‘Chronicle’ Director Confirmed to be Working on ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:48 pm,

fantastic four reboot josh trank Chronicle Director Confirmed to be Working on Fantastic Four Reboot

Shortly before Chronicle hit theaters earlier this year, rumors began circulating that the director of the superhero flick (with a found-footage twist), Josh Trank, was already in line to helm Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise.

Trank thereafter dismissed such speculation, stating that he’d not even met with studio heads about revamping the F4 property (at that time, anyway). When reports flew in a few weeks later, revealing that Trank had begun negotiations with Sony for him to direct the long-stalled Venom movie, it was widely assumed that the Spider-Man spinoff would instead mark the filmmaker’s first excursion into comic book movie territory.

However, while in attendance at the CinemaCon 2012, 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman revealed (via Collider) that Trank is indeed helping to dust off and re-polish the Fantastic Four film franchise – and may end up directing it after all.

“Josh Trank, who did ‘Chronicle, I think this has been reported, is gonna come on and work on a take or a vision, that he has for [‘Fantastic Four’], so we’re excited about that… I think there’s a possibility of [him directing]. I mean he’s gonna develop it now, and then it depends on the script.”

In addition to Venom, Trank has also been linked recently to the Soviet comic book adaptation Red Star. Similarly, there’s been speculation that he could end up directing a sequel to Chronicle after all, now that his collaborator Max Landis is set to pen the followup.

Basically, given Trank’s current status as a hot-in-demand filmmaker, it’s best to not assume he’ll direct any of these projects, before an official announcement is made.

Many would agree (a good chunk of the Screen Rant crew included) that Trank managed to successfully ground the archetypal superhero story elements and action proceedings in Chronicle – by balancing them out with captivating drama wrought with genuine human emotion and engaging character dynamics.

Based on that alone, Trank is a worthy candidate to try and recreate the relatable, dysfunctional family dynamic of the Fantastic Four squad from the original comics – an area where the previous film adaptations are generally criticized for having missed the mark. Hence, Trank’s involvement with the F4 reboot reads as encouraging.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of the Fantastic Four reboot – including, whether or not Trank ultimately decides to direct the film – as more information is released.

Source: Collider

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  1. Good to hear.

  2. Pray this time we get a Doom done right.

    • What was wrong with him the first time?

      • No Slavic accent, not nearly as evil as Doom in the comics, lackluster acting, etc….

  3. It didn’t seem like he was interested before so if he does it i hope his heart is in it.Maybe this can be out in Summer 2014.

  4. Hopefully this gets stalled and the rights revert back to Marvel.

  5. Cool cool cool. I really liked Chronicle so I am looking forward to this.

    I actually think that The Thing and Mr. Fantastic were perfectly cast. They do however need to recast The Human Torch and Invisible Woman.

    Yvonne Strahovsky should be invisible woman…because, well she is hot and blonde. That is my only excuse.

    • IMO recast the whole team.

  6. My cast for the reboot:

    Reed Richards – Thomas Gibson
    Susan Storm – Charlize Theron
    Johnny Storm – Shawn Ashmore
    Ben Grimm – Gerard Butler

    • Theron is too old at this point to be Sue Storm. Shawn Ashmore is a terrible actor. You hit the nail on the head with Gibson! He’d be a great Reed. As far as Grimm, I say cast Gerard Butler as Dr. Doom, and find someone bulkier for Grimm.

      • I doubt he was considering body type when he said Butler should be Grimm. he was probably thinking “CG and mo-cap,” and probably picked Butler in terms of personality.

        • Personality, yes, build, no.

          I heard that they are gonna make Thing out of CGI, so if thats true, then all they would use is his voice.

          • They could make the Thing come alive just like the Hulk in the Avengers. Take an actor, put him in a motion caption suit and he´d play the Thing himself.

      • Why is Theron too old to play Susan? Do you prefer a 20 year old chick like Alba? At least Theron is a decent actress and I´d actually buy that she´s a scientist. Can´t say the same about Alba.

        • Just figure Theron to be older than most depictions of Sue. Agree the actress should be talented, and not just some young, eye candy. Yvonne Strahovski would be good.

