Today Nerds on Earth was somehow CC’d on an internal email from Fox about the recent Fantastic Four movie, its opening box office weekend, and the plan moving forward. [Editor’s Note: Not really CC’d.][divider]Internal Email Regarding the Fantastic Four Movie[/divider]
To all involved in the Fantastic Four movie,
So, that happened. I recommend that you all stay away from reviews of the movie. For instance, the /filmcast podcast spent nearly as much time as dissecting our movie as the movie itself is long. And the same Jeff Cannata was on the iFanboy special edition podcast to dissect it some more.
Reviews are not good. The Rotten Tomatoes score is hovering around 9%. So, for the sake of an honest discussion, can we talk about where the film went wrong?
First, I thought we had hired a great director: Josh Trank. I mean, I loved Chronicle. We gave him $12 million dollars and we made $126 million dollars. He seemed to love science fiction, superheroes and is a guy on the way up. In retrospect, we mishandled it. We should have let him know that when we give you more money, we are going to micromanage the heck out of you. You get to suggest ideas and we get to shot them down, especially with this particular property. As we have stated in meetings, it is our job to just churn out one of these every so often so that Marvel doesn’t get the rights back and crush us with another dominant film.
Second, I thought it was going to be an excellent idea to make the special effects look really cool and then limit the amount of screen time they got. The Human Torch looked amazing and the 186 seconds of him on screen flamed on were fantastic. No need for more.
Now let’s talk about The Thing. Do you all remember that rubbery catastrophe that we made Michael Chiklis wear in the last movies? I think the world owes us gratitude for the last 3 years of The Shield, which felt like he was working out his anger about it on screen. And whoever decided to make the Thing look amazing and hint that he had been on amazing missions, but then only show crappy, grainy pictures of it on a monitor in the distance? You deserve a raise!
Some have suggested that what makes the Fantastic Four work in the comic books is that they are built on a sense of family. And I got to say, we ignored that extremely well. Who cares what Marvel thinks these characters are? We want to make our own property with their names! So having the characters largely ignore each other was genius. Sure Reed Richards goes away for a year in the movie. But there is no need to show a burgeoning friendship between Torch and Thing. Let someone else worry about one of the best “buddy cop” dynamics in comics. We don’t need it for this film.
And nice work everyone in minimizing how much Susan Storm says in the film to a) her brother and b) Ben Grimm. For real, the cross racial casting didn’t lend itself to some interesting backstory in any way whatsoever. We made what could have been an interesting dynamic a completely cold roommate-like situation. Well done. I mean, it isn’t like people are literally clamoring for a strong, female superhero. Let’s let Marvel worry about that with their Captain Marvel movie. I mean, it isn’t like Kate Mara has the acting chops of Jessica Alba here guys.
And Doctor Doom? Well done. We managed to remove his mysticism meets science background, made him feel death omnipotent for 5 minutes, and then be defeated with one very quick scene of teamwork. Iconic villain of the franchise ruined and used up in the most simple way possible. Well played all.
Some are suggesting that we should surrender like Sony did, lay down, cut a deal so that Marvel can make good movies with characters that we own, but that they understand better. I mean, do we really think the Marvel Spiderman movies are going to be good? Sure, it might seem like the way forward for them but they are cowards.
I mean, we managed to run Daredevil into the ground to the point that we sold him back along with the Punisher. I haven’t heard very much about that lame Netflix Daredevil series at all. I vote we keep doing it with these characters. I mean, Marvel doesn’t believe in them so much that they cancelled their comic series; that cancellation in no way is from the fact that they maybe saw or heard about what this film was like. I say we keep moving forward.
Lots of movie executives have made this kind of financial mistakes and move forward. At least we didn’t make the movie long. It is a little longer than an ABC afterschool special and that seems like for the best.
Why waste time on plot, story and effects when we all know we don’t have them? I bet if we had done what I said and made a forced Stan Lee cameo into the movie, it would be doing way better in the box office. It seems like everything that guy is in is a super-hit. That is all that we were missing.
So when do we make the sequel just to keep sticking it to Marvel?
Anonymous Fox Executive