Okay, I’ll start this on a positive note.
Herc over at AICN suggested Jeff Goldblum for Reed Richards and Christoph Waltz for Dr. Doom.
I concur. Waltz for Doom? Concur, concur, concur.
Having said that, I’m absolutely not shocked to see this moving forward. For one thing, IESB announced this in March. This is just the official confirmation from the studio now that they’ve got a writer onboard. Michael Green (a writer for “Heroes”) has been signed to kick things off as screenwriter, although if I were him, I wouldn’t count on making it to the finish line. I’m sure Fox will run it through several different writers by the time it shoots. That’s just the way they make the sausage.
I’m more curious to see who they bring on as director. Akiva Goldsman is producing the movie, and it’s impossible to bring that up without pointing out that he did, in fact, write “Batman and Robin,” and no quantity of Oscars can ever enable him to time travel backwards and erase that.
[more after the jump]
Is that a reason to automatically dismiss the film? Of course not. And neither is the studio. I don’t believe in the knee-jerk fanboy reaction. They’ve taken two shots at “Fantastic Four” so far, and no matter what they sort of got close to kind of getting right, like the casting of The Thing and The Torch, they didn’t pull it off. Not really. They managed to squeeze a little coin out of the two films, but neither one of them registered in pop culture at all. Not the way something like “Iron Man” or “The Dark Knight” did.
Come on, Fox… if you really have a reason to make another “Fantastic Four” movie, and you think it’s going to work this time, and you’ve got a great story to tell, and a great storyteller who wants to be involved… then do it. Absolutely. Because they’re great characters.
Brad Bird sort of touched on the iconography of “Fantastic Four” when he created “The Incredibles,” but he leans on the stylization of James Bond just as hard. I think that if you’re going to really do “Fantastic Four” and you want it to be fun, you go period. And you go cosmic. You go Kirby and Lee. You go space monsters and mole men. You don’t shrink away from it. And you find a filmmaker who is up to that task, and who appreciates HOW INCREDIBLY FUN that can be. Pop optimism. Lighter than air. Adventure. That’s “Fantastic Four” in my book. That’s what I’d love to see.
But what makes me nervous is that Fox is going to move forward with this whether it’s good or not. Here’s why, from the Variety story:
Though Marvel Entertainment owns and finances properties like ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Thor,’ Fox controls ‘Fantastic Four’ in perpetuity — as long as it continues making the films. Fox has the same arrangement on Marvel Comics properties ‘X-Men,’ ‘Daredevil’ and ‘Silver Surfer.'”
Can that be right? In perpetuity? Is there really no chance they’ll ever revert to Marvel? Would Disney pay $4 billion for a company that has no hope of ever owning their own most iconic characters? Sure, Sony’s riding the “Spider-Man” gravy train now, but is that the same deal? Is Spider-Man destined to never co-exist with the Marvel universe on film?
Fox is going to make a new “Fantastic Four.” And a new “Daredevil.” And a new “Silver Surfer.” And some sort of “X-Men” movie. And if they get really ambitious, they might even make a movie where they mix all those characters together like their own bastard “Avengers” stew. Because Fox can’t afford to give those characters back to Marvel.
Not after all the time and money they’ve invested into ruining them so far.
Obviously, we’ll have more as the story develops.
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