Why Is Fox Hiding The Fantastic Four?

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Why Is Fox Hiding The Fantastic Four?

Fox's next big superhero flick is coming to theaters next year... so why hasn't Fox released so much as a movie poster?

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"Again: I get where fandom is coming from. We've seen plenty of projects go bad because a filmmaker decided they knew better (or were better) than the material. But we'd do well to remember that it wasn't too long ago that Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon would never have made it to theaters for fear of being too outside the narrow standards of a mainstream audience. We would do well not to become just as narrow ourselves."

But even Guardians of the Galaxy, as someone very familiar with the comic, very much is in the spirit and authenticity of the original comics and series. They took a few liberties (they did so with all their movies, of course), but Rocket, Drax, Groot, and Star-Lord are the same interesting and amazing characters I was reading about years ago, especially in the more recent and epic Annihilation and Conquest cosmic stories (Bob, if you haven't read those, immediately go track them down... and then join us is asking in one voice for Richard Rider's Nova to show up).

The Fantastic Four reboot is being made, not out of passion, but out of reaction to losing the rights, just like Sony with ASM. They did this one already before (Roger Corman's unreleased movie) and it sounds like they have very little interest in making it a "success".

It's less about the Fantastic Four themselves as it is the world they inhabit. Losing the Fantastic Four means losing Galactus, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, the Skrulls, Annihilus, and lots of other characters best associated with the original family of superheroes. Heck, even the Marvel "golden age" is credited to Fantastic Four #1 making Marvel the powerhouse it eventually became...

So they'll make a movie, even a terrible one, to keep those rights. Unless the film absolutely tanks and costs them money, they'll keep remaking and rebooting it to keep it out of Marvel's hands. Which is a shame, because Dr. Doom deserves so much better than being stuck with such inept movies.

There's no way this movie can be worse than the Tim Story versions, can it?

Whatever the case, I think Fox is trying to play it safe and keep it on the downlow. That's a shame: I think Josh Trank deserves better than that treatment.

I am with you on not judgeing the movie until it is released. My main problem is that I simply did not like Chronical and so I was less then thrilled when I found out that Trask was involved.

I don't care that Jonny Storm is black but I really don't like the idea of a 12 year old playing Reed Richards.

And most of all I don't like Fox. I know that Marvel are all about making money but at least they seem to give a shit if their movie is good. Fox simply gives offt he impression that they don't give a fuck as long as they get to ensure that Marvel can't make money off it either.

If so, it's an unfortunate turn of events. But to my mind it's the most likely scenario: Fox is facing a fandom/press-management landscape that has become almost wholly binary in the way it processes reactions: "OMG it's like they jumped right out of Issue #183 perfect!!!" (Marvel) or "F***! That's NOT what his hat looks like they've ruined it!!!" (everyone else -- with only DoFP excepted by virtue of "Wow! All the old people came back!" carrying a nostalgia thrill for a sizable substrata of fans.

This always get me, page after page of bitching about Spider-man's costume eyes being black in ASM yet not a word about Thor not once wearing his helmet in either the Avengers or Thor: TDW and barely more bitching with Hawkeye's non costume.

Costume's being comic accurate seems to only matter to non Disney Marvel films now with Disney Marvel being able to do want they want with minimal if any complaints.

Also the way that Sony and Fox are the enemy now because they basically saved Marvel from going under altogether with there licensing deals because when they showed you could make money with comic films Disney decided to swoop in and then became the 'saviour' pisses me off.

Man, I really wish Marvel would stop riding the superhero train and inciting others to do the same. I'm fucking tired of being flooded with news about a bunch of overhyped films that don't even have the decency to try hard and simply aim slightly left of the Michael Bay Crowd. It also doesn't help that superhero stories are almost all ruined for me now because I subconsciously compare them to Worm and find them lacking.

Nolan-esque (and thus very anti-comic-bookish)

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who finds the general Nolan hate ironic? Specifically how everyone says the MCU are "real" superhero films yet the Nolan Trilogy is the only one with an actual superhero in it. You know, someone who creates a larger-than-life persona that they use to actively make the world a better place. The Avengers are just government agents (and one billionare) with gimmicks who only respond to bigass, world-ending threats.

deathbydeath:
Man, I really wish Marvel would stop riding the superhero train and inciting others to do the same. I'm fucking tired of being flooded with news about a bunch of overhyped films that don't even have the decency to try hard and simply aim slightly left of the Michael Bay Crowd. It also doesn't help that superhero stories are almost all ruined for me now because I subconsciously compare them to Worm and find them lacking.

