It feels like every inch of the development, production, and release of Fox’s Fantastic Four was covered, and yet the film remains a fascinating piece of recent history that continues to be dissected. While we’re still probably a ways from knowing the full story of what went on there, what’s clear is that Fox’s plans to continue the franchise are in a bit of a holding pattern, with the studio pulling that 2017 date for Fantastic Four 2 from its release slate.
But Miles Teller, who was poised to lead the would-be franchise, was refreshingly candid when recently speaking about his experience on the film while also remaining fairly diplomatic. Appearing on Josh Horowitz’s happysadconfused podcast,
“People think that when you make something like a Fantastic Four that doesn’t do well, people think ‘Oh you phoned it in’ and it couldn’t be more untrue. You work harder on the bad films, or the films that turn out maybe not the way you intended, because something’s not working. And I thought it was kind of unjustly critiqued that way; there are even bigger bombs if you’re looking at how much money went into the production and what they reaped back. But I think it’s unfortunate a movie like that becomes a scarlet letter on a resume when so many talented people worked really hard and maybe a handful of people took it in a negative direction. But so many people worked really hard on that that are so talented.”
Again, Teller’s being diplomatic here so it’s unclear who exactly he’s referring to about taking the film in a “negative” direction, but there were plenty of reports of strife between writer/director Josh Trank and the film’s producers and, by extension, the studio, so what’s abundantly clear is that everyone was not on the same page throughout production.
When asked if he learned anything from the experience that he’ll take with him going forward, the actor elaborated by insinuating that the script was always in flux, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence in Hollywood and, as Teller points out, doesn’t always signal disaster:
“I think it was Clooney who said you can make a bad movie out of a good script, you can’t make a good movie out of a bad script, and that’s very true. If they’re telling you maybe your part’s not as big and they say, ‘Oh you’re gonna be bigger in the sequel’ or ‘Oh we’re gonna rewrite’ and ‘Yeah we’re gonna take in all these notes,’ if you’re in a position where you can say hold off I’m not signing off on this dotted line until this script is exactly where you want it, then you’re in a very fortunate position. Because I know actors that have been in literally Oscar-winning performances that told me that script was a struggle every day to get it to a place that [they] wanted it, and [they] were always fighting for the best version of it.”
Ultimately it’s unclear what Fox will do with this property, whether they’ll keep this cast and try to semi-reboot the series in a sequel or maybe incorporate them into the full X-Men universe with a different kind of movie. But for Teller’s part, he seems unfazed and while he’s currently in production on a PTSD drama called Thank You For Your Service, he’s also in the mix for a franchise of a different sort: Star Wars.
Teller has popped up on shortlists of actors being considered to play young Han Solo in the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-directed spinoff, and while the actor played coy on the podcast, he did confirm that he auditioned for the role by admitting that he hadn’t seen the original Star Wars movies until recently:
“I had never even seen any of the original Star Wars movies until maybe a month or a couple weeks before my first audition because I was like, ‘I should check this out’ (laughs). It holds up. I just love Harrison Ford, I think that’s a great character. I love his brand, I mean so many guys would’ve played that part so wrong and he has humor at the right times. Harrison Ford is a very big actor, when you see the facial expressions and the things he does he goes big, but he’s just always the coolest guy in the room and he’s got all of those great qualities.”
There’s no time like the present. Casting for the Han Solo pic is apparently closing in on the final contender, so hopefully we’ll know for sure in a couple of weeks if Teller is our new Han Solo or if some other actor is taking the part.