Exclusive: Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg Talk FANTASTIC FOUR; Plus First Images From Set

     January 26, 2015


Last week, right before Sundance began, I landed an awesome exclusive interview with director Josh Trank and producer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg for Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated superhero reboot starring Miles TellerKate MaraMichael B. JordanJamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell.  With the movie surrounded by secrecy, I was incredibly excited to land their first official interview on what’s shaping up to be a new take on the superhero genre.

As most of you know, Trank made a name for himself with the excellent found footage sci-fi film Chronicle, and Kinberg helped bring X-Men: Days of Future Past to the big screen as both the producer and writer and he’s currently writing X-Men: Apocalypse and working within the new Star Wars universe.  Both are talented filmmakers and it’s because of their involvement that I’m extremely confident in The Fantastic Four (which opens in theaters on August 7th).  Click here to check out the new trailer.

josh-trank-fantastic-fourWhile their take on Fantastic Four is definitely not what some people might be expecting, I welcome it with open arms.  The fact is, you can’t continue to make the same superhero movie again and again.  You’ve got to expand the scope of what you can do within the genre.  That’s one of the reasons why Captain America: The Winter Solider and Guardians of the Galaxy were so great.  Not only were they kick-ass movies, but they pushed the genre forward by exploring the far off reaches of space and essentially making a political thriller, respectively. I loved both films and each felt fresh and new.

Which brings me to Fantastic Four.

During our almost hour-long conversation, Trank and Kinberg revealed a ton of great information about the project without getting into plot specifics.  In a day and age where everything seems to be spoiled before you walk into a theater, I welcome being surprised.  I want to experience the twists and turns with fresh eyes.

However, while they were guarded about the plot, the two did share a ton of information.  Before diving into the full interview, here are a few of the highlights:

  • Trank says they “consciously decided to not release anything official” until now.
  • In terms of plot and story, Trank was guarded but did say, “This is a modern telling of how these four iconic characters came together and came to be.”
  • Trank revealed that renowned composer Philip Glass is scoring the movie with Marco Beltrami.
  • The film recently did a few days of additional photography and it was to film some bits and pieces.  Nothing major.  They weren’t filming some huge new ending.
  • The original shoot was seventy-two days and they were on-schedule and on-budget.
  • The film is heavily influenced by David Cronenberg and Trank mentioned that Scanners and The Fly were big influences on the look of the film.
  • The film is an origin story and there are influences of what Kirby and Stan were doing in the 60’s all the way up into the present day.
  • fantastic-four-comicsThe Ultimates was also an influence and a lot of the science specifics are there.  They told me a lot of the means of transformation they took from the books.
  • Trank’s first cut of the film was around 2 hours and 10 minutes.  He said the final film will probably be between 2 hours and 2 hours and 20 minutes.
  • Kinberg says there is an Easter egg in the teaser trailer.
  • They are very influenced by what Marvel has been doing regarding combined universes.  Saying that, they admit it’s tricky to combine X-Men and FF because the X-Men films so far don’t acknowledge the Fantastic Four and the Fantastic Four takes place essentially in the same time period as the modern day X-Men movies.
  • Kinberg does confirm that there is a different approach to the Marvel movies at Fox than when they started making Marvel films at the studio. “There is an intent and want to be a part of a larger fabric and tapestry the way Marvel has done so brilliantly.”
  • Trank is on Twitter but isn’t tweeting right now.  If you want to follow him he’s at @JoshuaTrank.

And while I could go on and on pulling highlights from the interview, I think the best thing is to read what they had to say in their own words.

As you can hopefully gather from the highlights, Fantastic Four is shaping up to be a very cool and different superhero movie and I couldn’t be more excited to see the finished film.  Also, anyone that says their movie was influenced by Cronenberg makes me very happy.

Finally, one last thing.  A huge thank you to everyone at Fox for making this happen and for also provided us with the first official images from the set.  The photos below are by Ben Rothstein.  



Collider:  For some reason people seem to think your movie has issues.  I think it’s because you have yet to reveal images and footage.  So can you guys put to bed the notion that the movie has issues?