Nolan-esque (and thus very anti-comic-bookish)

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who finds the general Nolan hate ironic? Specifically how everyone says the MCU are "real" superhero films yet the Nolan Trilogy is the only one with an actual superhero in it. You know, someone who creates a larger-than-life persona that they use to actively make the world a better place. The Avengers are just government agents (and one billionare) with gimmicks who only respond to bigass, world-ending threats.

LOL yeah great point especially as the reason Earth is in danger in both the Thor films and the Avengers is directly because of Odin first banishing Thor there and subsequently directing Loki's attention to us and in DW by hiding the Aether here.

I want a Silver Age version I know and love...
Not even NAMING them the FF... what the *EFF* is that about?
This is purely for keeping the property from defaulting to Marvel, and come on... that's just too sad.

deathbydeath:
Man, I really wish Marvel would stop riding the superhero train and inciting others to do the same. I'm fucking tired of being flooded with news about a bunch of overhyped films that don't even have the decency to try hard and simply aim slightly left of the Michael Bay Crowd. It also doesn't help that superhero stories are almost all ruined for me now because I subconsciously compare them to Worm and find them lacking.

Nolan-esque (and thus very anti-comic-bookish)

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who finds the general Nolan hate ironic? Specifically how everyone says the MCU are "real" superhero films yet the Nolan Trilogy is the only one with an actual superhero in it. You know, someone who creates a larger-than-life persona that they use to actively make the world a better place. The Avengers are just government agents (and one billionare) with gimmicks who only respond to bigass, world-ending threats.

And plus, when you get down to it, the Nolan films captured the essence of the Batman character better than nearly anything else, including even the comics themselves. The genius was that despite having this character who is by all means ridiculous, it made you feel like it COULD happen. One man becoming a symbol of heroism and justice, giving everything to make the world a better place. So it doesn't have the campier elements, whoop-dee-doo, the best parts of Batman's mythos and character are very NOT campy. And in fact it's no coincidence that Batman works best when he's more serious and less colorful as well as when his rogues gallery took on interpretations that mimicked seedy, underworld, hard-boiled detective, and film-noir archetypes.

I guess I can be grouped into "the movie is bad because its not faithful", but at the same time I think that deals mostly with the characters themselves and not the setting or even costumes. Just after I saw Guardians of the Galaxy my friends and I were talking about our favorite and disliked movies based on comic books. It really seems that what people want is for them to get the characters themselves right, for you are telling us we are going to see a movie based on a specific character people want to see what they are being advertised.

I enjoyed most of Man of Steel and Batman Rises there were minor things that irked me, but what caused me to disliked them as much as I did was because the climatic conclusion of both movies end with both characters acting out of place for what I would expect of them. I would expect at the end of a movie for Superman to act like Superman and not have a destructive battle in the middle of Metropolis or Bruce Wayne to stop being Batman. Its also why I think the X-Men movies work as well as they do because Hugh Jackman portrays Wolverine in a way I would fully expect and the movies revolve around him. This reminds me a lot of The Hulk as well, for I remember a lot of the comments about The Avengers is that "they finally got the Hulk right".

Captcha: Learn from mistakes

I think the main reason that the "diverging from the comics" version tends to work less well is that they always go in the same direction.

They try to make it more "realistic" and "mature" by taking out all the fun stuff in a way that makes them seem embarrassed of their own source material and make them less distinct.

I hate the fact that we have so many superhero films coming out that are rated as being too old for 10 year old kids to see when they should be the main audience for so much of this stuff. I say this as someone who has read virtually no comic books but can recognise when the soul of a particular work has been extracted.

The opposite stuff about people going insane because character X is wearing the wrong hat is just as irritating but to be honest that's what you get for being too cowardly to make any original stories.

MovieBob:
Let's be clear: Man of Steel was a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie. But I didn't know it was bad until I'd seen it.

