fantastic four

Josh Trank Reviews His 2015 Studio-Butchered Mess, Fantastic Four: Two Stars

Fant4stic.

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In 2015, Josh Trank, who was best known for directing Chronicle, was tapped by 20th Century Fox to do a gritty reboot of the Fantastic Four movies because it was a franchise they actually owned the rights to, and the first two films, while not good, made enough money that it made sense to remind audiences, “Hey we also have Marvel IP.”

However, despite hiring Trank for his vision, the story goes that the studio wanted a lot of reshoots, which led to things like Sue Storm’s hair looking completely different at various points in the film. It was also weirdly structured tonally, and it was clear that whatever Trank initially was going for had been stripped away. This is what made it so interesting when the internet saw that the director had reviewed his own movie on Letterbox.

The review (which I’ve only restructured slightly so it wasn’t just a bunch of double-spaced individual sentences) is honest about him being a little out of his depth when it came to a project like this, but also that there were two competing visions, and the cast and crew did their best to make it work.

Fant4stic… Huh.

Okay first of all, I thought it would be GREAT if I searched FF2015 and the shit wasn’t even on here. Low key I kinda was hoping it wasn’t. But it was! And I’m here. Anyway. Where to begin…

The movie is ALRIGHT. I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. I literally haven’t seen it since like two weeks before it came out, and I was in a heavily fucking traumatized state of mind. Why? Eh, save that for another time.

Anyway, movie review:

Great cast. Everyone in the film is a great actor, and overall there is a movie in there, somewhere. And that cast deserves to be in THAT movie. Everyone who worked on Fant4stic clearly wanted to be making THAT movie. But…. ultimately… It wasn’t. Did I make that movie they deserved to be in? To be honest?

I can’t tell. What I can tell is there are TWO different movies in one movie competing to be that movie.

Is there a #releasethetrankcut? Doesn’t matter. I’m not Zack Snyder. Zack Snyder is a storied, iconic, legendary filmmaker who has been knocking it out of the fucking park since I was in high school.

Me? Then? I was 29 years old, making my 2nd film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into.

That said… I don’t regret any of it.

It’s a part of me. And I just hope Peyton Reed makes the next Fantastic Four and crushes it. And that I get a cameo. Anyway, that’s it. Fant4stic.

PS: My girlfriend said I should’ve reviewed more of the film and less about myself. My answer: 🤷🏻‍♂️.

Trank’s experience is just a reminder of how these comic book movies, love them or hate them, do tend to deal with so much meddling because studios want to tap into the magic of the MCU or any other successful property, failing to trust the creative talent they bring on to … provide a compelling and unique creative vision. We saw with Solo and its troubled production that this is still a huge problem for franchises like Star Wars, and even Frozen II seems to have been rewritten several times. I’m glad that Trank has positive memories of working on the film and at least got to own the situation.

Most importantly, Josh Trank appreciates the werewolf classic Ginger Snaps, and you should too:

(via /Film, image: 20th Century Fox)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.