  7. Not to be a Debbie Downer but this sounds and feels like something that’s just being done to hold onto the rights for TF4.
    I’m not familiar with how the whole thing works so I could be wrong and I hope I am because I’d like to see TF4 get another shot.

  8. I hope they make a CGI thing this time, he should be huge.

    And hoping Doom is done right this time as well.

  9. I think that the Michael Chiklis was incredible as the Thing and i think that he could have done more with the character had the movie turned out differently. I also liked Mr. Fantastic but they tried to humanize him in the wrong ways by giving him relationship problems that were oh so boring and werent like the ones he had in the comics. I thought Chris Evans was okay but one of the problems was that he was way too old, i think they could have casted someone who at least looked a lot younger, I will say that he is awesome as Captain America. Jessica Alba i never cared for in wither of the movies, i honestly dont think shes that good of an actress she was defineately miss casted when it came the FF, she had a hot body thats really it. Victor VOn Doom was awful to me in both movies, i felt like it wasnt in the acotr’s range to make him as dark as he needed the character to be in order for it to bee good, he also wasnt creepy looking, he didnt have that good a costume, he didnt look scary, he had a lame voice, and they didnt dig deep enough into him meaning he was a black and white character like Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2 only with fewer lines. I havent seen Chronicle yet but it sounds like Trank would be a good selection i know what the general plot is for Chronicle and it sounds like he can make a great FF movie because he can make it realistic as hell and unbeliveably incredible at the same time and thats hard as hell to do. So overall this sounds like good news i just hope that they get it right for the time and I think Trank could do a great job with it so lets keep our fingers crossed.

    • I agree with you about Chiklis, he did an excellent job but there is only so much you can do with prosthetics. The only way to do the Thing right is through CGI so we have a Thing that actually looks 8′ tall and 6′ wide with hands the size of plates.

      I also think Ioan Gruffudd was a good Reed Richards. Always liked the actor ever since Horatio Hornblower. But yes, they really tried too hard to play up his love affair with Sue Storm.

      And Jessica Alba as Sue Storm was a huge mistake. Not that I have anything against her but I had a hard time believing that her and Chris Evans were even related much less brother and sister.

      Of all of them however I thought Evans was the absolute best match for the character. He was a spot on match for Johnny Storm. I don’t understand the comment that he was “too old” though, he was only 24 when he played in the first movie which was the perfect age imho.

      Julian McMahon was just a product of bad writing. They turned Doom into a weak villain that was nothing like the comics.

      • Shave McMahon’s head and he’d make a pretty decent Lex Luthor….

      • I’m not against CGI, but I think the Thing looked okay. Look at Hellboy. He’s a lot like the Thing, and he looks great.

        Also, the Thing is not 8′ tall. He’s always been about 6′. The same height as others. I don’t think they need to make him the size of the Hulk. He’s supposed to interact with the the others in day to day settings. One of the basic plots they always had was Reed trying to cure him and the Thing being occasionally depressed. I say keep him human-scale.

        Mole man to me would be the best villain for an FF movie. Not just because he was first, but just the potential.

        • Well, depending on the version and the comic, yes he is between 6′-8′ tall. The most important thing to capture, that the prosthetics couldn’t, was Thing’s sheer girth. He doesn’t conform to human proportions and why the Chiklis version looked puny in comparison.

          And Hellboy looked great for what he was but even the movie doesn’t conform to the comic. He is supposed to have a smallish lower body with feet ending in cloven hooves, so Satyr-esque. Not saying I had a problem with the movie version, just that there are inherent limitations. The two are nothing alike in general shape (other than Hellboy having a hug rock arm).

          The Thing would benefit greatly from being done with CGI.

          • The two ways that the movie hellboy is like the Thing are his basic personality and powers. He is a “freak” that is self-conscious and bitter, but he jokes and smokes cigars. And Ron Pearlman is obviously wearing prosthetics and make-up. He’s not THAT big of a man and he’s getting older. He was wearing a suit. And I have a different opinion of how big the Thing should be. Mostly he is drawn about 6′, although maybe in the last 10-15 years he’s taller. I’ve always seen him drawn different. Kirby drew him like a large man size. I like that the best. John Byrne drew him really wide. I liked the way it looked in the comics, but I don’t think it would work on screen. I really think he needs to be more normal proportioned. Making him 8′ tall and six feet wide would make it impossible for him to, for example, sit at the breakfast table with the “family,” or walk down a rainy street brooding about his condition, disguised in a hat and trench-coat. I think it’s essential for the Thing (and FF) to be able to do things like that. He can still be visually imposing and as strong as anyone wants.

