Michael B. Jordan Says THE FANTASTIC FOUR Script Is “Evolving” on Set; Doesn’t See the Characters as “Superheroes”

by     Posted 154 days ago

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Though 20th Century Fox hasn’t officially revealed everything it will be bringing to Comic-Con next weekend for its big Hall H panel, most are expecting to see at least something from The Fantastic Four.  The comics adaptation is currently in production in Louisiana in anticipation of a June 19, 2015 release date, so this year’s Comic-Con is the film’s big chance to reach the fans in a massive way.  We still know very little about the pic beyond the fact that Chronicle director Josh Trank is at the helm and it has a “grounded” tone, but the cast is certainly promising with Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, Kate Mara as Invisible Girl, Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Jamie Bell as The Thing, and Toby Kebbell (aka Koba from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Dr. Doom.

Jordan recently spoke a bit about the filming experience and Trank’s take on the material, noting that the script has changed quite frequently during the filming process, and likening the titular characters to people with disabilities who must learn how to adjust to life post-accident.  More after the jump.

michael-b-jordan-the-fantastic-fourSpeaking with MTV News, Jordan said that the Fantastic Four script has evolved during production:

“The script is evolving, [you make] on set decisions on the fly, things are always constantly changing. Me personally, I block out that extra noise and I focus on the job I have to do. It is an important film for all of us. We’re taking it seriously, taking a lot of risks. I think it’s going to pay off… As much as everybody thinks that these projects are cemented in years before, they’re not. There’s so many things that you just can’t account for. You know, you can try and plan as much as you want, but you get there on game day and you get thrown a curve ball, I guess, hey, the game plan goes out the window. You’ve got to adapt.”

Few films make it through production with their entire script intact, so it’s not uncommon to have the screenplay evolve during filming—especially on big budget studio films like Fantastic Four.  Moreover, Jordan was quick to point out that Trank has a very strong hold on his vision for the Marvel comics adaptation:

“Josh’s vision is very clear and he knows exactly what he wants, and he gives us room to adapt and to play. That’s what I kind of think sets us apart, is that this is going to be grounded and unconventional.”

fantastic-four-movieSpeaking of unconventional, Jordan said he doesn’t even see the Fantastic Four as superheroes:

“It’s not your typical superhero film, you know, we aren’t looking at this as like, being superheroes. We’re more or less a bunch of kids that had an accident and we have disabilities now that we have to cope with, and try to find a life afterwards – try to be as normal as we can.”

Jordan also touched on the idea of family in the pic, as the group comes together following their accident:

“One of the good things about the Fantastic Four is that everybody is different. And it’s like, sometimes family doesn’t always consist of your relatives or by blood. Sometimes your best friends can feel more like family than your cousins.

I think everybody kind of has that same feeling. When you go through an accident together, when you go through a traumatic event, sometimes that brings you closer together. Yeah, everybody takes their time out to kind of deal with their own stuff, but at the end of the day, you shared a common experience together that you’re able to relate to.”

Again, Fox hasn’t confirmed that The Fantastic Four will be showcased at Comic-Con, but I’d surprised if they didn’t at least tease some footage from the pic.  Look for our many, many panel recaps here on Collider starting next Thursday.




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  • FF Fan

    Great Idea. The FF as average people. Kind of takes the wind out their sails no? And rewrites as they film? This one is going to be a dud. Sad. Fantastic Four could be really great. Give it back to Marvel.

    • Vulcan

      Most films have rewrites on the set. And sometimes the actors just
      improvise lines. Other times the writer will write two variations of a
      scene, film both, and then decide in editing which one is better. The only films that don’t have rewrites are written by people like Aaron Sorkin who demand that the script never changes.

      • FF Fan

        True that rewrites occur frequently but…I quote,

        ““The script is evolving, [you make] on set decisions on the fly, things are always constantly changing. Me personally, I block out that extra noise and I focus on the job I have to do.”

        If he is blocking out the “noise” that is not necassarily a good thing. Why rewrite when a solid script is just that…solid. This implies the script is not solid.

      • Strong Enough

        Rewriting occurs frequently on set. sometimes when a writer is in a room writing and then goes on set with a director and the act plays out, you begin to notice problems with the way it was written, its normal as being in a room with final script is different from actually being on set

      • FF Fan

        Understandable and definitely true. But stating it’s all good to rewrite while filming is flat out wrong. This isn’t a comedy (yet at least) or a surrealistic endeavour. Minor rewrites are standard but major rewrites are problematic. e.g. World War Z. The third act was all rewrite while it was in production and the shift in tone and plot was jarring at best. Alien 3 is another good example.Just saying. Got any examples where a rewrite is good?