JOSH TRANK:  I think a lot of that stuff is stemming from the fact that we’ve consciously decided to not release anything official.  This isn’t like The Avengers.  Even when the first Avengers came out, there were four other movies that people were familiar with.  The suits and the tone and the look and the feel.  So they could release those things or drop them on Twitter.  With Simon on the X-Men movies, there were other movies that came before the last X-Men movie so Bryan [Singer] could feel more confident in tweeting teases of what’s to come.  But this movie, we really want the audience to have the proper reaction to this material seeing it for the first time.  You’ve really got to put your best foot forward.  You can’t just leak an image to strike up a conversation.  You want people to see something that has thought behind it.  And the teaser should do just that.  With conversations online, you can’t really control it.  In this day and age people have come to expect that artists are going to give everybody information on Twitter about what they’re doing, but not every artist is like that.  I’m not really like that.  If I was painting a picture I wouldn’t want to take a picture of a single paint stroke.  I’d rather show people what it looks like when it’s done.

You guys are currently in Baton Rouge.  Simon, you confirmed that you guys are doing four days of additional photography, which is the norm on almost every movie.  There’s nothing shocking.  Can you guys talk about what you wanted to get after looking at a rough cut?

SIMON KINBERG:  Yeah, I think what you said is right.  The vast majority of movies now do pick-ups of some scope and scale.  We did it on Days of Future Past.  We did it on X-Men: First Class.  Going back to Mr. and Mrs. Smith I’ve done it on almost every movie I’ve worked on.  It’s a normal part of these movies now.  When you look at the movie you often find that there’s a little connective tissue and little moments you wish you could hit harder.  Things you want to mine and go deeper on.  It’s bits and pieces like that.  Because it’s a big movie and a big investment for the studio, they give us the wherewithal to grab stuff we wish we’d gotten or that we know now would make the movie better.

fantastic-four-cast-kate-mara-miles-teller-michael-b-jordan-jamie-bellTRANK: I would just like to add in terms of the question of pick-ups or the implication of issues at hand, we had a seventy-two day shoot for principal photography.  We were on-schedule and on-budget and we had a great shoot.  I run a really tight ship as a director because I take those days very seriously.  I take every day very seriously in terms of what we need to accomplish, what we need to get done with the actors.  And I just like being on time.  For instance, Chronicle was like a thirty-four day shoot.  This was twice as long as that so you really have to pace yourself throughout.  And shooting a movie this big, this is my first time shooting a movie that’s this long, you get to the editing room and you’re surprised by the stuff you didn’t anticipate would work so well.  And just like Simon was saying, you see those little connective things that you didn’t even realize and you’re like “God, I’d like to grab that up.”  And what’s been so cool is that the studio has been very happy to make that happen because they’re so excited about the movie.  If that makes sense.

100%.  Fans of Marvel movies have learned that with Kevin Feige they allocate budget to do additional photography on every one of their movies.  So that’s the norm for them.

KINBERG: I think that’s the norm for most movies.  The allocation you’re talking about might be unique but truly, in a movie this complicated with this many moving pieces and this many characters, the norm is that you’re going to go back and grab some stuff.  It’s happened on pretty much every movie I’ve worked on.  And I actually think it’s a healthy part of the process.  When you’re working on a script it goes through a revision process where you have different drafts and iterations and, for some reason back in the day, you get one crack at making the movie.  And now, really for the past ten or fifteen years, it’s been a part of making big movies.  With Mr. and Mrs. Smith it was no secret that we were doing pick-ups.

TRANK: I did about a week and a half of pick-ups on Chronicle.

Par for the course.  Josh, are you on Twitter right now?

TRANK: I actually am on Twitter.  I have one tweet.  I used to be on Twitter and then I thought, “I don’t like being on Twitter anymore.”  I didn’t have anything I wanted to say.  You say anything and people take it the wrong way.  For the record I do have twitter, it’s @JoshuaTrank, but I don’t think you’re going to see me tweeting up a storm anytime soon.  It’s just not really my personality.  Some people are more into it than others.

