Trank will roughly follow the Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline, finding our heroes mutated after traveling to a different dimension.
The Fantastic Four reboot has courted controversy among fans since its inception, from reshoot rumors to the careful updating of the characters to the prospect of the new FF series intersecting with Fox’s rejuvenated X-Men continuity at some point, but over the past couple of weeks, star Miles Teller has been talking up the film as much as he can.
Teller, who takes on the role of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, has insisted that despite the seemingly dead-serious tone, the reboot won’t be all doom and gloom and has hinted that we might even see the heroes’ traditional costumes in some form.
…we’re making it our own, we’re taking a lot from the ‘Ultimate Fantastic Four,’ but I think we’re humanizing these characters in a way that’s never been done.
While it’s not much of a revelation that this Fantastic Four will be (relatively speaking) more down-to-earth than the previous attempts, the notion of making relatable figures out of the suddenly-superpowered Reed Richards, Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) is a definite departure from the two-dimensional characters from the first two movies.
Teller provided some insight on the reboot’s sequel – known only as Fantastic Four 2 – and when asked specifically if he’d be the Mr. Fantastic readers know as the second film opens, he said:
I mean, the more superhero stuff you get to do, the cooler it is. We’ll see what happens, but yes, absolutely, as the thing evolves they should start to materialize to the Fantastic Four [that] people more readily associate with.
When asked if director Josh Trank will return to helm FF2, Teller’s answer was short and curt (“I don’t know”), but he gushed about X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who co-wrote Fantastic Four, saying:
I’m assuming [writer/producer Simon] Kinberg is going to be back because he is so good at creating those worlds. He’s invaluable to Fox. He’s really smart and seems to have a good handle on these worlds and what he was able to do with ‘X-Men’ and being able to re-energize that with the younger cast.
Are Teller’s comments on Kinberg’s “invaluable” nature a signal that the writer could be stepping into the director’s chair for Fantastic Four 2? With the sequel slated for a June, 2017 release (moving away from Star Wars: Episode VIII) and Josh Trank helming the second Star Wars standalone spinoff (and thus likely unavailable for the sequel), moving Kinberg in as director is a logical choice.
We know Fox has long-term plans for the rebooted Fantastic Four, and the trailer’s footage has us cautiously optimistic. Expect more details between now and the movie’s release.
Fantastic Four opens in U.S. theaters on August 7th, 2015, with Fantastic Four 2 to follow on June 9th, 2017.