I love these kinds of stories — they generally come to us from some site (or major TV network’s movie blog that will remain nameless) that heard some executive or even worse, someone’s agent talking about a project that “would be cool” or “could work.” But as we all know, these things so often end up as stains on the mattresses of fans, the classic shoulda, coulda, wouldas of the movie world. And unfortunately for the “fanboy” community, this happens all too often in the world of comic adaptations. Why? Because people like to talk about these highly marketable properties, that’s why.
Today’s big comic-related rumor comes to us from IESB. They are saying that “word around town” is that 20th Century Fox is looking to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise. The reboot would be a eying a tone that is “less bubble gum” and more along the lines of what Iron Man was, a film with enough edge to keep fans interested and enough mainstream appeal to find big box office success. And it makes sense, seeing as the two Tim Story directed Fantastic Four movies were decidedly goofy, earning mixed reactions from die-hards and casual moviegoers alike. But even with the poor reviews, both films did gross over $130 million domestically and $275 million world wide. And with each on a budget of $100-130 million, that take isn’t too bad. So the question is this: why would you need to reboot a franchise such as Fantastic Four? To appease fans? Doubtful. To continue to cash in on recognizable properties because you can’t successfully bring any other good properties to the screen? Yeah, that’s more like it.
It is my professional opinion that you should not get your hopes up about something like this — once someone at Fox gets back on the logic train, this project could very well die under the banner of “yeah, there really isn’t a good reason to do that.” At least not so soon. And while it could be interesting to see this franchise get some life under a new director, new cast and new vision, there’s another thing we haven’t considered: where is this rumor really coming from? A source named as “word around town”? There is no producer attached, no one championing this cause and not even a wish list of writers and/or directors. To say that this rumor were thin would be an understatement. That, and this reboot would be a bad idea. Plain and simple.
Anyone care to argue for this idea?