In the latest entry of our ongoing series, Screen Rant's Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for Fox's 2005 Fantastic Four movie. Directed by Tim Story and starring future Captain America actor Chris Evans as Johnny Storm a.k.a. the Human Torch, 2005's Fantastic Four is the more successful of the two recent attempts to turn Marvel's first family into a movie franchise...Though that's not saying much.
In this origin story, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffud), Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) and Johnny Storm get exposed to cosmic radiation during a trip to space. Fortunately it's the fun kind of cosmic radiation, and they all get superpowers, transforming them into Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Thing and the Human Torch, respectively. Some of those powers are more fun than others, and Ben in particular struggles to cope after he transforms into a giant orange rock monster. Despite fighting among themselves at first, the Fantastic Four are ultimately united by a common enemy: Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon).
Fantastic Four was panned by critics upon its release, but it was enough of a success at the box office to earn a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, which arrived in 2007. As the landscape of superhero cinema split between the dark grittiness of the Dark Knight trilogy and the light-hearted and self-aware Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, it seemed there was no place for the shamelessly cheesy Fantastic Four, and that particular iteration of the team wasn't seen again. Fox did later attempt to reboot the Fantastic Four with a darker and gritter vision, but the 2015 Fantastic Four movie actually made the 2005 version look good.
Now that the initial sting of disappointment has long since passed, some fans have since revisited Fantastic Four with kinder eyes. While the movie can't ever really be called "good," it does have it merits - such as Chiklis' dedication to wearing a giant foam suit to play the Thing, which took five and a half hours to apply and which Chiklis described to the New York Times as a "physical and psychological nightmare." Evans is also irresistibly charismatic as Johnny Storm, and it's little wonder that he was later snapped up by Marvel Studios to be one of the flagship heroes of the MCU.
Of course, now the Fantastic Four themselves have been snapped up by Marvel Studios as well, courtesy of Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox and all its film properties. It's expected that Marvel will eventually reboot the Fantastic Four as part of the MCU - and perhaps the third time will be the charm for this unlucky family.