What has it been like for the two of you watching all of the people online talk about the movie and wonder what the movie’s about?  Has it been sort of frustrating?  Or have you been waiting for when you have footage you want to show?

fantastic-four-movie-the-thingTRANK: I prefer to wait.  Simon and I have talked about this a lot because Simon has worked on a lot of movies where people are talking about it, and you have to be patient about these things.  Personally, there are moments when I look and think, “ah what are they saying?  I should say something!” But no, because it will just be so much better to see how everyone reacts to the material.  I don’t want to speak for the material, I want the material to speak for itself.  Not necessarily defend itself though, I think that’s the wrong way to go about it.  I’m so proud of this movie and I’m so excited for people to see it, and I just know that it’s so much more fulfilling to see how the same people who are saying things right now change their tune as soon as they have something to look at and dissect.

KINBERG: I’m used to working on movies where there’s a ton of speculation before it comes out and one of the things you see from inside the process of these films and outside the process as is that it’s a rollercoaster.  There can be such highs and such lows.  You can see a trailer you love but the movie disappoints you or vice versa.  I think when you’re making a movie the easiest thing to do is to jus focus on the movie.  And that will take care of the expectations of the fans as opposed to whatever current is in the water six to nine months before the film comes out.

TRANK: Simon has been very good at coaching me on that too, because sometimes I… I used to be one of those kids.  I used to be one of those guys not too long ago where I didn’t really know what was behind the curtain, so to speak.  So I understand how that speculation comes about because I used to be speculating like everyone else.  So it’s more first nature for me to want to know what everyone else is saying, but it’s not a very healthy avenue because you want to focus on the movie and you want the creative process to be pure and unadulterated by all of these other voices.  I’ve definitely been like, “Simon, what do I think about this?”  And he’s like, “don’t think about it.”  And he’s right.

In a marketplace that’s crowded with superhero movies, what sets this film apart?

fantastic-four-movie-newTRANK: I would say that the science fiction of it is a big thing that sets it apart from most of the other superhero genre films.  I’m a huge David Cronenberg fan, and I always viewed Fantastic Four and the kind of weirdness that happens to these characters and how they’re transformed to really fall in line more with a Cronenberg-ian science fiction tale of something horrible happening to your body and [it] transforming out of control.  And the potential for a hard sci-fi take on that material makes me really excited.  I don’t really see that kind of potential and that kind of take being implemented on any of the other superhero movies that seem to be coming out in the next few years.  Superhero movies have become a genre unto themselves and I didn’t really grow up on superhero movies.  I grew up on genre movies before superhero was a genre.   I don’t know if there are Blockbusters [the video chain] anymore, but there would probably be a superhero section.  And this would fit more into the science-fiction, or horror, or even drama sections of the Blockbuster.  And that’s just kind of the way I look at it.  I want it to feel like it’s its own thing.

KINBERG: One thing that’s unique to it is that it’s always been about a family.  Most comic book superhero movies are about a superhero protagonist or a superhero group.  But they’re ever really exploring what it is to be family.  And when I first read the comic that’s what was so compelling about it.  I think the reason it’s endured this long, the powers are great, but the defining thing is the surrogate family.  That’s something we really spent a long time talking about and putting into the film.  I think that will differentiate us as well from all of the different superheroes and superhero groups out there.

TRANK: Before we even approached this movie, the Fantastic Four on its own is very unique.

You guys put together a great cast.  Talk a little bit about landing those actors, what was it about those guys that made you realize you had the Fantastic Four?

fantastic-four-miles-tellerTRANK: I always kind of had Miles in the back of my head for Reed and I always kind of had Michael in the back of my head.  I met with Miles for Chronicle back in 2010 and I was such a big fan of his work in Rabbit Hole and he was an actor I always wanted to work with.  So when Fantastic Four came about, and I really started working on this when I was in post on Chronicle at the end of 2011.  I had just come off working with Michael B. Jordan and his character, Steve, in Chronicle had a lot of similar characteristics to Johnny Storm.  And I thought it would be interesting to take the family dynamic of the Storms, which is brother and sister, and bring that more into the 21st century in terms of what we consider the norm.  I have mixed family in my own family and it’s something that isn’t out of the ordinary anymore but we don’t really see it portrayed in the casual reality of the movies.  That’s something I felt that would be interesting and challenging, to have mixed siblings.

