Disclaimer: I have not read a single Fantastic Four comic in my life. I've just watched all these idiot movies.
Prequel - The Plots:
So, the plots for 3 out of 4 movies are basically the same - Richards and Doom are science rivals, they both love Sue Storm, Johnny is there, Ben is there, there's an expirement that goes wrong, people get powers, Doom is evil, they beat him. Fine.
There are a few minor changes between the films.
i. The First Try - "The Fantastic Four" (1994)
The film was (cheaply) made simply because the rights would expire on December 31st, 1992, the literal day the OP was born, after the rights were bought in 1986 for Neue Constantin film company by one Bernd Eichinger.
Marvel Comics paid for the negative, and it never officially saw the light of day...
Technically, this did show on television. Once. On premium movie channels in about 2017. I know because I saw it on DirectTV, and it was never shown again.
Not like you can't just check it out on Youtube illegally anyway. It's been leaked for a good 13 years or so.
Arguably, this is the one most true to the source material (allegedly, again, I have not read any of these comics) - Kind of weird, and funny. Not taking itself seriously, unlike....you'll see. I mean, for fuck's sake, one person is a rock dude.
ii. The Second Try ("Fantastic Four") + Its Sequel ("Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer")
A lot of directors went through being attached to this -
- Chris Columbus ("Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone") in 95
- Raja Gosnell ("Show Dogs") in 99
- Peyton Reed ("Ant-Man")
FF received mixed reviews, but it was successful enough ($330m worldwide) to warrant a film sequel - The only one to exist in the film franchise.
Simon Kinberg wrote uncredited drafts of the script for the first film...and he would be back to write for the Fantastic Four once again.
The film lost the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film to...."Revenge of the Sith". Oof, talk about picking your poison.
Let me summarize film #2, "Rise of the Silver Surfer", released on June 15th, 2007:
- Reed and Sue are going to be married.😲
- Cosmic Science!
- Silver Surfer switches some powers around.
- Doom isn't a statue anymore and, and teams up with one of the biggest villains in the world, the US Military, to find and stop the Surfer.
- And said military forces the Four to work with Doom.😒
- There's a fight, Doom takes the Surfer's board and makes some cool stuff.🏄🏻🏄🏻♂️
- Surfer tells Sue that the reason he looks for planets for Galactus to eat is so that his planet is not destroyed in turn. 🌎
- The Four Fight him
- Sue dies, the Surfer saves her, and fights Galactus, which explodes the planet and the Surfer allegedly.
- And Sue and Reed get married 🥰
Fun Fact - There was a promotional gimmick - 40k quarters, minted in 2005 as part of the 50 State Quarters program. They would have the Silver Surfer on one side with the URL to the movie's website. The U.S Mint told them this was breaking the law by making currency into your private advertising. [src] Apparently, some are on eBay.
On a budget of 130$m, it's 289$m budget worldwide was not enough to warrant a third film.
iii. The Trank Try ("Fantastic Four", Or, affectionately, "F4ntastic")
The first 2 tries were met with mild interest, and eventual disconcern. But here! People had faith that it could be passable. After all, Josh Trank had made Chronicle, and this was the second in probably a long collaboration with Michael B Jordan. There was great talent here. Surely, it would not let us down on August 7th, 2015!
Yeah, about that.
With no preview showings, people had a fair idea of what to expect if the studio had no confidence. a 3D version was scrapped late in development. I'm not even sure there was a damn premiere for this. They did show up to promote the film at 2015's SDCC.
But internet movie pundits took the oppertunity to sharpen their knives and their non-existant wit, as this film became the laughingstock of the year. I remember a section of my own review simply being "well, they showed The Force Awakens trailer, and the dude who played Doom was cute. That's all I got to say about this really."
I myself saw this on opening day, in a crowded theater that I still firmly believe is the best crowd I have ever seen a movie with. I distinctly remember a man shouting 'HOLY SHIT!' when Doom killed Dr. Baxter.
The director himself, Josh Trank, only saw the finished movie in full in November of 2019 -
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 f*cking traumatized state of mind. [src]
I guess he turned it off before the... only battle in the film [src]:
"A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would've recieved [sic] great reviews. You'll probably never see it. That's reality though."[src]
Fun Fact: As part of the Rescue Johnny Storm Initiative, Michael B. Jordan also joined the MCU as Erik Killmonger in "Black Panther" 3 years later.
And that's how I feel about it. There are good qualities, such as...oh! That bit of body horror in the middle. That was creepy, and it's been hinted at time and time and time again that the entire movie was supposed to be more like that, which would have fit. #ReleaseTheTrankCut
Kinberg wrote this script as well.
iv. The Fantastic Future
Because we have to keep hoping that someone, somewhere, will make a capable Fantastic Four movie (That is not "The Incredibles"), of course there's probably a new one in development. Especially now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, and thus the cinematic rights to the First Family of Marvel.
"Bah," I say, "You're not going to catch me watching any more of these damn movies, no matter who you cast."
One man is already campainging to be Mr. Fantastic...CIA Bootlicker John Krasinski
"I am not committed to the role or anything, but I don’t know when they’re doing it. But if and when they do it, I would love to talk to them about it.”
"The defense rests." I say.
However. The other popular casting is his wife as Sue Storm. If you don't know who she is, it's Live Action Disney Legend Emily Blunt.
"Damn." I say, because I am a fan of hers. "That would actually work. I still want her to be Captain Marvel (nothing personal, Brie)."
But alas, we shall see.
source: Me, suffering by watching these movies, the other sources are linked in the post at their appropriate segments.
Do you have any faith in the future of the Fantastic Four?