Haha, you liked it just fine when you saw it. You didn't decide it was a "bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie" until about a week later.

K12:
I think the main reason that the "diverging from the comics" version tends to work less well is that they always go in the same direction.

They try to make it more "realistic" and "mature" by taking out all the fun stuff in a way that makes them seem embarrassed of their own source material and make them less distinct.

I hate the fact that we have so many superhero films coming out that are rated as being too old for 10 year old kids to see when they should be the main audience for so much of this stuff. I say this as someone who has read virtually no comic books but can recognise when the soul of a particular work has been extracted.

The opposite stuff about people going insane because character X is wearing the wrong hat is just as irritating but to be honest that's what you get for being too cowardly to make any original stories.

There hasn't been a single main DC or Marvel comic released in 35 years that I would let an under 12 read. So I think your a bit wrong on the current target audience of comics when South Park has less swearing and violence.

I don't care they made Jonny Storm black, I just wish they'd done the same with Sue. How many films can you think of with a black woman where she's just kicking ass, no moral about how awful it is being black and a woman in a culture that generally favour being white and a man?
Also, that would have made the relationship between her and Reed mixed race, and personally I can't really think of any of those in films (disclaimer: I am not a film buff and don't actually see too many films for reasons of money).

Just would have liked to see a bit more representation is all, even in a movie many seem to be writing off before there's even a trailer

MovieBob:
And it's certainly not like the project holds no obvious interest in its own right: a rising-star indie director most-recently know for a deconstructionist superhero drama getting called up to the majors to do the real thing? That's the same backstory as Guardians of The Galaxy, a "risky bet" that's now on its way to being one of the biggest hits of the year.

I do not agree that it's the same backstory. Gunn has significantly more experience than Trank but never had the opportunity or budget for his vision until Marvel. Now that experience never translated into a major surprise hit in the way Chronicle did (Chronicle having made in its first week 67 times more than Super's total domestic gross) so Gunn still existed largely in an "underdog" independent filmmaker status for a long time. And I'm not forgetting Slither, but its over all box office returns, while around 7 million, are still 9 times less than Chronicle's.
Chronicle is ALL anyone has to look back at for Trank making him effectively a "one-hit-wonder" thus far... literally having done one film and it succeed.

Gunn had NO hit, but someone recognized his vision. I remember seeing Joss Whedon say something at one point that surprised Gunn because Whedon recognized him for his talent in some way and Gunn had not even known he was on his radar.

But as far as Fox not releasing any info on the film... if they aren't ready to, fine. Far better that they restrain themselves than invent a reason to be in the press. They already make that mistake with regards to the X-franchise anyway (not that their box-office result reflect that as "a mistake.")

youji itami:

There hasn't been a single main DC or Marvel comic released in 35 years that I would let an under 12 read. So I think your a bit wrong on the current target audience of comics when South Park has less swearing and violence.

Both Marvel AND DC run titles outside of continuity with main characters very specifically for kids. Marvel had them under the "Adventures" imprint but now has two books mirroring their current TV animation and Figment. They have also done SuperHero Squad.

DC currently has Tiny Titans and a Batman '66 book that I think is age appropriate for kids. They also previously had titles relevant to their TV animation as far back as the DCAU run... possibly further. Batman: Brave and the Bold is another example.

But both have consistently provided something for the younger demo, even if the selection of it is a little less right now than it has been. In 35 years, I'm surprised you could miss them if you looked into it. Any comic shop would know enough to point you to them if you asked.

youji itami:

K12:
I think the main reason that the "diverging from the comics" version tends to work less well is that they always go in the same direction.

They try to make it more "realistic" and "mature" by taking out all the fun stuff in a way that makes them seem embarrassed of their own source material and make them less distinct.

I hate the fact that we have so many superhero films coming out that are rated as being too old for 10 year old kids to see when they should be the main audience for so much of this stuff. I say this as someone who has read virtually no comic books but can recognise when the soul of a particular work has been extracted.

The opposite stuff about people going insane because character X is wearing the wrong hat is just as irritating but to be honest that's what you get for being too cowardly to make any original stories.

There hasn't been a single main DC or Marvel comic released in 35 years that I would let an under 12 read. So I think your a bit wrong on the current target audience of comics when South Park has less swearing and violence.

