When it comes to the X-Men and the mutant team's related heroes and villains, 20th Century Fox appears to be on the right track. But when the studio attempted to revive the Fantastic Four with director Josh Trank, Fox was unsuccessful - and that's putting it lightly.
2015's Fantastic Four received overwhelmingly negative reviews, performed terribly at the box office, and was further tainted by several reports of drama going on between the director and the studio, as well as between the director and the cast. Despite the movie being far from a hit, Fox claims it's going to stand by the franchise and stick to creating a sequel for 2017. Given all the controversy, the odds of Trank returning seem beyond unlikely, so who could the studio turn to if it creates a sequel? Well, one director says he wants a shot at it: Tommy Wiseau - director, writer, and star of the cult classic The Room.
While talking to Milwaukee Magazine about The Room and his other projects (Neighbors, Foreclosure), Wiseau mentioned he watched Trank's Fantastic Four. He said he did have a good time watching the movie, but he's disappointed Fox didn't reach out to him about the project. He did laugh after the comment, but he makes it clear he'd be open to directing a sequel.
"You know, I told you I saw this Fantastic Four... it just... I’m not being critical - let me put it this way: I like it, I did enjoy it number one. Number two, it’s too bad they didn’t call me, that’s all I want to say and I rest my case. (laughs) That’s all I can tell you. (laughs) Good response in Europe though, that’s my understanding, but it’s too bad they didn’t call me, that’s my point. Maybe if there’s a sequel, you know. You know, maybe your article gets me that job, who knows what will happen.
"You know what, I tell you what – I’m very open, I’ll give you [the writer of the Milwaukee article] my commission fee."
The odds of Wiseau directing Fantastic Four 2 - if Fox does truly move forward with it - are, of course, very slim. After disappointing fans and losing money with Trank's project, it's more than likely that Fox would want to focus on creating a movie that would not only win back support and earn money, but also be a project that could breathe new life into this franchise and justify it having a bigger future.
Wiseau's The Room is loved by many, but not because it's a legitimately good movie. It's one of those so-bad-it's-good kind of experiences. Some may say it's the champion of those kinds of movies, only challenged by films like Troll 2 and Miami Connection. Wiseau's movie is known for its awkward acting, unintentionally hilarious dialogue, and seemingly random scenes. Assuming his Fantastic Four 2 would be similar in style to The Room, would it be an 'improvement' over the Fantastic Four reboot?
Trank's film was bashed for the handling of its characters, for the story taking a downward spiral as it progresses, and for rushing into a very generic final battle. However, it at least started relatively strong, showed some potential, and concluded with the team finally becoming the Fantastic Four. Despite that, The Room still has a better score on Rotten Tomatoes, earning 35% versus Fantastic Four's 9%.
Even though Wiseau landing the sequel (again, if it happens) is slim, it is fun to think about how the project would turn out. How much time would Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, and Johnny Storm spend throwing around a football? Would Sue Storm cheat on Reed... with Ben? Would the Fantastic Four taunt Doctor Doom by calling him a chicken? Would Wiseau kick out Miles Teller, and then cast himself as Reed? How many times would Sue exclaim "I don't want to talk about it"? Maybe - just maybe - there will be a parallel universe lucky enough to have Wiseau's Fantastic Four 2 in theaters. But here, we'll just have to wait and see what Fox will choose to do next with the franchise.
Fantastic Four was released in theaters on August 7, 2015. Deadpool opens February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 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.