Chronicle director Josh Trank and X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg’s Fantastic Four movie reboot is but a few days away from reaching theaters, at the time of writing this. Hence, it won’t be long before we find out if 20th Century Fox’s attempt to re-launch Marvel’s famous superhero family on the big screen is a success, failure, or something in between.
Fox, in the meantime, is giving the F4 reboot one final marketing push, in order to drum up interest as much as possible. The latest bit of marketing for the film has been released in the form of a “sneak” (read: extended) preview that aired during America Ninja Warrior; in a bit of synergistic advertising for Fox’s Marvel movie brand, the preview also includes a plug for the forthcoming Deadpool trailer.
The Fantastic Four sneak preview runs down the storyline for the film, as was informed by the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic book run of the 2000s. The eponymous team in Trank’s reboot are thus younger than the same characters from the Fantastic Four films of the 2000s; nonetheless, the basic archetypes remain the same here. As the F4 Ninja Warrior sneak preview illustrates, Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is still a brilliant, if ungainly, scientific mind; Sue Storm (Kate Mara) is an accomplished (young) scientist and is the responsible big sister to talented, but anti-authoritative, brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan); and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) is Reed’s longtime friend and protector, who (like the others) gains unique abilities after making a trip to another dimension.
Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot appears to hit most of the expected plot beats expected for a modern superhero(es) origin narrative, though with more of a straight science-fiction genre approach than the semi-comical F4 live-action movie released in 2005. In many ways, that makes its all the funnier when Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) pops up near the end of the new F4 preview, to announce that his movie’s trailer (which goes online today) is going to be attached to Fantastic Four when it premieres in theaters this weekend.
Online reactions (not reviews) posted by people who’ve attended a pre-release screening for Fantastic Four have been by and large positive so far. However, as the film’s official reviews are embargoed until even closer to the movie’s theatrical debut, it’s hard to not be worried that Fox is trying to keep a lid on negative buzz from spreading, especially after all the fan controversy that has surrounded this comic book adaptation – and, in particular, the rumors of behind the scenes troubles on the project.
Still, when you ignore all that and judge the latest F4 preview footage solely as presented, the movie doesn’t (arguably) look like a disaster; at worst, Trank’s superhero franchise reboot appears to have a somewhat generic storyline, but with improved special effects and better performances than Fantastic Four live-action feature films past. Again, it won’t be long before the wait is over and Fox at last unveils this particular comic book adaptation in full, to be appraised by the general public.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015, followed by Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Source: 20th Century Fox