That's more of a problem with the comics themselves than the movies.

Pyrian:

MovieBob:
Let's be clear: Man of Steel was a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie. But I didn't know it was bad until I'd seen it.

Haha, you liked it just fine when you saw it. You didn't decide it was a "bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie" until about a week later.

Bob and I disagree about Man of Steel, but agree about the Ultimate Universe, which I call "the world where every superhero who isn't Spider-Man is a huge JerkAss."
As for this new FF movie, I'd prefer that if its IS a cash-in to keep the rights away from Marvel Studios, they put in the most effort and respect to the source material they can. And for God's sake, make it FUN to watch!
It's all this hoopla surrounding this new movie that has a friend of mine convinced that this will cause Marvel to cancel the Fantastic 4 comic book. Then again, he often gets his own fan theories/wishes confused with actual news.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and contest two premises.

One: I'm not at all sure "fidelity to the comic books" is the "sine qua non" of Marvel's success. That it helps to have a coherent backbone to build on, I won't argue, but if the writing was as hack-handed and permanently of-its-time as some of Marvel's work, especially in the "Silver Age", it never would have made it this far.

Clever and coherent writing, spot-on casting, and an attention to detail have paid dividends. But if it was all solely in service of comic book fidelity without any appreciation for the needs of a different medium and a different audience, it could all have been for nothing.

Marvel didn't get here by making an Iron Man that appealed to Aint It Cool News fans with copies of twenty-year-old comics in poly bags; Marvel got here by making an Iron Man that appealed to people who never picked up a comic in their life.

Two: About that "permanently of its time" thing...? That's kind of Fantastic Four in a nutshell. Of all the characters and teams, F4 have always seemed mired in a 60s aesthetic, from the logo-ed costumes to the nuclear family dynamic, complete with wise father, pretty but flighty mother, rebellious son and... Thing. (Okay, so maybe not entirely a generic 60s nuclear family.) The numbers I've read don't suggest the comic has exactly been a star performer for some time. If ever there was a strong case to depart from the source material and try to go one's own way for the movie, this would be the time.

Which is not to say that they might not completely screw it up in the attempt, just that it might not be the best case for "failing to do things the 'Marvel Way'" as the cause of that failure. The Fantastic Four may just be a bit of a non-starter right now.

Aiddon:

deathbydeath:
Man, I really wish Marvel would stop riding the superhero train and inciting others to do the same. I'm fucking tired of being flooded with news about a bunch of overhyped films that don't even have the decency to try hard and simply aim slightly left of the Michael Bay Crowd. It also doesn't help that superhero stories are almost all ruined for me now because I subconsciously compare them to Worm and find them lacking.

Nolan-esque (and thus very anti-comic-bookish)

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who finds the general Nolan hate ironic? Specifically how everyone says the MCU are "real" superhero films yet the Nolan Trilogy is the only one with an actual superhero in it. You know, someone who creates a larger-than-life persona that they use to actively make the world a better place. The Avengers are just government agents (and one billionare) with gimmicks who only respond to bigass, world-ending threats.

And plus, when you get down to it, the Nolan films captured the essence of the Batman character better than nearly anything else, including even the comics themselves. The genius was that despite having this character who is by all means ridiculous, it made you feel like it COULD happen. One man becoming a symbol of heroism and justice, giving everything to make the world a better place. So it doesn't have the campier elements, whoop-dee-doo, the best parts of Batman's mythos and character are very NOT campy. And in fact it's no coincidence that Batman works best when he's more serious and less colorful as well as when his rogues gallery took on interpretations that mimicked seedy, underworld, hard-boiled detective, and film-noir archetypes.

I thought people only started disliking Nolan AFTER he stopped working on Batman and worked on Superman?

I know the Dark Knight trilogy has it's haters but, last i checked, everyone fucking loved the first two and the third just happened to be a bit mixed in reception.

I will definitely be the first one to step up and defend Nolans batman flicks, but I admit that he did drop the ball on Man of Steel.

SeeDarkly_Xero:

MovieBob:

[quote="youji itami" post="6.858723.21297201"]
There hasn't been a single main DC or Marvel comic released in 35 years that I would let an under 12 read. So I think your a bit wrong on the current target audience of comics when South Park has less swearing and violence.

