Last year, Fox got a much-needed lift in the superhero genre when its X-Men: Days of Future Past became a roaring critical and commercial success during the summer movie season, revitalizing one of the studio’s largest franchises and paving the way for bigger things in the followup, Apocalypse. However, it’s not all sunshine and roses for Fox, as the studio’s other Marvel comic book-based property appears to be struggling.
That would be a reference to the Fantastic Four reboot, which is scheduled to hit theaters this summer. Despite production wrapping up six months ago, we’ve yet to see anything official in terms of marketing materials, which has only made matters worse for a film that has generated one controversy after another thanks to the furor over casting decisions and narrative storylines (to name a few issues fans have raised).
Josh Trank’s relaunch of Marvel’s First Family on film received its first bit of good news in a while very recently, when Kingsman: The Secret Service director Matthew Vaughn praised the film and claimed fans of Trank’s previous endeavor, Chronicle, will thoroughly enjoy it. That’s all fine and good, but it won’t mean anything if the higher ups at Fox don’t like it – and that’s apparently the case.
Bleeding Cool, citing an unnamed senior executive at Fox, is reporting that Fantastic Four is “a mess” and the powers that be at the studio are currently concerned about the state of the project. Things are allegedly so bad that reshoots are being demanded, and sets are being re-built in Louisiana, where principal photography took place last year.
There are other, related, reports from Tiger Droppings and Daily Beast (hat tip Nerd Reactor) that members of the Fantastic Four reboot production crew were mistreated during filming, and that Trank caused so much damage to the film’s sets that Fox CEO & Chairman Jim Gianopulos was forced to fly out to Baton Rouge and apologize to the staff of the Celtic Media Center (where the sets had been assembled).
Now, given that these are rumors, it is important to take all of this information with a healthy dose of salt. While the allegations about Trank’s behavior are troubling, this is the first time we’re hearing of them; and the “mess” comment from the Fox executive could just be the opinion of one person (and his or her colleagues are fine with the movie). Furthermore, reshoots are part of the blockbuster process all the time and happen more frequently than not. When Avengers: Age of Ultron had some late last year, it didn’t cause anyone to fret. All this fuss could be a bunch of hearsay.
In fact, Badass Digest is claiming these rumors are just that, as the site reports that the Fantastic Four reshoots “have been planned for well over a month” and that Josh Trank is still onboard as the director. Moreover, the purpose for these reshoots is supposedly “to add some more action to what has shaken out to be a character-driven film.”
That said, this is the Fantastic Four reboot we’re talking about; and given its much-maligned road to the screen, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if at least part of these reports came true. It is rather odd that we have yet to see even a photo of the cast in costume, so perhaps Fox lacks the confidence to give the film its full backing? Is the studio holding off on revealing anything until it’s happy with the overall product?
This latest report won’t do anything to quell the fears comic fans have about this film; instead it will only add fuel to the fire. With such little time to go before its scheduled theatrical premiere, Fox will need to work overtime to reverse popular opinion and get moviegoers excited for another cinematic outing with the Fantastic Four. If the negative press keeps adding up like this, the reboot could be DOA before we knew what happened.
Fantastic Four is slated for release on August 7, 2015.
Header image from Spitfire666xXxXx @ DeviantArt