Reports circulating this weekend are suggesting that the director of forthcoming ‘found footage’ superhero movie “Chronicle” – a trailer can be found here – Josh Trank is the front-runner to direct Twentieth Century Fox‘s reboot of their “Fantastic Four“ franchise.
Putting aside the fact that the only reasons for Fox to so eagerly pursue a reboot are that (A) Chris Evans is otherwise engaged , (B) they need another superhero franchise to fill those “X-Men” sized holes in their release schedule and (C) they want to prevent the rights from reverting back to Marvel, is anybody really calling out for a reboot of this comic series on the big screen?
I was quite fond of the first movie in the series and enjoyed the second instalment even more – neither were exactly Shakespearean in their scope and storytelling, but then they didn’t pretend to be. At heart, the Fantastic Four have always been a dysfunctional family and the two films we’ve seen to date did a perfectly good job of making the FF bicker like brothers and sister on a particularly long road trip.
The reason that I note this is that some of the directors previously linked to this reboot – Joe Carnahan, David Yates and James McTeigue – are not the kind of film makers that one generally summons if you’re wanting to make light-hearted, summer adventure fare. We’re talking darker, grittier and more adult fare when you want to hire those guys, and none of those adjectives exactly say ‘Fantastic Four’ to me.
Fox’s recent efforts at making superhero adventures have been variable in quality – for every superb “X-Men: First Class“, we’ve had an “X-Men: The Last Stand“ or – shudder – “X-Men Origins: Wolverine“, mediocre products of multiple levels of misguided interference.
Are we really to suspect that the studio will be able to resist the temptation to meddle with the property and not turn it into some ‘me, too!’ variety, Christopher Nolan-aping , would-be operatic glum-fest? Nolan’s a one-off, married to the right project, to wonderful effect. Chasing the ‘mature comics’ dollar didn’t exactly work for “Watchmen”, so why would Fox think that it might for Reed Richards and co?