      • Vulcan

        He isn’t saying that there are major rewrites, he’s saying that it is evolving. It sounds like they are saying, “hey, this scene could be better.” or “what if we do this scene this way.” He isn’t saying that they are completely rewriting the story line and plot.

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      • Strong Enough

        WHo said this was a major rewrite? beside he said evolving. that could be totally different from rewrite. It could be they find new ideas on set and add them to the movie to be make it much better. But EVERY summer blockbuster goes through this. Joss Whedon flies in and works on marvel scripts at last minute like he did on TDW. it is customary for a writer to be on set with a budget of this magnitude

      • dolphin558

        This is Filmmaking 101. I don’t see the controversy like FF Fan does. You guys have said enough.

      • dolphin558

        This is Filmmaking 101. I don’t see the controversy like FF Fan does. You guys have said enough.

      • dolphin558

        This is Filmmaking 101. I don’t see the controversy like FF Fan does. You guys have said enough.

      • Davis

        No they don’t

    • Atlasshruggedmyass

      it worked great for “The Dark Knight” MOFO!

      • FF Fan

        What makes you think The Dark Knight had rewrites? There is no evidence of this. The Dark Knight Rises yes but…I think we can agree it was the lesser of all three. And I appreciate your infantile confrontational stance, says more than your petty words can.

  • Andrew J

    So the script is still be rewritten or evolving? Also that’s weird he said that because fantastic four are the superhero-iest superheroes out of all the superheroes. I mean their only occupation is superhero, they don’t even have alter egos

  • Christian

    What in the holy hell. Between his and Kata Mara’s comments, any cautious optimism I’ve had has completely evaporated. Is Roger Corman busy? Can we give the franchise back to him, please?

    • DoremusJessup

      Not sure why everyone is shitting on this movie already. Trank’s Chronicle was awesome. He’s obviously looking to do something different here with FF. So what? I’m sick and tired of played out x-men and marvel movies that all share the same tone, sense of humor and narrative structure. I want something original, for just once.

      • GrimReaper07

        I couldn’t agree with you more.

      • DoremusJessup

        I hope it’s a completely original story that is unrelated to any comic book storylines. I’ve always wanted to see that.

      • brNdon

        Chronicle was awesome, but this sounds like he is just remaking it with a bigger budget. One trick pony, anyone?

      • DoremusJessup

        Maybe…but if he’s great at that one trick then he can keep doing it all he wants. That’s basically what Kathryn Bigelow looks poised to do and she was showered in Oscar noms.

      • brNdon

        Sure, but did I defend Kathryn Bigelow for doing so? And while her stories may have some similar subject material they are not as closely related as the two stories in Trank’s movies.

        My main point about this movie is he is taking these characters who are superheroes and turning them into a bunch of normal people dealing with their new powers, just like Chronicle. The FF were already extraordinary human beings before they had their powers.

      • FF Fan

        Everyone is shitting on it because Fox has failed not once, but twice at capturing FF effectively and now we are heading towards a third debacle. That is the rational is case you were confused.

      • DoremusJessup

        I agree that the first two were weak. But I’m not sure why you’re already so down on the third. Yeah, the buzz hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive, but we haven’t even seen anything yet!

      • FF Fan

        because it is beginning to become clear they are going in the direction of distancing themselves from well established, great characters that have been tried and true. No assumptions here, read the article and the other one with Mara. I would love to give it the benefit of the doubt but the track record is pretty bad…and all we have at this point is questionable production tactics for the new one. Evidence is better than assumptions. You would be assuming the film “may” be good, but the evidence (Fox’s history with it and the interviews) illustrate otherwise.

      • Foxverine and the Foxmen

        I’m pretty sure I read an interview with Miles Teller saying they won’t have the “silly” uniforms or be referred to as the Fantastic Four.

      • Foxverine and the Foxmen

        I’m pretty sure I read an interview with Miles Teller saying they won’t have the “silly” uniforms or be referred to as the Fantastic Four.

      • Foxverine and the Foxmen

        I’m pretty sure I read an interview with Miles Teller saying they won’t have the “silly” uniforms or be referred to as the Fantastic Four.