            I like Ignur Rants suggestion that they combine costume and CGI. In fact, I think more of that should be done. I heard an interview with Douglas Trumbull. He is no Luddite when it comes to technology, but he made the point that the effect of real light on real objects is a lot better, a lot simpler, and a lot cheaper. Computers can then be used to re-composite,and add effects.

            • Not sure what personality and powers (or actors wearing prosthetics) have to do with what we were discussing which was the physical shape/size and being able to do it accurately according to the comics.

              And yes, I prefer The Thing being big which is the way he’s been drawn since the 80’s. (although I can do without the further mutation with the rocky spikes). You got your version with the last 2 FF movies so now it’s time for an upgrade and make him look capable of taking on Hulk.

              I’m also not understanding how a CGI enhanced anything is going to look correct or good. Just to get he scale correctly means doing full CGI to match the inhuman proportions.

        • IMO better prosthetics enhanced by CGI & camera ngkes is the way to go. Full on CGI will be incossitent and take a huge chunk if the budget unnecessarily. CGI fire and stretching is not cheap. Especially if you want it to Look good..

          • angles**

    • How was Chris Evans too old, he was like 25 when he did FF.

  10. While I knew there was something lurking in the wings, I was hoping beyond hope they would just let it go and allow Marvel to have the rights back.

    FOX has an apparent death grip on the X-Men so they should at least give this back instead on trying AGAIN to make another crappy version. Let the actual creators take a crack at doing it right since they have an excellent track record.

    The FF are an important group in the Marvel universe, so with the “big picture” view Marvel has been taking with the Avengers, its a real shame the FF can’t be a part of that.

    • what sucks is that Fox could really stick it to Marvel by Continuing to expand the characters they include in their movies. Almost anyone that has had any interaction with FF can be used, like the Skrulls… then Marvel would not be able to use them in a future Avangers movie.

      Marvel has toyed with the idea of making a solo Dr. Strange movie and a solo Namor the Sub-Mariner movie. I can totally see Fox squeezing in Namor in a FF movie.

      • There are actually limits to that. They don’t have the rights to anyone that ever interacted with the Fantastic Four. They DO have the rights to Doom, Skulls, SuperSkrull, Galactus, and a few other characters. That’s why the Avengers movie uses a different alien race from the Skrulls, because of the licensing. As far as I know, Namor belongs to the Avengers, thus is outside of FF licensing. Though he has been used in the Fantastic Four, he originally was a Defender with Captain America, and then an Avenger. There was a list somewhere here on SR with the rights laid out.

      • Here ya go…FF character rights: Doctor Doom/Victor von Doom, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Woman/Susan Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Dr. Reed Richards, The Thing/Ben Grimm, Nova/Frankie Raye, Alicia Masters, Willie Lumpkin. I don’t even know who Willie Lumpkin is, but that list doesn’t even include the Skrulls or SuperSkrull, who is basically a Skrull with all 4 FF members powers. So Fox couldn’t really stick it to Marvel beyond what they have the rights to.

        • Lumpkin was the postman in the early FF comic books.

    • These comments which make out that Fox snuck up behind Marvel and stole the rights to certain comic books amuse me. Marvel sold em, for quite a bit of cash as I recall. And now Fox should just give em back? Yes, Marvel is making excellent movies right now, And yes, I would love to see one or more of the FF in the next Avengers movie. But Fox bought the rights, and I say go for it. As far as I’m concerned, Fox gets more right than wrong when they make Marvel comic movies.

      If DC gets hold a writer who would do an excellent Wolverine solo series, should Marvel give over the rights to the character cause we might end up with a better comic book than we might otherwise have had?

      • I hope that first comment isn’t directed at me.

        As for giving them back……..well yes, they should. They HAD their shot and tried to make it work twice and failed imho. The first one was passable but the second was just terrible on so many levels (Glactus portrayed as a ball of gas…appalling) It is Marvel’s turn to take a crack at doing it correctly.