Jamie I had met after Chronicle.  He was somebody else who I was a huge fan of for years.  He was an actor who I had really wanted to meet, I didn’t even know he was available and his casting came later in the process because I didn’t know he was available.  A lot of people don’t remember in Billy Elliot that he was a working class kid who came from a rough neighborhood.  Obviously this Ben Grimm character wasn’t inspired by Billy Elliot, but there’s a childhood element of this movie.  A kid who comes from a rough neighborhood and is an alienated kid and has this toughness to him, Jamie just exudes that and I thought it would be an interesting role for him.  It feels very much part of the same DNA as the roles that he elevates.  And Kate auditioned for Sue and she just knocked it out of the park in our chemistry reads with all four of the actors, Jamie excluded because he wasn’t there for our chemistry reads.  She just fit in so perfectly with Michael and it felt like they had this history between them that was really interesting and compelling.  It’s different to sit in a room and talk to actors about their roles and then put a camera in front of them and then see how the camera picks up and registers that chemistry.  It was just so natural.

What about Toby?

toby-kebbell-doom-fantastic-four-movieTRANK: It was interesting looking for Victor.  We’re living in a time right now where we have this influx of such talented young actors.  It was such a broad search to find the right guy.  My casting director sent me a link to the Guy Ritchie movie RocknRolla and he’s so good in it.  I wasn’t super familiar with him before that and we got on the phone and it turns out that he’s a huge Dr. Doom fan.  There’s something in his voice and his accent just talking to him on the phone, it felt like I was talking to Dr. Doom.  We brought him onboard and it was such a great fit it was just tremendous.

Did you guys look at any specific runs of the comics to pull from?

KINBERG: Yeah, I think The Ultimates is probably our biggest influence because it’s the younger Fantastic Four.  And a lot of the science specifics are there.  And a lot of the means of transformation we took from those books. As you’ll see a little bit in the trailer and a lot in the movie, there are influences really from the beginning of what Kirby and Stan were doing in the 60’s all the way up into the present day.  I’ve done it both ways from adapting a specific storyline like Days of Future Past or jumping off like in First Class and using more of the mythology of the characters without necessarily adhering to an existing plot line.  This is an origin story in many regards and it is inspired by The Ultimate Fantastic Four as much as anything else.

TRANK: I would just like to add that there’s a big difference between adapting the tone of something or adapting the spirit.  In this case we’re adapting the spirit of the characters as they stem all the way back to the original characters in the 60’s.  These characters are iconic archetypes that are as timeless and flexible as you could ever hope for in terms of modernizing and updating a story.  If you look at Shakespeare’s works, these are all stories that can be modernized because you’re dealing with archetypes.

What do you want to tell people about the actual story of the movie?  What can you tease for people in terms of plot?  There’s a lot of conjecture.

fantastic_four_comic_book_cover_01TRANK:  I would just say that this is a modern telling of how these four iconic characters came together and came to be.

KINBERG: There’s a lot of story in the movie and at this point I would rather people be intrigued. At this point I feel like I see entire movies before I even go to the theater.

TRANK: Yeah.

KINBERG: And I feel like there’s so little surprise to the experience. Obviously there will be a teaser and a trailer and a ton of TV Spots, it’s a huge movie and it will have a huge presence in the world.  But this far out we want the teaser to speak for itself narratively.  We want people to ask questions that we will then be answering as we get closer and closer.

TRANK: That is so true.  I feel like I know everything about a movie these days before it comes out.  That’s why I haven’t said anything on Twitter.  I am not giving anything up.  The last thing I tweeted before I closed out my last twitter account was, and I’m paraphrasing, “I really miss the days where I didn’t know anything about a movie before it came out other than a trailer in the theaters, some spots on TV and maybe some pictures in a magazine.”  Because it made me so much more excited about the movie I was going to see.  The less I knew the more my imagination would kick into high gear and you feel like going to the movies is something that you are really, really looking forward to as opposed to being able to take all of the trailers online and jigsaw puzzle them together and see the whole movie and figure it out.  Where’s the fun in that?