  • Manuel Orozco

    The movie may not turn out great but let’s hope it’s entertaining

  • Vulcan

    Am I the only one that’s still excited for this? Because it sounds to me like it’s going to be an interesting and unconventional super-hero film that turns the genre upside down. And they can’t be worse than the other Fantastic Four films.

    • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

      I agree about doing something different/unique w the film but make sure that you stick close to the source material in terms of tone/major character development. Otherwise what’s the point in adapting it? Just create your own “superhero film” and call it something different than the FF4 if that’s what they want to do.

      • brNdon

        He did. It was called Chronicle.

    • Theodore Trout

      Famous last words. Pretty apprehensive about this one.

  • li

    fuck teen fantastic four emo shit

  • http://www.scifihistory.net/ E. Lee Zimmerman

    Wow. This sounds even less exciting than the cast announcements … and I never thought that was possible.

  • Raptor Jesus

    I enjoyed Chronicle, but this? No. Just no.

  • Faptain America

    I hereby crown Michael B. Jordan His Torchness.

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    Fox needs to do some serious damage control as both Jordan’s and Mara’s recent interviews have really hurt the film’s credibility w the fanboys, who will in turn be writing several web articles about “why the new FF4 film will fail” – like the one I read on Montleynews this morning.
    I’m all for Trank doing something unique and different with the film as we are now in 2014 where there are 4 superhero films a year coming out (soon 6 once DC comes back into the game in 2016). As long as he keeps major plot elements/tone similiar to what’s been in the comics then I could see the film doing well.
    Trank’s already caused quite the stir w his casting choices (Michael B Jordan is a fine actor who I want to see as the Human Torch but they should have someone who could play his sister as Sue Storm instread of Kate Mara – and hiring Jamie Bell as the thing is very odd as it does not match Ben Grimes from the comics) so the studio will have their work cut out for thems of selling this film to mass audiences.

    • Strong Enough

      fanboys don’t make a film success at the box office. that has been proven time and time again

      • FF Fan

        Really. Transformers would not be the mega franchise it is without fanboys. So where is this” proven time and time again”?

      • cimmerian

        I think you just proved his point for him. Do you really think Transformers makes a billion dollars because of all the fanboys who find it a faithful and respectful adaptation of a beloved toy and cartoon?

      • FF Fan

        Did I make his point? Fanboy: A person who is completely loyal to a game or company/franchise regardless of if they suck or not. Irrelevant if it adheres to the original concept or even if its respectful. Fanboys are just that fans, not casual movie goers or cinema viewing public that strives for relevance and meaning in works.
        And yes…I think it has banked a billion because of fanboys.

      • Strong Enough

        And you think transformers reached that much without casual movie goers? They go to the cinema for this sutff. blowing shit up with popcorn in hand. this is what they live for. they have no idea what good cinema is. Its the fanboys who are most likely going to stay at home because they hate bay and don’t want to see their childhood crush get raped by hollywood

      • Strong Enough

        You think that billion box office is FANBOYS? lmao

        thats little kids and popcorn movie lovers. Fanboys are a small base of people. you need a movie to hit the general market for it to be a success. To rely on comic con goers is absurd, look what happened to scott pilgrim

      • mattinacan

        All the fan boys hate that Bay transformers garbage. It’s the ignorant, unwashed masses that make it a hit. What are you even talking about.

      • Agent777

        Massive rewrites tend to make films flop without fanboys.

  • Person

    I like these actors but I just don’t see them as the Fantastic Four, particularly Teller. Jordan is a talented guy, he can be doing better things. Obviously I hope for a good movie but I’m not holding my breath.

  • eternalozzie

    It sounds like they are going down the road like Nolan Batman flicks where the characters just vaguely represent the comic characters.

    • Django9000

      Nolan ‘ s films were chock full of references to many Bat books. Even obscure fan favorite ones.
      Here’s hoping whether or not the actors are aware of it, Trank has done his homework, & we’ll see a unique take that’s still recognizable as a fan’s take, instead of just a studio’s attempt at Nolan-izing- a la ASM 1 & 2…
      There’s some great stuff in the books to draw from or at least reference. If Mole Man has his underground minions & Reed wraps himself around his giant subterranean monster like a ball of rope, I’ll be happy.
      Plenty of room for grounding & referencing fan material alike. Lucius Fox, Rhas Al ghul , Harvey Dents arc & Ledger ‘ s Joker were all huge nods to fans that either Jonathan or Chris Nolan, or both, at least took time to read thru the material.