Both Marvel AND DC run titles outside of continuity with main characters very specifically for kids. Marvel had them under the "Adventures" imprint but now has two books mirroring their current TV animation and Figment. They have also done SuperHero Squad.

DC currently has Tiny Titans and a Batman '66 book that I think is age appropriate for kids. They also previously had titles relevant to their TV animation as far back as the DCAU run... possibly further. Batman: Brave and the Bold is another example.

But both have consistently provided something for the younger demo, even if the selection of it is a little less right now than it has been. In 35 years, I'm surprised you could miss them if you looked into it. Any comic shop would know enough to point you to them if you asked.

Yes I know both have young kid comic lines but all their comics used to be for 8th grade and under while since the late 70's they've focused on titles for late teens and above.

Burnouts3s3:
There's no way this movie can be worse than the Tim Story versions, can it?

Thats debateable. Last i heard the new F4 movie was esentially a new IP wearing the name of a franchise it shares close to no common elements with.

Speaking of which, i wonder if Disney's Lawmongers had any contact with Fox over a seemingly obvious abuse of lisencing rights...

Obviously, Sue is handling all the promotion.

Gizmo1990:

I don't care that Jonny Storm is black but I really don't like the idea of a 12 year old playing Reed Richards.

I don't see why. In their origin, Reed is mid twenties or so, and Miles Teller is more than old enough to portray that. The guy was supposed to be a whiz kid.

Burnouts3s3:
There's no way this movie can be worse than the Tim Story versions, can it?

That's a gauntlet you never want to throw down.

Aiddon:
So it doesn't have the campier elements, whoop-dee-doo, the best parts of Batman's mythos and character are very NOT campy.

Dude dresses like a flying mouse and uses military hardware that would make the Transformers do a double take. Taking the camp out of Batman is impossible. Well, it's possible, but it'd be like havin g the Fantastic Four not be the Fantastic Four. Nolan didn't really go that route.

Infernai:

I thought people only started disliking Nolan AFTER he stopped working on Batman and worked on Superman?

Most of the hate started with Rises.

But some did hate him beforehand, for various reasons.

MovieBob:
...even if it is impossible to conceive of a universe where Miles Teller is good casting for any role apart from Miles Teller.

Gee, Bob, what do you have against Miles Teller?

Fantastic Four is not my favorite comic franchise by a wide margin.
I like it just fine, but it gets lumped in with Moon Knight, Elektra and Ghost Rider as characters I know about but just don't really care about.

That being said, I still have a base line expectation for how an adaptation should be handled and trying for a more realistic and toned down feel is so far into the opposite direction from what I would want to see that the very idea of it makes me critical of the film sight unseen.

To me, a pitch perfect Fantastic Four would rest comfortably in between Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of overall tone. I'm okay with messing with their origins, you don't have to make them into space explorers, a terrestrial lab experiment would be fine. (Richards & Co. working on a dimensional rift, Viktor sabotages the device and exposes them to the raw energies of some heretofore unknown dimension...boom.... Fantastic Four origin)

Just don't get bogged down in dour melodrama. This is a series where a man named Victor Von Doom can go to college and effectively major in Mad Science, and nobody bats an eye.
A world where said Arch-villain proceeds to don head to toe power armor and a green tunic before invading other countries with an army of "Doom-Bots"

What it needs is a healthy dose of self indulgent Kirby-esque techno-babble. I expect at least one scene where Dr. Doom threatens to use his Inverse Keplar Rift Generator to alter Reed Richard's Temporal Bio-Flux Matrix or I'm just not going to be happy.

Ahh the Ultimates, there are a few gems hidden in that quagmire of a universe, but Fantastic Four isn't one of them. I will conditionally admit I had a problem with Johnny being black, but it was (largely) resolved by them saying he was adopted (Rule 34 just got less creepy, ironic somewhat isn't it?). Idris Elba, Samuel Jackson and Michael Clark Duncan (Jamie Foxx sucked as Electro) all played the characters so well, I can't imagine them as not being black. Maybe the new kid will have the chops for the role, maybe not. Won't know for a while. But to me, it feels like they made the character black purely for Racial Diversity's sake.

