When the trailer for Fox's forthcoming Fantastic Four dropped earlier this year, it wasn't met with the same level of enthusiasm as your typical superhero movie trailer. Not to say it was poorly received, but for a film that many remain uncertain of, a trailer that was heavy on dramatic realism and light on the superheroics didn't win itself many new fans.
Yet, while the antics of the early 2000s Fantastic Four may have made for more exciting trailer material, most agree those films were a little too campy and ridiculous for their own good. Fox's Fantastic Four reboot is drawing more of its inspiration from Marvel's Ultimate universe and it features a decidedly more grounded and realistic approach to the super-powered foursome.
However, according to director Josh Trank, a more grounded Fantastic Four was only a starting point for this reboot. Recently, Trank discussed the film's tone with Empire, likening it to a "dark Amblin movie," with writer/producer Simon Kinberg adding, "There was an Amblin-style approach to the characterization, and to contextualizing everything in a real world."
For the unaware, Amblin refers to Steven Spielberg's production company of the same name and their films typically put an emphasis on grounding the fantastical in the real world (E.T., Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, etc.). Following that lead, Trank and Kinberg's comments likely indicate that this Fantastic Four will be downplaying the sillier side of superheroes as much as possible.
Trank goes on to say:
"There's the opportunity to make something that is challenging and tragic and dramatic. The opportunity is right there in the material. We'd rather steer it in that direction as opposed to just embracing a tone that comes right off the page."
Again, these comments only further confirm Trank's Fantastic Four will be taking liberties with its source material, and there's no doubt some fans won't appreciate Trank steering FF into a different direction. But we won't be able to judge whether or not the Fantastic Four benefits from a darker, more serious tone until the movie actually debuts.
In the meantime, check out four new images of the team (also from Empire) below:
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There's absolutely nothing in these images to suggest we're looking at stills from one of this year's upcoming superhero films. Their costumes, if we can even refer to them as such, are as plain as can be - no logo, no insignia, not even a thematic through-line beyond each coming in a shade of tactical team black.
Then again, we've heard that the more "superhero-style" uniforms will make an appearance in the film, just nearer to the end.
What do you make of how serious this version of the Fantastic Four looks? Will removing the campier parts of superheroes also remove the fun? Sound off in the comments below!
Fantastic Four opens August 7, 2015.