After months of speculation, rumors, and fear-mongering, we finally got our first look at Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot thanks to the release of the film's teaser trailer. Since the preview was admittedly a tease and only hinted at what's to come, it didn't completely quell the public's overall shaky feelings regarding the project, but it was generally well-recieved and the film could very well be a creative success for Marvel's first family.
Of course, in today's superhero movie landscape, that may not be enough to draw people in. As evidenced by the release strategies for Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC, audiences are more interested in massive shared film universes as opposed to standalone adventures revolving around a singular character or team of heroes. Since Fox has the rights to both X-Men and Fantastic Four, everyone is wondering if the two groups will ever cross paths.
Simon Kinberg, writer of Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past and architect of Fox's Marvel movie world, had some thoughts on that very matter. While speaking with EW, the screenwriter said that even though a crossover is possible (as he's previously hinted at), it's not something that the filmmakers are actively thinking about at this point in time
Read his quote:
“The reboot of 'FanFour' really needed to work in and of itself. We were doing something pretty radical with the tone of the movie. If we wanted to find a way to connect them to the X-Men, we could. There’s a lot of precedent from the comics.”
While that may not necessarily be the thing that most fans want to hear, it's one of the more promising statements we've heard about the Fantastic Four reboot during this pre-release phase. After experiencing the mess that is Sony and their Amazing Spider-Man franchise, it's a relief that Fox executives are more concerned about getting all their ducks in a row before worrying about the larger picture. If audiences don't buy into this version of the Fantastic Four, then any plans for a crossover will be kaput. It's wiser to take it one step at a time.
The Fantastic Four teaser trailer arguably had a tone that would gel with the recent X-Men films, especially Days of Future Past. As opposed to the campy vibe of the mid-2000s flicks, the reboot is looking to be more grounded and serious by taking inspiration from the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic and injecting some practicality into the proceedings via character costumes, portrayals, and other elements. If this new film is a hit, it wouldn't be a stretch to see Miles Teller's Reed Richards meeting up with Hugh Jackman at some point in the future - the two series seem to fit together.
A large portion of Fantastic Four's success will hinge on whether or not Dr. Doom (Toby Kebbell) can be a compelling evildoer. Like so many elements of the film, the iconic villain has been subject of a lot of controversy, particularly the idea that his name comes from "blogging sites." The trailer hardly showed Doom in action, so it remains to be seen how he'll be incorporated, but Kinberg explained why it'll be worth the wait.
"He has aspirations and struggles that are a little bit more classically tragic than the other characters. As much as it’s an origin story of our heroes, it also tracks how someone can become a villain."
Kebbell made a name for himself last year by playing Koba, Caesar's unpredictable right-hand ape in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Koba was a character who, while a villain who had to be stopped, was someone that the audience could understand and sympathize with.
Characters like that tend to be well-rounded and interesting to watch on-screen, so if Kebbell's Doom comes complete with "aspirations and struggles" that humanize him and elevate him beyond the mustache-twirling villainy trope, Fantastic Four sounds like it will be able to overcome the odds and be a winner this summer.
Fantastic Four will be in theaters August 7th, 2015.