As we laid out recently, there are a lot of superhero movies coming up; the year 2016 will bring us seven such films alone. One of the biggest question marks in the near future, however, is The Fantastic Four reboot. It’s not so much that there’s doubt about director Josh Trank (Chronicle) rebooting the material, or that fans are unsure about the casting—Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Tobey Kebbell is a really solid lineup. It’s that we haven’t seen a single thing from this movie yet. Granted, it isn’t set to hit theaters until next August, but by this point we’ve usually seen something from a property of this scale. Marvel released the first Ant-Man image and poster the week that filming began. Warner Bros. has been rolling out a number of promo images for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and that doesn’t come out until 2016.
There’s been plenty of speculation as to why 20th Century Fox hasn’t shown anything from The Fantastic Four yet, but producer Simon Kinberg recently offered an explanation for the delay: it’s all about making the best first impression possible. More after the jump.
Speaking with Comic Book Movie, Kinberg explained why Fox has been so careful in releasing the first anything from The Fantastic Four:
“We’re putting it together now, and one of the important things, because this Fantastic Four is a reboot, and is such a different tonality and vibe from those other films, we want to make sure that the first thing we put out really expresses the voice of the movie, and isn’t compromised by not having visual effects ready, or anything like that.
I don’t actually know when it’s coming out, but I’ve seen all the footage from the movie. I was there for pretty much the whole shoot. It is a very different film from the others, and one that I think is very different from other superhero movies. It’s a very emotional, character-driven, more grounded film than I think people are anticipating.”
As a CG character comprises one fourth of the titular superhero team, it certainly makes sense that Fox would want to make sure they’re not unveiling a half-finished rendering of the character. But I’m still curious as to why they didn’t release an image of the pre-transformed team, or a close-up of a costume, or even a logo.
The go-to line for any superhero movie in development nowadays is that it’s “different” and “unique”, but the care with which Fox has approached the marketing for The Fantastic Four makes me think Trank’s vision for the film might be really out there—and that’s something to get excited about. It’s possible that Fox just isn’t 100% sure how to best reintroduce this property to audiences, and maybe the uniqueness of Trank’s take complicates the matter further.
If that’s the case, and Trank really has gone way outside the box on this one, then I’m very eager to see what he’s come up with. It feels like most superhero movies are either the super-serious DC kind or the colorful, humorous Marvel kind, with the X-Men franchise fitting somewhere in between. If Trank has come up with something truly unique to add to the genre, then that’s certainly exciting. I imagine the soonest we might see a trailer would be with Exodus: Gods and Kings in December, but given how close to the vest Fox has been playing this I still wouldn’t hold my breath. The Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015.