The superhero film genre has been dominating the box offics for several years now. Marvel Comics character films have been a leading powerhouse in this recent movement, with the exception of the much lamented Fantastic Four reboot that launched this year.
Commentary and negative press about the controversial film were abundant over the summer, with everyone from the crew and director to Fox's creative consultant speaking their minds. Now, the co-writer and producer of the film, Simon Kinberg, is breaking his silence about how difficult Fantastic Four was and whether he'd work with director Josh Trank again.
THR spoke to Kinberg recently about his take on the reception that the Fantastic Four reboot got with critics and the level of difficulty that went into the movie.
"I haven't really done a full diagnosis. It was a hard movie to make, but I've made a lot of hard movies. I do think that there is a great Fantastic Four movie with that cast. But there's so many different elements that need to come together perfectly. It's like a collaboration between all these strangers. And if there's a few things that don't go right, it's hard to recover from. I went straight from that into Apocalypse. I haven't had a lot of time to decompress. I'm obviously disappointed with the way it turned out."
Kinberg went on to react to director Josh Trank's very public Tweeting about his version of the film being better than the one the studio released and whether that may have affected the box office:
"Honestly, I have no idea. I've had other movies not work before. For whatever reason, that movie not working became very public — and that was hard because you put a lot of time and effort and love into everything you do, and I really love a lot of people on that film and felt really close to the actors. Those are the guys whose faces are on the poster and are the most exposed. I hope we get to make more movies with them. But it was disappointing."
On whether he's work with Trank again, Kinberg replied simply:
"In the right context? Sure."
Fox's creative consultant Mark Millar recently expressed his disappointment that the elements of the F4 reboot didn't really come together, but was clear that he felt that director Josh Trank was "brilliant", but "sometimes things don't work out as planned." Millar had previously made only positive comments about the film in the press. In regard to the sequel that we all assume is up in the air, Millar inferred that Marvel is such a powerful brand that Fox may find a way to move forward and take a gamble on Fantastic Four 2, in spite of the box office and critical failure of the first film.
The reasons for the poor reception that the Fantastic Four reboot has received has been blamed on various sources. The director blames the studio and crew accounts describe Josh Trank as being the source of clashes and erratic behavior. Still, Fox does seem determined to take a chance on Fantastic Four 2. If they bring in a new director, perhaps they could build on the franchise and learn from the mistakes of the first film.
On the other hand, the Fantastic Four is certainly a time-honored Marvel superhero team that deserves its place in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an ideal world the rights would have already reverted to Disney and we could be seeing the characters crossover into films like Captain America: Civil War and The Avengers movies.
Fantastic Four is currently in theaters. Deadpool opens February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 (as far as we know) on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.