I’m in full agreement.  That’s the reason why I love the way J.J. Abrams does his stuff.  He does it as secretive as he can.

KINBERG:  J.J.’s great at that.  And another thing he’s so great at, and I hope our teaser does this, he gives you a sense of the tone and the world and the feel of whatever he’s doing, but he doesn’t tell you the whole story.  If you look at Super 8 and the original Trek spots and obviously what he just did with Star Wars, you’re sucked into the world and you actively want to know more.  That to me is an ideal campaign.

TRANK: I’d love to withhold as much as we can until people are inside the theater.

No, it’s still pretty guarded.  I’m going to definitely ask you though, I’ve heard Negative Zone is a part of this movie.  Is it a big part?  Or a small part?

TRANK: I would say you guys are all just going to have to wait and find out. I would say that it could be there in the movie.

Right now you guys are in the editing room.  When you first sat down and looked at the rough cut, how long was your first cut of the film?

new_york_fantastic_four_travel_posterTRANK: I would say just about 2 hours and 10 minutes or something like that.  I don’t need a movie to be 3 hours long.

A lot of superhero movies, or big studio films, are between 2 and 2:20, is that what you’re aiming for?

TRANK: Probably.  That would be nice.  That’s a good length for a movie.

I have to ask, so Marvel cancels The Fantastic Four….

TRANK: What? What?!

When did you guys hear that Marvel was cancelling the Fantastic Four comic book, and what was the first reaction?

TRANK: Do you remember when Jay-Z said he retired from rapping?


TRANK: I almost forgot that too.

Does the movie lay groundwork for sequels?  Because I believe Fox already has a release date in mind for the second one.  Also, Easter eggs, are there a lot that the fans can look out for?

TRANK: We definitely are thinking about future chapters of the story but we also know when you’re making the first one, you’ve gotta get that movie right.  That movie has to be its own completely satisfying, coherent experience. Most of our energy is spent making this the best possible film.  Obviously we would like to make more of these because we have so many stories to tell and these actors are so fantastic there’s a lot more we can tell with them.

KINBERG: In terms of Easter eggs there’s a lot in the movie and there’s one on the teaser that people can freeze frame and try to find.

TRANK: But they’re Easter eggs that are self-evolving.  It’s not like we’re throwing something in the movie to remind you of something that’s happened before or to say, “this will definitely happen later on.”  It’s stuff that can evolve in an organic kind of way.  If you think of the original Star Wars movies, like A New Hope, there are a lot of Easter eggs if you look back on it because they happened to blossom in the later movies.  But they weren’t self-conscious like, “pay attention to this even though it may seem irrelevant right now.”  There aren’t any detours like that because you have to focus on telling a story.

How long did it take you guys to decide on the Fantastic Four logo?

fantastic-four-imageKINBERG: I don’t know.  It was something we started talking about while we were making the film, but that’s not really part of the process that we’re super intimately involved in.  We give notes, the studio goes back and makes changes.  They show us lots of different art, we push in a different direction.  They go back. And on and on.  But we started talking about it while we were making the film.  The marketing department came and visited us in Baton Rouge when we were on the set.

TRANK:  We really wanted them to consume the vibe of the movie and our creative process early on. Just like with our costume designers or concept artists, we have long conversations with them about what we want something to be or what we definitely don’t want something to be.  Sometimes you nail it and sometimes you refine it.  Everything has been very much like the personality of the movie.

I have to ask, does Fantastic Four take place in the same universe as X-Men and Deadpool?   Or has the studio said anything about combining them?

TRANK: I wouldn’t be aware of that, I’m just focusing on the Fantastic Four.