I would have to say that Fox is not confident in their production enough to allow spoilers to leak out. I would wager there won't be any reviewer screenings either.

Aiddon:

deathbydeath:
Man, I really wish Marvel would stop riding the superhero train and inciting others to do the same. I'm fucking tired of being flooded with news about a bunch of overhyped films that don't even have the decency to try hard and simply aim slightly left of the Michael Bay Crowd. It also doesn't help that superhero stories are almost all ruined for me now because I subconsciously compare them to Worm and find them lacking.

Nolan-esque (and thus very anti-comic-bookish)

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who finds the general Nolan hate ironic? Specifically how everyone says the MCU are "real" superhero films yet the Nolan Trilogy is the only one with an actual superhero in it. You know, someone who creates a larger-than-life persona that they use to actively make the world a better place. The Avengers are just government agents (and one billionare) with gimmicks who only respond to bigass, world-ending threats.

And plus, when you get down to it, the Nolan films captured the essence of the Batman character better than nearly anything else, including even the comics themselves. The genius was that despite having this character who is by all means ridiculous, it made you feel like it COULD happen. One man becoming a symbol of heroism and justice, giving everything to make the world a better place. So it doesn't have the campier elements, whoop-dee-doo, the best parts of Batman's mythos and character are very NOT campy. And in fact it's no coincidence that Batman works best when he's more serious and less colorful as well as when his rogues gallery took on interpretations that mimicked seedy, underworld, hard-boiled detective, and film-noir archetypes.

Because without the campier elements Batman is a terrible superhero.

Seriously, a rich dude who spends billions to beat up underprivileged youth and the occasional crazy?

That's not a superhero, that's a fucking problem.

(Please note, I actually really love some of the better written Batman comics. But it definitely requires a hardcore suspension of disbelief. That Nolan's films One and Three just couldn't do for me. Two was really good though, but that was mostly Heath and the Joker.)

We all know how it's going to go.
They go to space, get powers and fight a guy in a Metal Mask. How many times has this movie been done before? 3 times? 4 times?
Maybe it'll be fun to watch, but it won't change anyone's life and be forgotten in a week.

They never should have let Nolan work on Superman because apparently he's a one trick pony.

Batman worked because Nolan did the dark and realistic thing on it, which is what the spirit of the character is. His parents got killed and he gone crazy, putting on a costume and fight crimes on the streets.

Superman on the other hand is the complete opposite of batman, he wears a bright costume and represent justice and hope. Dark doesn't work with this character.

Putting Nolan to work with superman is like putting a clown to work in a funeral. The theme conflicts and Nolan doesn't know how to different themes.

Ahh, I had forgotten why I stopped watching your reviews about two years ago.
You speak as if your opinion is fact, some universally regarded truth when the reality is I, and many others, thoroughly enjoyed Man of Steel as an interesting take on a character that most everyone has their own vision of what he should be/stand for/is (seeing as this character has been in the social conscious for close to 100 years). It is not a problem that you disliked, hell, even hated the film - you are entitled to your opinion and are more than welcome to share it (and bless your heart, you even get paid for it) but when you abuse the language with proclamations like "Let's be clear: Man of Steel was a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad movie." you can imagine how you come off sounding to anyone who holds a differing opinion.
But thanks for the reminder on why I don't waste my time on your work, carry on.

That moment when even the corporate execs realize they are about to put out crap...

This just brings to mind that story posted last week about how Whedon vetoed the original script for Avengers. Firstly, it boggles me how paid professionals can allow such garbage to pass muster. Secondly, I am appalled at how producers and directors cannot simply see the crap for what it is.

I realize that politics and budgeting constrains many from speaking their mind, but you'd figure SOMEBODY with power/money would be concerned that crap product would equal poor sales...

Unless they are making a B-movie, or going for a "Producers" style tax write-off...there seems little excuse. They are trying to make a blockbuster here, after all! But this always happens...George Lucas didn't have anyone telling him "that's a bad idea" on the prequel trilogy (but he did on the originals)...which speaks volumes in the final product.

That's breaking MovieBob continuity. Man of Steel was not referred to in a negative manner (as in bad, bad, bad) until around the time of Batfleck, months after the movie was called "notably imperfect" and "good but not that good".

