Monday, April 21, 2014

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg Updates the Fantastic Four

Writer Simon Kinberg attended WonderCon this past weekend and was VERY forthcoming with details about the reboot of the Fantastic Four.

Kinberg seemed to be the face of Fox at this past weekend's WonderCon and, in separate interviews with Den of Geek, Crave Online and IGN, gave plenty of new information of the Fantastic Four reboot which he referred to as a "coming of age story."

Kinberg, who has taken on a very integrated role in Fox's Marvel movies, was asked about the tone of the upcoming Josh Trank directed film. Kinberg told Den of Geek that the studio is going for a more realistic tone (why wouldn't you, The Thing is very realistic and so are flying, flaming humans):

"It’s a much more grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies. If I had to say, the tone of it would be somewhere on the spectrum between Spider-Man and Chronicle. The other movies were even further on the spectrum of being goofy and fun than Spider-Man."

After clarifying the reference was to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, Kinberg continued, "Josh Trank’s instincts are to be as realistic and grounded and real with this stuff as possible. In many ways I would say it’s definitely more of a drama than comedy." Of course, if you're a fan of the Fantastic Four comics, you realize right away that Fox has apparently no interest in staying true to the actual characters. But wait, it starts sound much less promising as he continues:
"It’s still in the direction of Spider-Man. It’s not like Dark Knight. And even Chronicle has a lot of fun in it. We’re treating this as the origin of the Fantastic Four so in future movies you’d have them on sort of splashier adventures to some extent but in this one we tried to ground the science as much as possible and make it feel like it could take place in our world before it cantilevers into other worlds."
While talking to Crave Online, Kinberg details how Fox plans to make the Fantastic Four almost completely unrecognizable to longtime fans of the First Family:
"We’re definitely telling a younger story that the original films did. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is."
When queried on just how old the Fantastic Four will be when they come into their incredible powers, Kinberg replied, "They’re older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story." Yes, the classic coming of age story that we all associate with the Fantastic Four. And then, Kinberg seems to confirm  to Crave Online that the group, who famously gained their powers from exposure to cosmic rays while exploring space, will be getting a different origin for their powers, "There is archetypal imagery of how they get their powers, for sure, and it does involve some sort of scientific travel."

Finally, check out this brief clip from IGN in which Kinberg says the film is set to start shooting in two weeks, although I'm not entirely sure he even believes himself. He also goes on to address the long-standing rumors of Fox crossing over their two big properties before once again reassuring us that Fox has no intentions of basing the Fantastic Four film on the Fantastic Four comics except for some tangential relationship to Ultimate Fantastic Four which was not the best work in the Ultimates universe.

Alrighty then...Fox has yet to announce the cast and nothing Kinberg said changes my mind about the film. With over 50 years of comics from which to draw inspiration, I don't understand why they'd settle on using any of Ultimates story line. The only interesting thing from the Ultimates is that Reed is evil, but I can't imagine they'll be doing that arc. Hopefully they encounter a few more production delays and this film is never made allowing the rights to head back to Marvel Studios where the Fantastic Four is a much better fit.

Fantastic Four is scheduled to begin filming in June 2013 September 2013 February 2014 April 2014 a couple of weeks and is ticketed to hit theaters June 19, 2015.