KINBERG: I will say only that we are all very inspired by what Marvel has done.  If there’s a way to have different communications between these universes that would be great, but we are focused on making each of these movies the best movie they can be.  It’s tricky.  The extra challenge is that the X-Men films so far don’t acknowledge the Fantastic Four and the Fantastic Four takes place essentially in the same time period as the X-Men movies, the modern day.  So they have challenges.  But there are certainly conversations.

The reason I ask this, and I have to throw it out there to the two of you, is that Fox owns so many iconic Marvel characters that there are literally enough characters to make their own Avengers movie with their own characters.  Is that something that interests you or have you heard any buzz about that?

fantastic-four-movie-newKINBERG: There is certainly now a different approach to the Marvel movies at Fox than there was ten years ago or where they started making Marvel films there.  There is an intent and want to be a part of a larger fabric and tapestry the way Marvel has done so brilliantly.  So there are conversations.  There is a coherence between me and some of the other people that are behind both franchises.

So there’s no sign for Xavier’s School for the Gifted in this as a throw away?

KINBERG: This is really a Fantastic Four movie so that’s what we’re focused on.

Totally. That’s me kidding around a little bit. But, at the same time, a little nod.

TRANK: I totally know where you’re coming from, but Simon’s point of view, I’m very much with that.  For me, as a movie fan, I have a hard time taking some movies seriously if they need the credibility of other characters that everyone already loves to give credibly to new characters.  This is truly a Fantastic Four movie and they need to stand on their own without anyone’s help.

Josh, you jumped from a relatively low budget movie to a studio tentpole?  What was the biggest challenge in doing that?  If you could go back before you started this, what advice would you give yourself?

fantastic-four-comic-final-issueTRANK: If I could I would say, “don’t pay attention to anything on the internet.”  That’s honestly the biggest difference because it’s storytelling at the end of the day and either you have all the resources at your disposal to tell the story or you don’t.  I’ve been in many different types of situations from short films to web content where I’ve had no money, a little money, or a lot of money but at the end of the day it’s really not that much different from making a $100K indie at Sundance.  I have that experience.  I can tell you that coming out of a $100+ million blockbuster, you’re still telling a story at the end of the day.  And you’re relying on storytelling techniques.  There’s just more people onset.  The job is the same and my passion is the same no matter what, the biggest difference is the awareness from the public of what you’re doing every single day.  It’s nice to be anonymous but there’s also something fun about waking up every morning knowing that people want to now what you’re up to.  That’s my more mature outlook after a couple of years on this film.

Was there anything in any other superhero film that you guys saw and wanted to incorporate?  Have any of those other movies impacted the look or feel of this?

TRANK: No. I’m a huge, huge movie buff and I’ll go toe-to-toe with anyone in terms of movie trivia or movie history, my brain is a catalogue of movies.  But when I set out to make a movie, I want to forget every influence I’ve ever had in my entire life and just think about what the story requires.  I try not to be self-conscious when it comes down to influences.  I don’t want it to be a movie filled with homages.  It’s interesting to be in the middle of a movie, movies are so first-nature to me that by not thinking too much about other movies while making one, what is this going to turn out like?  You don’t know.  It’s fun.  It gives me adrenaline.  So I had more awareness early on in prep, and then maybe the biggest influence for me in terms of an overall view and communicating tool to the various department was Scanners or The Fly.  In terms of the feeling of what these powers are.  Because the drama speaks for itself in terms of the script or the story but the look of the movie and the feel of the movie has to be more evocative.

So you’re basically, from what I’m gathering, just to be clear, you’re going for a realistic horror/sci-fi movie.  This takes place in the real world?  What if this really happened to people?  The horror that can come with some of these abilities. 

TRANK:  Absolutely.

That sounds awesome.

TRANK:  Everybody wants to see something they haven’t seen before.

That’s one of the reasons what Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians were so successful.  As a sequel, Winter Soldier felt more like a 70’s political thriller that happened to have some superheroes in it.

fantastic-four-comic-2KINBERG : My favorite of any genre is when things are cross pollinated.  To take different genres or sub-genres and mash them up, especially today because audiences are so well versed, you can play around. They’re comfortable with complex tones.

