Few superhero movies in recent years have had as bad of a time on their journey in getting to the big screen as the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four. In retrospect it was a doomed project from the start. 20th Century Fox was approaching the deadline wherein if they didn’t make a movie with the characters soon the rights would revert back to Marvel, and thus their cross town rival Marvel Studios. As the landscape of superheroes was even more competitive back then, and The Walt Disney Company hadn’t yet swallowed Fox whole, they had no other choice but to reboot the property. Enter director Josh Trank fresh off the success of found-footage superhero movie Chronicle.
Trank’s troubles on the shoot are well documented, though it’s unclear how much of it was studio interference and the filmmaker’s own erratic behavior. There were reports of the director being volatile on set, including trashing a home he was renting in Louisiana where the film was being shot, according to a lengthy report from The Hollywood Reporter. On the flip side, studio mandated reshoots and cuts were also clearly made to the film, resulting in a Chimera of mediocrity that no one was willing to claim, except producer Simon Kinberg who proclaimed in the midst of the movie’s disastrous opening weekend that “It’s not a disaster.” Trank himself even took to Twitter as the movie was bombing to say (in a quickly deleted message) “a fantastic version” of the film was made that audiences would “probably never see.”
Now, over four years removed from the film, though many a meme are still bandied about, Trank has taken to his own personal Letterboxd account to officially review his own film, offering a candid and introspective look at the film.
“I was expecting it to be much worse than it was,” the director wrote. “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.”
Trank went on to say he hopes that the property is rebooted once again, this time with Ant-Man director Peyton Reed at the helm, all Trank wants is a cameo. You can read Trank’s full review of his over movie over here.
Reed has vocally been a fan of the Fantastic Four for many years and has lobbied for the role of directing the characters before, with many fans calling for him to helm the project once Marvel Studios does reboot the First Family (something they have confirmed is in the works).