20th Century Fox has been very quiet about their new Fantastic Four reboot, which wrapped production late last year. Plot details, set pictures, and even leaks were kept to a minimum, which is surprising for a contemporary superhero movie.
Well, we finally got our first look early this morning, and even though I’m not particularly excited about its drab and dreary presentation (their new suits look AWFUL), it does present some pretty drastic changes to the established story that most may not be familiar with. Check out some things that will be different this time around below.
The origin story is different
The space-faring origin story that everyone remembers from the comics and first pair of movies will now be earthbound (sort of). Reed Richards (Miles Teller) presents theories and experiments on teleportation that are picked up and funded by Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey), whose children, party animals Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) and Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Reed’s best friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell), and Richards himself all take part in.
In the original comics, Reed went to the government with his idea and the four travel into space for a similar experiment and are bombarded with cosmic rays; the team members are also much older. This new movie looks to be pulling from the recent Ultimate comic storyline, with younger versions of the four and a more contemporary atmosphere (they teleport to another plane of existence called the Negative Zone, or N-Zone for short).
Dr. Doom is now a hacker named “Doom”
Actor Tony Kebbell (pictured above), our new Dr. Doom for 2015, told Collider back in November that the character would be undergoing a massive reworking for this new movie:
He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story. And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that. The Doom in ours—I’m a programmer. Very anti-social programmer. And on blogging sites I’m “Doom”.
Naturally, this drastic change caused a lot of controversy with fans of the original comics and beyond. Some interesting things to note are that this is a completely original revision, one that hasn’t been included in any incarnation of the comics, and that the new Doom is no where to be seen in this teaser, so it remains to be seen how he’s going to be utilized.
It’s been described as “hard sci-fi” by director Josh Trank
Comic book intellectual properties have become sacred cows in contemporary Hollywood. Marvel Studios has found great critical and financial success in adhering closely to their source material while fine-tuning some details for their Cinematic Universe, gaining approval from casual viewers and hardcore comic fans alike.
It looks like director Josh Trank is going in a different direction this time around, as he told Collider yesterday that he’d classify this new movie as “hard sci-fi” as a way to differentiate it from the many other similar projects in the works, claiming inspiration from films like Ridley Scott’s Alien and David Cronenberg’s Scanners and The Fly. It’ll be interesting to see if Trank’s gambit winds up paying off, or if it descends into X-Men: The Last Stand levels of bad.
Dr. Franklin Storm is Black, and Sue is the adopted child
Speaking of changes to the franchise, the movie will also be shaking up the dynamic of the Storm family. Reg E. Cathey (Freddy from House of Cards), who also serves as the narrator voice in the teaser, will be playing Dr. Franklin Storm here, who recruits Reed into his research program. Michael B. Jordan’s new Johnny Storm is his son, and Kate Mara‘s Sue Storm is the adopted daughter.
Jordan’s addition to the cast had always been a welcome change of pace, but now we have the context. ComicBookMovie.com put together a list of bullet points regarding the plot that leaked on reddit back in November (MASSIVE POTENTIAL SPOILERS. read at your own risk), and it looks like a lot of them are holding true in the teaser.
The Thing’s powers may work a little differently this time around
Another thing revealed in that plot leak involves Ben Grimm aka The Thing (READ AHEAD AT YOUR OWN RISK). In the original comics, Grimm is turned into the rock-skinned ever lovin’, blue-eyed Thing permanently, only being switched back during certain story lines. In the movie, it’s been hinted that he’ll be able to transform back and forth at will… at first. I think the studio might take this approach because they got Jamie Bell, a lean and pretty face, to play Grimm and they want to show him off as much as they can in this first flick.
The Fantastic Four will be released on August 7, 2015. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Reg E. Cathey, and Tony Kebbell are starring.
Dylan “CineMasai” Green is a movie geek, hip-hop aficionado, and pita chip enthusiast. Find him on Twitter.
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