Despite fan outcry, Fox’s The Fantastic Four is pushing ahead. As is the case with most reboots, the film will have a different tone from its predecessors, but will the tone match what we’ve seen from decades of adventures with Marvel’s First Family? According to new developments, not exactly.
In an interview with Crave Online, producer Simon Kinberg stated that The Fantastic Four would be a much more ” grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies.” Describing it as a mix between the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films and director Josh Trank’s Chronicle, Kinberg said the film will be more of a drama than a comedy. However, he reassured fans that there will be some light-heartedness in the story.
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.
In a separate interview with Den of Geek, Kinberg also commented that the younger cast for the film (Miles Teller, Jaime Bell, Kata Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Toby Kebbell) will reflect the origin story they will be telling.
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. They’re older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story.
Since Ultimate Fantastic Four is the main comic book inspiration for the film, using younger actors make sense. However, gritty and grounded doesn’t sound like a good fit for the Fantastic Four (which they actually won’t be called in the film). As Man of Steel proved, characters that are optimistic and more wholesome don’t lend themselves well to darker stories. The Fantastic Four stories have always been outlandish, unusual and humorous, and that’s been part of their appeal.
Say what you will about the previous Fantastic Four films, but at least they embraced the lighter side of the characters. Going for a different tone is fine for a reboot, but picking a tone that’s the antithesis of what the characters are isn’t doing the film any favors. With a story about people who gain powers like flame engulfment and turning into a giant rock monster, making the film grounded probably shouldn’t be your priority.
Also, since when has the 2002 Spider-Man been a gritty movie? Compared to The Amazing Spider-Man, Raimi’s film is a light-hearted romp.