        I would also argue against Fox getting more right than Marvel Studios. Marvel is at 100% for making at least decent movies, with 5 out of 6 (now with The Avengers) being superior. On the flip Side we have Fox making turkeys like FF4:RotSS, XM3, XMFC (this is debatable based on canon), Elektra, Daredevil and Wolverine Origins. Seems to me Fox has less than a 50% decent rating when it comes to CBMs. I would bet on Marvel Studios ANY day of the week, month or year.

        • Mongoose the comment was probably, at most, sent “in your direction.” It’s not like you are the only person who thinks that way. Far from it. The most vocal fans are firmly in your camp.

          Eventually Disney will get the rights to all of these properties. It just won’t be soon enough to suit you. To explain, any franchise can only go along for so long before it dies a natural death. The plots get old, the stories too convoluted, the actors become too old or move on. And these aren’t like James Bond or Mission: Impossible where they take place in a more-or-less “real” world with real people. So it would be difficult for a SH franchise to reinvent itself mid stride with a new cast, etc. Obviously they can try rebooting. They may succeed sometimes, or find ways to disguise the reboot (like with Batman Begins or XMFC), but that simply won’t work all the time. They will have ups and downs, and eventually those “ups” won’t be good enough to compensate for the “downs.” They’ll probably go back to Marvel in this order: Dardevil, FF, X-men, and Spider-man. Give it about 25 to thirty years.

      • I agree with you. Marvel wouldn’t be the brand it is if others hadn’t bought the rights and done something. It’s messy, but that’s the way it is. They have no obligation to give the rights back. Personally I think I like the messiness. The Marvel movies have, for the most part, been very underwhelming. I am psyched about Avengers and it looks like it’s going to be fantastic, but I don’t attribute that to Marvel’s style or the combined Universe. It’s probably due to writing and directing more than any other factor. With the studios in possession of certain properties, they mostly have to come up with a winning formula for a series of movies. That’s motivation for one thing. And they might try interesting things. I’d rather see that for the most part.

  11. I agree with most of you guys, this seems like busy work just to try and hold on to the rights.

    And please no more Dr. Doom at least not in the first reboot which would problably be another orgin story.

  12. That is truly cool that josh tank is directing fantastic four and i hope that their will bring back dr doom ,namor,puppet master many other fantastic four vilain to the bigscreen .

  13. Anyone think that Mark Strong would be a good actor to portray Victor Von Doom?

    • Maybe, but isn’t he kind of overused as a villain?

  14. Oh boy…….. Dark. Check. Gritty. Check. Reboot. sigh, Check.

    With that, I am happy that they are going to do it over with Trank.
    Here’s to hoping…

  15. If I’m not mistaken, Alice Eve was once linked to play Sue Storm. I think she would do a good job.

  16. Why can’t anyone ever get any super hero movie right the FIRST time!!! I think we need to just have the great directors make all of the comic book films such as Christopher Nolan (Batman, Zack Snyder (Watchmen),….even Sam Raimi can make an above average comic book film. I think a Superman film would be awesome if it took place on another planet say with Superman fighting in maybe an alien arena with bright colors but also gory with realistic tones as well. Or a movie based on the epic Death of Superman comic with the huge battles between him and Doomsday! Also I think a Spawn movie can be very f**king cool if it was really dark, gory, and realistic. But it seems that director’s nowadays could even f**k up a wet dream :(

  17. I’d like to see where this goes, but I’m pretty sure they should just let the rights revert back to Marvel.

    • Of course they should, from a fan’s perspective. From a profit-based film studio’s perspective, they’re not going to let the rights lapse unless they sink too much money in and it doesn’t yield enough return profit.

      • I know, I know (I’ve given that speech before ;)), I’m just saying… I’m willing to see if Fox can make a proper FF movie, but if they can’t, then I’d prefer if Marvel took a shot at it.

        • It’s possible for Fox to actually make more money by selling the option back to Marvel (while requiring Marvel/Disney to sweeten the pot). So… moving the option back to Marvel could actually be a better business move. Just consider the coin that Paramount will get from their (non) involvement with the Avengers.

