To put it mildly, the Fantastic Four reboot did not pan out. It was mired in rumors of dysfunction behind the scenes, the gritty approach didn’t seem particularly novel or worthwhile, and the final film was a mess due to the amount of reshoots and tinkering involved. The movie limped to a $167 million worldwide box office, and plans for a sequel were shut down.
Nevertheless, in today’s blockbuster landscape where superhero franchises are at a premium, Fantastic Four is still a valuable title. Furthermore, while the theatrical cut doesn’t particularly work, the amount of footage that was left in TV spots and B-roll raises an interesting question about what could have been. Steve Weintraub recently spoke to writer-producer Simon Kinberg for Logan and asked if there’s any chance of seeing an alternate cut of Fantastic Four:
SIMON KINBERG: I don’t know the answer to that in terms of whether or not fans will ever see it. I think B-roll is probably the place where they will see it. And for us, it’s in the past in the sense of lessons learned and we would love to make another Fantastic Four movie. We really believe in that cast, and I think the lessons that we learned would help us make a more consistent movie than we did the first time.
That leads to the question of whether or not Fox has to keep making Fantastic Four movies in order to hold on to the rights. Kinberg replied:
KINBERG: I have no idea. I think the truth is we would not make another Fantastic Four movie until it was ready to be made. One of the lessons we learned on that movie is that we want to make sure we get it 100% right, because we will not get another chance with the fans.
To be blunt, while the reboot does have a talented cast, I think audiences don’t want to keep seeing Fantastic Four movies in the vein of a gritty, realistic take of teenagers who get superpowers. While I appreciate Kinberg’s desire to make sure they get a sequel right, I’m willing to bet that the next time we see a Fantastic Four movie, it will be with a different cast and a completely different approach.