Twentieth Century Fox lost the film rights to Daredevil only a few months ago, yet even with the loss of that potential franchise, they have a Marvel film in production set for release in each of the next three years. Hugh Jackman returns next summer as the X-Men poster boy in The Wolverine, returning again the following year in X-Men: Days of Future Past. After that ambitious project which aims to tie together the entire X-franchise, Josh Trank (Chronicle) will debut the reboot to Fantastic Four.
With an official March 2015 release date set, Trank has been meeting with Mark Millar - Fox's newly hired Marvel creative consultant - to discuss the direction of Fantastic Four and undoubtedly, where it fits in to the bigger franchise plans going forward.
In chatting with SciFiNow, Mark Millar promises big things from Trank's take on the Fantastic Four.
"From what I've seen and from talking to him – he and I have had dinner a couple of times and we talk quite regularly as well – he’s contemporarising it. I think he’s just making it work for the screen – he’s a great storyteller.
"Chronicle, if you think about it, was similar to Fantastic Four in that it was a bunch of people who were transformed into something more than human – that turned out almost his calling card to come and do something like Fantastic Four.
"What I wasn't expecting actually was just how funny and likable he could make this as well as getting the more awesome moments on screen – I use awesome in the traditional British sense and not the California sense awesome, you know? The Ridley Scott moments, and the Fantastic Four really are jaw-dropping in the same way you feel when you saw Alien for the first time. There’s some moments in this – not to be specific – that are actually gonna be phenomenal on screen and stuff you haven’t seen in a superhero movie before."
Ridley Scott moments? With so many big budget superhero films coming each year, at least four from Marvel and DC alone per year over the next two-three years, every studio is marketing their post-Avengers investments as something moviegoers 'haven't seen in a superhero movie before.' In fact, we just heard the same from James Mangold's description of The Wolverine, a story he differentiates by describing it as "real story of an immortal character," something he's never seen before in his 10 years of following the genre.
In 2015, Fantastic Four will be up against The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man from Marvel and potentially Justice League from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, so it must strive to do something different. We loved Chronicle and how it offered a strong origin tale of unlikely superpowered teens, and we're excited to see that creativity applied to FF without the use of found footage style of filmmaking.
Millar's been similarly bolstering X-Men: Days of Future Past so we'll until we have something to actually see. What interests us is the idea that Trank and Millar are also likely talking bigger picture ideas, as we know Bryan Singer and Mark Millar are planning on broadening out Fox's own Marvel universe, beginning with potential X-Men/Fantastic Four crossovers, something Oscar-winning writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Wolverine) tried pitching to the studio in the past (with no response). Millar also wants Fox's films to respect and make sense within the continuity of Marvel Studios' films, in a way that they do not contradict each other.
If producer Lauren Shuler Donner had her way, the X-Men would even crossover with The Avengers, but one step at a time.
Fantastic Four hits theaters March 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
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