  18. I really enjoyed the first two movies, (apart from the the awful CGI in the cringe-worthy bachelor party scenes on the second movie) the only weak link as far as I am concerned was Jessica Alba.

    Agree with Dan Madden, Alice Eve would make an excellent Sue Storm.

  19. Good to hear – shame Chris Evans won’t be there as he’s now Capt America as he really was brilliant as the Torch.

    I wish Marvel could bring all their heroes under one roof – so they could appear in future films together like Avengers.

  20. Fox just hasn’t shown much passion about Fantastic Four, so this is rather dissapointing news. It would be nice of they’d consider letting Marvel buyout the remainder of the FF movie option (for a reasonable fee) instead of allowing their pre-paid option to languish during a period of time in which Marvel could actually have used it. Nothing against Trank nor Story’s prior options, but I’d likely boycott a Fox/produced FF movie for the first two weeks of release (in response to the manner in which Fox has treated FF fans).

    • How did they treat FF fans? I actually enjoyed the first two movies. I thought they could have done Doom a LOT better, as well as Galactus, but I didn’t think they were horrible…

      • My comments aren’t about Story’s two movies. They reference the long stretch of time that Fox essentially sat on this project (how many years was that?). The FF property means something to the fans… and you wouldn’t see the Harry Potter property being treated like this. In fairness, if Fox is concerned about getting their moneys worth, then they can sell their option back to Marvel. As of now, however, they simply seem to be hoarding a property that isn’t even a studio priority. After all this time, they don’t even have a script…

        • It’s business. It’s money. They have the law on their side and emotion doesn’t enter the picture. Nobody is really getting hurt. Spilled milk.

          I didn’t love the movies, but they were kind of funny in the way they were so “lightweight” and not shy about it. I think kids liked them.

          • From a business perspective, selling the option back to Marvel might make the most sense (believe it or not). If FF2 only made a $30better million profit, according to the rule of thumb, then selling the option back to Marvel, getting some dollars from Disney once the the movie is released, and replacing F’sFf2’s2 spot on their film slate could position them to make more money by selling than holding the option. Right now, however, they seem to be hoarding the option “just in case” they need it, instead of cashing it in while its value is potentially the highest for all parties involved.

            • “$30 million profit” and “FF2’s spot”

  21. Oh boy, here we go again….Fox just give it up.JEEZ! With the reviews Marvel Studios is getting with The Avengers, all of a sudden Fox just ups and starts wanting get all serious, ride the coat tails now and trying to move faster with FF and DD. Marvel/Disney need to get nasty and lock up any other characters associated with FF,DD,or X-Men that share the MCU also. Now that The Avengers is a bonafied hit with critics, fans, non-fans and making a lot of money, Marvel/Disney need to do whatever they can to lock down the game with ALL Marvel characters. Spiderman too, which isn’t looking like it’s going to do well according to their own Sony Execs(rumor has it,they don’t like it).

    • “Spiderman too, which isn’t looking like it’s going to do well according to their own Sony Execs(rumor has it,they don’t like it).”

      Oh? I hadn’t heard anything about this. Care to share some sort of source or did you just hear about it through the grapevine? NM…..+1 for being able to google just about anything.

      Well this will be an interesting ride to see how it turns out. Too bad we have to wait 2 months to find out the result ><

      • @Mongoose, did you see any articles about Sony execs not liking the results so far? There are a few sites that put that up. Keep in mind that it’s a rumor though.

        • Yeah like I said, I typed that and then thought about it, googled it and found information. 😉

  22. I`m probably one of few people here that likes FF 1,2 . I think is too early for a reboot just saying

  23. The Fantastic Four rights just need to go back to Marvel because id love to see the FF in the Marvel Movieverse along with the Avengers characters they have now. Because Dr. Doom would be the perfect villain for a future Avengers film.

    • agreed

    • yes, YES he would. Just not until Ultron has made it’s debut. 😉

  24. While I didn’t HATE The Fantastic Four films, they definitely could have been done better. Like others here, I wish Fox would let Marvel get the rights back so there can be an epic Fantastic Four film, but we know that is not going to happen. The best we can hope for is that Fox hires the right people to make the film. I have not seen Chronicle, so I can’t comment on Trank, but it seems the consensus is that he is a good director. I also like the idea of Alice Eve as Sue Storm. Jessica Alba was the wrong choice, as was McMahon as Dr. Doom. A reboot of this property is NOT the worst idea, unlike Sony rebooting Spidey.

