‘Fantastic Four’: Get Ready To Facepalm About Why The Thing’s Big Scene Was Cut

We’ve been talking about Fantastic Four a lot lately (the most recent news being a rumored “come at me, bro” moment between the director and Miles Teller), and today brings more dissection of what could have been. It was clear that an enormous number of scenes from the trailer never made the final cut, lending some credence to director Josh Trank’s tweet about his version of the film being very different. Now we know what one of those scrapped scenes was and why Fox removed it.

Entertainment Weekly spoke with a dozen sources to piece together a long description of a deleted clobberin’ scene starring The Thing. Consider everything from here on out a spoiler (like it matters). Right after the Fantastic Four get their powers, Reed goes AWOL and a title card says “One Year Later.” We find out the other three have been working for the U.S. government as supersoldiers during that year. What Josh Trank wanted to do, according to Entertainment Weekly, is show The Thing divebomb from a plane and do his supersoldier clobbering in a Chechen rebel camp.

We saw some of that at the end of this trailer. The Thing drops in to the rebel camp at night. The rebels surround him and fire, to no avail, as The Thing calmly lumbers toward them, like so:

Here’s how EW describes what happens next:

The storytelling goal was to show the futility of firepower against him as he casually demolishes the terrorists. It’s a blue-collar kind of heroism.

When it becomes clear this rock-beast cannot be stopped, the surviving Chechen rebels make a run for it – and that’s when a hail of gunfire finishes them off. … From the shadows of the surrounding forest, a team of Navy SEALS emerge with their guns drawn and smoking. The cavalry has arrived, but the enemy has already been subdued.

The film would then have shifted to a bird’s-eye view of the camp, an aerial shot showing waves of American soldiers flooding in to secure the base. Just when it appears the American soldiers may be ready to clash with the rock monster, The Thing gives them a solemn nod, and they clear a path. He lumbers past them, almost sadly, a heartsick warrior. Then he boards a large helicopter and is lifted away.

That sounds… actually good? What the hell? Why wasn’t that in the movie? Some of EW‘s sources say Trank cut it because he decided it wasn’t necessary, while other sources tell EW he had no choice but to cut it when Fox made a last minute reduction of the film’s budget.

But it gets even weirder. Some of the sources say when Fox realized the movie needed more action, they agreed to pay for the scene, but wouldn’t let Trank film it. The rumor goes, they sent a crew to film it, except that crew filmed it in a “documentary hand-held style,” which didn’t match the planned digital effects or the rest of the movie. It was unusable. I just want to imagine that crew as a bunch of unpaid interns who came back with shakey-cam footage and said, “But this is for the Chronicle guy, right? He likes found footage. What do you mean, it’s not that kind of movie?” YOU HAD ONE JOB, INTERNS.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)