Will Fantastic Four reboot work?
Reboots are the word in Hollywood, especially when it comes to superheroes and similarly themed films, everything from RoboCop to Daredevil are on the road to the reboot and films like Batman Begins and The Amazing Spider-Man have shown just how well they can work.
So is it any surprise that the Fantastic Four is getting a reboot? Perhaps since the first film wasn't that great and there's not a huge call for another film, but then that's not stopped the studios before.
We had heard that Josh Trank was set to direct the film, coming off his success with Chronicle, now we hear that the film has a writer too.
The previous Fantastic Four (Filmstalker review) wasn't that bad really, it was an enjoyable, lighter side of the superhero genre but it struggled with trying to tell so many origin stories and explain so many characters in such a short space of time and so it was a little paper thin. Again the sequel played it light to the younger audience and larger demographic and struggled with another rather epic storyline and a hell of a lot of characters.
The Hollywood Reporter prefers to point the finger elsewhere and says of the films:
"...despite doing solid business, they were not well regarded by the geek community."
Nope, that's not taken out of context that does suggest that the films were good it's just the "geeks" that didn't like them. Are you seeing a trend here? The Hobbit article was also pointing out bloggers bad, press good. So just to interpret what The Hollywood Reporter is saying, the two Fantastic Four films were good but "geeks" didn't like them.
You know I don't think I'm a geek by any means and I'd say that they weren't great films. Popcorn, light entertainment, nothing else to watch films, but in this modern trend of superhero films these are both easily forgotten by mainstream audiences too.
Still, 20th Century Fox is keen to get Fantastic Four working and so they've pulled on Josh Trank to direct and now, according to the article, Jeremy Slater to write. Who's he you might ask? Well he wrote...rather he's writing a speculative script for a film called Tape 4, an H.P. Lovecraft mythology film which sounds awfully like the found footage type of film from the title and he wrote a teenage comedy called My Spy.
The Hollywood Reporter goes on to say that with this team it shows that the studio are...
"...hoping to capture the geeks' hearts this time around."
Again I am sure that I read reviews from across the range of reviewers and comments from mainstream audience members who didn't think the film was up to much, but that's maybe just because we are all "the geeks" as they so condescendingly put it. Mind you, it's so much easier to pigeon hole and place the blame when you can generalise this way.
I'm not so convinced. While Josh Trank is surely set to bring plenty to the film I'm not sure what the studio thinks the writer of a teenage spy comedy and a Lovecraft film might bring, certainly something very different to what we've seen that's for sure.
However don't blame "the geeks" for this reboot, look instead to how the two Fantastic Four films stand up to the other superhero films around it and the current ones in development as well as the desire for the studios to reboot these films into the mould that is turning out so well for Batman and Spider-Man. Blame the need of the studio to make a reboot to access another audience and make more money, surely that's what's happening here and not a move by the studio to make the "geek community" happy.
Certainly looking at Trank and reading about Slater I have to think that the attempt here is to make the darker film that still appeals to the same demographic that Fantastic Four tried to capture. I wonder though if they will make it work.