  25. I say re-release the 1994 movie.

    • Yes. That would show us just how much some of these movie producers *really* think about comic book movies.

      Strangely, you wonder if it would’ve been more financially viable for Fox to have sold the rights back to Marvel in 2010. If they’d retain some potential payments from, say, distribution, it’s possible that they would’ve made more money (over time) than were they to self-produce it— after ignoring this project for something like 5 years.

  26. hey, folks, here is who we need for villains, and they would be absolutely fantastic (oops, did I say that?)! How about as villains The Frightful Four, as they would be a 4 on 4 matchup for the battle scenes, and could give the FF a run for their money! Medusa, Sandman, Trapster, and their leader The Wizard would be great! Dr. Doom is already done to death, so we need something different and worthy as opponants to the fantastic Four, and these villains would mirror-image that! My only question is, in a reboot would there be any problem with The Sandman, since a version of him was used in a Spiderman movie? or could they get around the character or any legal hassles by rebooting him (Sandman)? Do it, boys, do it! (And the last 2 movies were not that bad, but no more dancing superheroes, please..in ANY movie!).

  27. lets see Namor and the Inhumans this time around.

  28. Im hoping dr doom is in the reboot movie more and in his costume more unlike the first movie only in the last few minutes with the mask and classic costume

  29. Saw a rumor that in the avengers they will have a tease of glactus for avengers 2 I hope it was a true rumor

    • Not possible.

      • It is possible.
        Some of the characters have special contracts according to Feige.
        Like the Scarlet Which and Quicksliver… he said (i a video interview, that I watched – I’ll try to get the link and post it on the next OD) if Marvel Studios wanted to use them in an Avengers movie they could, and if Fox wants to use them in an X-Men movie, they could.

        He said there are a FEW characters like that, where special contracts were drawn up — maybe Galactus is one of those characters…

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if Longshot and Dazzler were also in that group. Based on some old rumors, one might expect Cable to also be in that mix… but I can’t see that happening.

        • It’s not possible because Galactus is under the FF contract. Feige said there were a very small FEW exceptions to the general rule, he pointed out 2 of them, I REALLY doubt Galactus isn’t clearly defined & listed in Sony’s FF contract.

          Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch…from the comics canon perspective, they’re both Avengers and X-Men related, because they just are…that’s where they appeared. But they’re allowed to be used by both Marvel Studios & Fox mostly because they’re minor characters in the larger scheme, so the studios were more willing to concede the point and shrug about it.

          Do you really think Galactus fits into the “meh, not really important to the FF story. We could let him be used by some other studio.” category? Not even remotely.

          My dream is that Marvel gets back more of their characters for film production…they need to get their core properties under their wing, but unfortunately Sony & Fox are holding onto FF and X-men like crazy. (The core properties are Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic 4, Spider-man)

          • Hey, I just said he MIGHT be one of the characters under these specific, special contracts, not that he IS.
            I’ve never seen any of these contract (and with no offense, I don’t think you have either) so when you said “Not possible”, I just wanted to point out that that might not be completely true, for all we know…
            You are probably right though: since Dr Doom doesn’t fall under those special terms (and he’s been in a lot more Avengers comics than Galactus), I can see how Galactus wouldn’t be one of the “select few” either.

            • I’d be real careful about pushing your lack of knowledge onto other people. Enough has been said via interviews and lectures on the legalese of media production that I’m able to use my brain and the information I’ve compiled to make a few deductions.

              Like it or not, different people have different life experiences, and I’m in a position to garner some interesting bits from the legal side of the media world. I think it’s a dangerous practice to think in terms of “here is what I know, therefore everyone else is at that same place.”

              • @Ken

                My sense is that Avenger is just recognizing that there are limited inferences that can be made without having access to a primary source of information (in this case, the film option contract). This has merit, as most rumors had the FF expiring relatively soon… if not 4 months back.