Fantastic Four Reborn

Harry Knowles seems to think that this is the new title for an upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. It makes sense, as he also lays down word that the film will be a complete reboot of the Fantastic Four saga. As you know, Fox needs to keep making Fantastic Four movies in order to keep the rights to the property, else they will lose it back to Marvel Studios and Disney.

The most recent news to come out of this project is that Fox hired Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) to produce the reset series. And Michael Green, whose work you’ve seen on Smallville, Everwood and Heroes, to write the thing. Green just came off co-writing Green Lantern at Warner Bros.

There’s a general disdain in the geek community for just about everything that Akiva Goldsman touches. It has something to do with Batman and Robin, I believe. The same could be said about Fox, who has “butchered” several beloved and interesting character (see: X-Men: The Last Stand, Daredevil) But when it comes to Fantastic Four Reborn, even Harry Knowles seems optimistic. Says the red head, “I actually do think Avatar might’ve been a huge lesson for the studio. It should be. If you’ve been watching a lot of the post-Avatar hiring decisions at Fox – they’ve started working with really great folks and I’m hearing that “quality” might be a new precious commodity.”

Here’s my question: what has Fox really learned from Avatar that could help them with a Fantastic Four film? The only lesson of Avatar is “give James Cameron whatever he wants.” I don’t see the connection between that success and what they are doing with this property. In fact, it looks like a desperate stab at not losing the rights to a very marketable comic franchise. Those last two Fantastic Four films did earn a combined $620 million worldwide. And they were just okay.

It fascinates me to see Knowles all of the sudden connecting the word quality with a project that involves both Fox and Goldsman. What caused the change of heart? It certainly can’t be the title, which isn’t interesting at all. Perhaps someone is trying to cozy up to a studio that’s about to make a bunch of geeky films. As someone who’s keeping Fox and the situation at arms length, I remain skeptical.


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