TRANK: There are no shots that are like, “I want to do it like…”

What can you tell people about the music for the film?  Are you going to have songs or is it going to be more score?

TRANK: Simon, should I say what we know that hasn’t been released?


TRANK: Well, Philip Glass is scoring the movie with Marco Beltrami.  You’re the first person to know that.

That’s very, very cool.  How hard was it to land them?

TRANK: I got his manager’s number and gave them a call! Philip Glass is one of my heroes. Whenever I’m writing or drawing I always put on Philip Glass.  This is my first time making a movie with a score and I thought, “why not give it a shot?”  So I asked the studio, “what about Philip Glass? Would you guys be okay with me giving him a call?”  And they were totally cool.  He’s a really significant celebrity in the music world.   I got his number from his manager, I sent him Chronicle and had a call with him.  It was one of the coolest calls I’ve ever had in my life because he’s fucking Philip Glass and he had just watched my movie.  The first words out of his mouth were, “I just saw your movie and it’s very philosophical.”  We were talking about the philosophy of Chronicle and it gave me goosebumps.  We invited him out to set and he came to set for like three days and had a great time.  He was blown away by the scale of the film.  I’ve been working with him for almost a year now and he’s so inspiring.  He’s such a humble, amazing guy.

With the amount of things that get leaked, it’s amazing that you’ve been working with him for a year and nobody knows.

TRANK: I know, I was surprised.  It’s shocking to me this hasn’t leaked.

I will be more than happy to premiere that information.

TRANK: By the way he’s working with Marco Beltrami.  He’s a fucking awesome guy.  And it’s just really cool.  This has been a massive collaboration.

Besides Fantastic Four, you guys both won the dream lottery that you get to play in the Star Wars universe.  How much do you guys geek out and pinch yourself that you’re both involved in that as well?

star-wars-the-force-awakens-millennium-falcon-imaxTRANK: We geek out and pinch ourselves for sure.

KINBERG: If you had said to either one of us, in Josh’s case about 20 years ago and in my case 30 that we’d be working on a Fantastic Four movie we wouldn’t have believed you.  If you had told us Star Wars we also wouldn’t have believed you.  We spend a lot of time on set geeking out that Josh is directing Johnny Storm, just “holy shit you’re directing the Human Torch.”  And we certainly spend time pinching ourselves and geeking out about what our first experiences were watching Star Wars when we were kids.  Star Wars was one of the seminal moments in our creative lives.

TRANK: Lives [in general].

KINBERG: We spend a lot of time pinching ourselves and then we transition to another galaxy.

Simon, what is your life like right now with this, X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Wars, and probably three other secret things that you’re secretly working on, how do you do this?

TRANK: I ask him that all the time.

KINBERG: I don’t get a lot of sleep.  That’s one answer.  I have to be efficient about my time but I have a lot of energy because I love this stuff.  It’s my dream come true.  I do have to be judicious about the way I split up my days or my week, but it seems to work so far.  And as long as my body allows me to survive on not much sleep I should be okay.

the-fly-fantastic-four-movieIs there any last thing you want to say to fans?  Because you guys have both been so quiet about the project?

TRANK: Um, how cool is that Philip Glass thing, though?

I’ve gotta be honest, when you dropped Cronenberg and said The Fly, that’s a pretty big clue into the tone and look of the film. 

TRANK: Yeah, and that’s coming from a real place.  I think a real misconception people have comes from the adjectives.  Fantastic means the tone needs to be fantastical, and we’re talking about fantastical things, but it doesn’t mean “pop.”  People need to refresh their understanding of the English language because “fantastical” means The Fly.  These are fantastical things that are befalling real people and the realities we see in our everyday lives.  There’s something creepy about the fantastical and there’s something inspiring about the fantastical.  And to have that be birthed out of a reality that we’re familiar with is why we go to the movies.  It’s why I go to the movies.  I want to see that.  And I think it’s lacking these days.  It will be cool to bring to a modern audience and introduce young audiences to stuff that I myself not too long ago fell in love with.  And that’s why I do what I do today.

For more on The Fantastic Four, click here for all our previous coverage.

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