As for the Fantastic Four, well all you need is the stuff mentioned in this article (for the most part) and the fact that the previous two films were so awful to know to not be hopeful. That way if it is mediocre you feel good, and if it's good your brain explodes.

And now that fandom has a studio in Marvel that so frequently delivers on its most common immediate desire -- "Just make it like the comics, because that's what we've based most of our hopes around!"

But at the same time, Marvel is fully willing to make radical changes from the comics.

Mandarin... just, Mandarin. Ok, so they kinda brought it back to comics with the "All Hail the King" short, but Iron Man 3 played completely fast and loose with the Mandarin's origin story. And it worked.

Same with Thor. There was no Donald Blake (except the name tag gag). Thor was never trapped in a weak mortal shell. Sure he got demoted from god-hood until he learned to play nice, but he was still quite able to whoop serious ass.

Hawkeye bears almost no resemblance to his comic counterpart, other than being a guy with a bow (though really, that kinda is his defining trait)

Nick Fury being basically Samuel L Jackson in the comics was a recent change, made intentionally to get Samuel L Jackson on board for the movies (for those who don't remember, Nick Fury used to be a crusty old white guy before he became a smooth talking Bad Mother-Shut Yo Mouth)

But it all works. Not because they're tirelessly faithful to the comics. The fucking comics aren't faithful to the comics. No, they work simply because they're good. Period. Guardians is a good damned movie. It's fun and silly and serious and well done all around. Both Captain America flicks were damned good movies. Thor, Iron Man, etc ... Even Iron Man 2, which wasn't quite as awesome as the rest, but was still a fun watch. They've all been fun to watch, and that's because Marvel isn't afraid to rip out huge chunks of backstory or merge characters together if it serves the final product.

As for the Fantastic Four. People won't care that Torch is black, or that they're all younger, or if The Thing isn't the exactly right shade of orange (as played by Billy Elliot), or anything else... Hell, Marvel made a black viking and it worked. There was a little kerfuffle when it was first announced, but then people saw it and for the most part were OK with it. Because he was well written and well cast. They didn't hire some no-name actor to just sit there and fill some affirmative action quota. They got Idris freaking Elba, let him ooze charm and charisma all over the screen (http://i.imgur.com/u85vSG9.gif *congrats you're pregnant*) because that's what Idris Elba does... When he's not dive-tackling invisible space ships and stabbing them to death.

If Fox or Sony want to emulate the success of Marvel with their own Super Hero franchises, they just need to stop making shitty movies. Full stop. Don't worry about keeping exactly faithful to the comics, don't worry about wedging in little easter egg nods to the comics. Just make a good movie. Hire dedicated people who genuinely want to do good work (not just finish and move on to the next paycheck). The rest will fall into line.

Back to the FF reboot: I'll agree with your more cynical guess. The movie just plain sucks. The acting is bad, the story is a mess, there's no chemistry between the actors ... take your pick. The studio knows it, and doesn't want to start teasing early, for fear that people might get a whiff of the stank. I mean, come on: the eponymous Four are led by Low-Budget-Paul-Dano from That Awkward Moment, and ... wait, I just realized that HALF of the Four are from That Awkward Moment. So yeah, my bet: it sucks.

youji itami:

K12:
I think the main reason that the "diverging from the comics" version tends to work less well is that they always go in the same direction.

They try to make it more "realistic" and "mature" by taking out all the fun stuff in a way that makes them seem embarrassed of their own source material and make them less distinct.

I hate the fact that we have so many superhero films coming out that are rated as being too old for 10 year old kids to see when they should be the main audience for so much of this stuff. I say this as someone who has read virtually no comic books but can recognise when the soul of a particular work has been extracted.

The opposite stuff about people going insane because character X is wearing the wrong hat is just as irritating but to be honest that's what you get for being too cowardly to make any original stories.

There hasn't been a single main DC or Marvel comic released in 35 years that I would let an under 12 read. So I think your a bit wrong on the current target audience of comics when South Park has less swearing and violence.