  • appolox

    While I doubt this will do poorly I just don’t think it’ll bee the smash hit Fox wants it to be. The Fantastic Four isn’t exactly thought fondly of by the general public.

    • GrimReaper07

      Neither was Iron Man or Captain America. There’s a first time for everything

    • FF Fan

      FF, and Spider Man, were the comics that made Marvel what it is. FF #1 was a huge success. You are writing out of your butt and ill informed.

      • appolox

        Yeah and that was a long time ago. Nowadays they have some of the weakest sales in the business. I love the Four, but they just don’t have the popularity even if with comic fans out seems.

      • Theodore Trout

        I’m a huge longtime FF fan, but no-one has ever been able to do them right since Lee and Kirby split up.
        John Byrne got closest, but even he only got it about half right.
        The first 100 issues of FF are about as good as superhero comics ever got, but if you don’t remember that era you probably don’t get what the fuss was all about.

      • appolox

        I though Ultimate Fantastic Four was decent, so I’m glad there taking some inspiration from it. But there have been 2 other movies based on them and they both weren’t exactly what you’d call successes.

      • 80sRobot

        This is the real reason why Marvel recently announced they will put the FF on the backburner for a while. Sales for the various FF books have sucked for the past several years. If the Fox movie does well, then it could garner interest for a relaunch of the FF comic.

      • Kaine Morrison

        That is only a rumour. Marvel announced NO such thing!

      • 80sRobot

        This is the real reason why Marvel recently announced they will put the FF on the backburner for a while. Sales for the various FF books have sucked for the past several years. If the Fox movie does well, then it could garner interest for a relaunch of the FF comic.

      • 80sRobot

        This is the real reason why Marvel recently announced they will put the FF on the backburner for a while. Sales for the various FF books have sucked for the past several years. If the Fox movie does well, then it could garner interest for a relaunch of the FF comic.

      • MightyFooda

        I guess you are unaware that Marvel cancelled the FF comic? I have been reading comics since the eighties. They have never had a ton of fans in the modern era. You are the one who is ill informed.

      • appolox

        Thanks ;)

      • Kaine Morrison

        They only cancelled the Ultimate Fantastic Four.
        Not the 616 version.

      • MightyFooda

        I guess you are unaware that Marvel cancelled the FF comic? I have been reading comics since the eighties. They have never had a ton of fans in the modern era. You are the one who is ill informed.

      • MightyFooda

        I guess you are unaware that Marvel cancelled the FF comic? I have been reading comics since the eighties. They have never had a ton of fans in the modern era. You are the one who is ill informed.

  • TheMuppetManiac

    I don’t understand how you can make a Fantastic Four movie and want to change eveything about what makes them the Fantastic Four. It’s one thing to have to change something because it might not work right on film (Woverine’s costume). It’s another thing to gut a mythology that’s been around for over 50 years and just because you can. Every time news comes out on this project, it gets worse and worse. The effects and action better be mindblowing, cause right now this is making Tim Sory’s FF look good. And why is he cqlling them kids? Most of the last are in their late 20′s/early 30′s.

    • FF Fan

      Agreed. The FF were some of the only characters that were identified as SUPER HEROES without alter egos. That is what made them…the Fantastic Four. Those that state otherwise obviously are unfamiliar with the great history of the comics. Essentially they are cutting the head off of everything the FF represent to appeal to alienated kids. FF(the core group) was never about that.

    • tonamania

      Mostly agree. This just looks like a bigger and bigger mess. “…we’re not looking as this being superheroes”; they “…have disabilities…” WTF?! So first Story and Fox do a poor first 2 attempts and now we have a kids coping with disabilities theme. Brilliant. Why’s it so hard to be even a little faithful to the spirit of this particular comic book line. Make the d@mn movie where expresses their feelings and have debilitating super powered disabilities and call it ‘Party of Four” or something, but don’t slap an FF name on it.

    • Strong Enough

      Tim story look good? LMAOOO that will NEVER happen

  • GrimReaper07

    Everyone’s hating on this but honestly, it’s probably my second most anticipated superhero movie. I’m not one to care about fidelity to source material so long as its good and and fresh. I get why there’s so much hate though.

