By pretty much any standard, the latest Fantastic Four movie is a total disaster. It barely grossed over $25 million in its first week, critics hated it, and by all accounts, everybody had a terrible time making it. Director Josh Trank has said he once had an amazing version of the movie, but he hasn’t elaborated on what this take on Fantastic Four would have looked like. Well, we now have a clearer vision of what Trank’s original vision for the Fantastic Four was thanks to an early script from around 2012.
Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect) was originally hired by Fox to write Fantastic Four under Josh Trank’s close supervision, but in 2014, Fox called in X-Men veteran Simon Kinberg to do a major rewrite of the script. Slater’s original script was much denser than what ended up being shot, with beloved Fantastic Four characters and elements like Galactus, the Moloids and yes, even Herbie the Robot all making appearances. Basically, the Fantastic Four that made it to theaters takes the first third of Slater’s script, stretches it out to cover over 2/3 of the final movie and chops all the fun stuff.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the biggest differences, according to Birth. Movies. Death., between Trank and Slater’s original script and the movie we ended up getting…
– The Negative Zone (yes, it’s called the Negative Zone in the original script) is not an abandoned wasteland. Instead, they find it’s full of dead aliens killed in some sort of cataclysm, and before long they run into Galactus, who gives chase. Reed Richards and Ben Grimm manage to escape, but Victor Von Doom is seemingly killed. Galactus fires some sort of dark matter energy at the Quantum Gate, dousing everybody on both sides with funky superpower-bestowing rays.
– After the titular Four get their powers, we jump ahead four years instead of one. Johnny Storm has his own reality show, Sue Storm is working in the medical field, Reed is on the lam in Jakarta, and Ben is being used as a weapon by the military.
– While in hiding, Reed builds both Herbie the Robot and the classic bathtub-like Fantasticar.
– The team reunites when one of Sue Storm’s experiments goes wrong, creating giant Mole Men who attack New York city. There’s a big fight scene in tribute to the cover of Fantastic Four #1.
– Latveria was a big part of the movie. Early on we learn Von Doom is a spy sending information back to his home country. They later use this information to create their own Quantum Gate. They try to rescue Doom, but he’s now an a being of pure, evil dark energy, who kills everybody and takes over the country.