I think the idea is that these guys SHOULD be playing to that demo. Most of the blame is put on Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns however I'd put more of it on Frank Miller than Alan Moore because Alan, as crazy as he is, was actually trying to make a point. Namely when this stuff actually enters our world its not going to end well for anyone involved. The Dark Knight Returns was gritty and grim for the sake of being gritty and grim.

Until the mythical year that is 1986 those books played more towards kids than they did adults. While still not G rated pretty much the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe I'd let my kids watch if I had them. Going back in time in my mind there would be a lot of innuendo or language that would go over my head and I wouldn't care for but I'd remember the action scenes plane as day. Hell that Hulk movie would've probably scared me as a kid but I would've at some point reached the conclusion that the climax is freaking awesome. And until Pacific Rim came out Cap 1 really was a glorified Saturday morning cartoon in the absolute best way possible. The MCU strikes the perfect balance of kid friendly action and adventure with adult themes and consequences that doesn't talk down to kids either.

What Marvel have been good at is identifying the iconic elements of their characters and presenting those in a new format.

Which, really, is old hat to them at this point given that they do so in comics with some regularity in various alternate universes, what ifs, and side stories.

It doesn't seem like anyone else has really grasped what the iconic elements of the Fantastic Four should be and thus how to represent them well in a movie*, hence the previous two movies were a bit poo and everything that gets released about the upcoming one makes it sound less and less like a Fantastic Four movie.

*Well, except Brad Bird.

Trishbot:

"Again: I get where fandom is coming from. We've seen plenty of projects go bad because a filmmaker decided they knew better (or were better) than the material. But we'd do well to remember that it wasn't too long ago that Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon would never have made it to theaters for fear of being too outside the narrow standards of a mainstream audience. We would do well not to become just as narrow ourselves."

The Fantastic Four reboot is being made, not out of passion, but out of reaction to losing the rights, just like Sony with ASM. They did this one already before (Roger Corman's unreleased movie) and it sounds like they have very little interest in making it a "success".

It's less about the Fantastic Four themselves as it is the world they inhabit. Losing the Fantastic Four means losing Galactus, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, the Skrulls, Annihilus, and lots of other characters best associated with the original family of superheroes. Heck, even the Marvel "golden age" is credited to Fantastic Four #1 making Marvel the powerhouse it eventually became...

So they'll make a movie, even a terrible one, to keep those rights. Unless the film absolutely tanks and costs them money, they'll keep remaking and rebooting it to keep it out of Marvel's hands. Which is a shame, because Dr. Doom deserves so much better than being stuck with such inept movies.

Although i think you are right about that, i don't really see the point.
They are spending money (sometimes a lot) to make a competitor make a bit less money.

I don't think that this tacktick really works.
It's not like that the money Marvel doesn't get will be given to FOX.
And we pay for it by having crappy movie's.

The marvel universe is so big they can work around it most of the time.
For instance, in the Avengers they wanted to use the Skrull, FOX said no and they used the Chitauri.
And didn't earn a penny less for it.

Galactus is a no go, but there is Thanos.
Even The Celestials are an option now.

If this F4 bombs they should realize there's no money to be made and let the licence fall back to marvel.

Diddy_Mao:

Just don't get bogged down in dour melodrama. This is a series where a man named Victor Von Doom can go to college and effectively major in Mad Science, and nobody bats an eye.
A world where said Arch-villain proceeds to don head to toe power armor and a green tunic before invading other countries with an army of "Doom-Bots"

What it needs is a healthy dose of self indulgent Kirby-esque techno-babble. I expect at least one scene where Dr. Doom threatens to use his Inverse Keplar Rift Generator to alter Reed Richard's Temporal Bio-Flux Matrix or I'm just not going to be happy.

Not sure if you'd care or not, but reading all that (especially the last line) made me smile. And I agree wholeheartedly. :)

As for the FF film, I know it's wrong to pre-judge something. But if it truly ends up using the found-footage gimmick, I'm just not going to like this movie no matter what. There are times when that style works, no one can deny that. But I have never particularly cared for it. I find it distracts from the story more often than it adds to it. That being said, if anyone could make it work then this is the guy. Chronicle was pretty good all told. I just have a hard time seeing how it's going to improve the story of Reed and the gang.

Worst case scenario: The reason it would be found-footage style is that H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot is hovering around filming everything. Yikes.

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