  • Larry

    All I get from the recent interviews is that the actors and director don’t see this as a superhero movie. Trank sees this as an extension of “Chronicle” where normal people get ‘powers’. Don’t think this movie in any way will pay homage to anything. What a waste of the original concept. FOX just thumbed it’s nose at Marvel once agan. Does this move really need to be called Fantastic Four? Because it sounds like Chronicle Part 2. Will Trank even call the characters by their superhero names? Will they have group costumes? I don’t think there is anything fantastic about how Trank is intepreting the canon. He’s doing everythng to NOT make a Fanastic Four Movie. I doubt the Thing is going to look anything as he looks in the comcs.

    • Kaine Morrison

      The girl, mara, i think, said that there are no costumes.

  • brNdon

    It sounds like Josh is trying to make a big budget version of Chronicle. Sounds like a bastardization of the source material. The FF are superheroes.

  • Tosyma

    BIG MISTAKE.
    We’ll just see.

  • GrimReaper07

    I just hope that if the movie turns out to be good fans won’t call it **** just because its not faithful to the comics.

  • Cristy0010

    Not a big fan of Fantastic Four previous movies, but I really like the cast, specially Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, I’ll definitely watch this only if I like the trailer.

  • Jack Dennis

    it may not be faithful to the comics but i have a feeling it will be a great movie.its happening so all we can do is hope its good.the thing that disheartening is that if it does suck but makes money they will likely continue making them.

  • Billy The Kid

    A black human torch? oh ,well ..fuck it.

  • God’s Diamond

    I like mbj but this interview is so contradictory. He says the director has a vision but then says the script is constantly being rewritten and they are allowed to improvise. Basically they made chronicle 2 and Dr doom is probably gonna be a schizophrenic with a welders mask and a hoody.

  • MJ

    “It’s not your typical superhero film, you know, we aren’t looking at this as like, being superheroes. We’re more or less a bunch of kids that had an accident and we have disabilities now that we have to cope with, and try to find a life afterwards – try to be as normal as we can.”

    What the fuck?

    What an insult to people who are truly disabled. Especially war veterans. I just decided I will not be paying money to see this.

    Hey Jordan — they are fun superheros. That’s the point! You guys have way over-thought this.

  • Kpaqu1

    Why is the name of this movie Fantastic Four? Call it something else and I’d bet people would be far more excited and far less polarized.

    • MJ

      Like “Disabilities of Steel”

      Or “The Disabled Knights”

      Or “The Amazing Disabled”

      Or, “D-Men”

  • Vos_L

    Hahaha, this film is going to be a disaster. Of all the superheroes that should not be “grounded”, it’s the FF. Everyone is trying to copy the Nolan/Batman thing with “grounded” superheroes, which is stupid because Batman has no powers. So, of course, a Batman film needs to be more grounded or it won’t be believable that he could survive in that world. FF does not have powers that cry out for a “grounded” movie. They have no clear direction for the film and it sounds like they are basically just making a FF version of Chronicle. Lame. I hope this film completely bombs and Fox gives up their FF rights back to Marvel. The ONLY reason they are even making this movie is because the FF film rights revert back to Marvel if they don’t make another FF movie soon. This movie isn’t being made because someone’s vision needs to be told on screen….it’s just a cashgrab to keep the film rights at Fox.

  • Devin Reed

    The more I hear about this movie, the less excited I get. :-/

  • 80sRobot

    Are they just making a reboot of Chronicle and calling it Fantastic Four?

  • anthonyg1500

    Its like the actors were given a book of things to say to the press that would upset the fans

  • Agent777

    Since the first two movies flew right off the radar… doing a watered down version, well, that will go right off the radar too. I think people really want to see a FF movie and not another inexperienced directors ‘vision’ of what they are.

    Also rewrites on set is never a good thing. Most great films don’t improve lines, but instead have a script and cast that would make you think they did.

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  • Redjester

    Can anybody think of a film other than Casablanca where heavy on-set editing of the script actually made for a better picture? Me neither.

  • Redjester

    Can anybody think of a film other than Casablanca where heavy on-set editing of the script actually made for a better picture? Me neither.

    • Redjester

      Still think Michael B. Jordan is going to be an excellent Johnny Storm/Human Torch.

    • Redjester

      Still think Michael B. Jordan is going to be an excellent Johnny Storm/Human Torch.

  • Redjester

    Can anybody think of a film other than Casablanca where heavy on-set editing of the script actually made for a better picture? Me neither.

  • Grendal Sven

    This is the obnoxious little shit that said “It doesn’t matter how much people complain, they are still going to see the movie.” (I paraphrase.)

    No, no I am not going to see this pile of horse-shit.

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