We all saw this one coming. Fox has removed the planned Fantastic Four 2 from its upcoming release schedule, as one can tell after noticing the removal of the sequel’s release date on Box Office Mojo. Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four got a lot of undue flack and critical lambasting earlier this year which, bundled with rumors of some intense infighting between Trank and his cast and crew, made for a dismal opening weekend and a whole mess of disappointed fans who have been waiting for someone (anyone!) to adapt this potentially sensational source material into a decent movie. Not even a good one, just one that you can sit through without beginning to count the dusty tiles on the movie theater ceiling.
For the record, whatever the issues that Trank had with Fox, his adaptation far and away eclipses the Roger Corman-produced 1994 adaptation and the absolutely unwatchable diptych of adaptations from Tim Story, which starred Chris Evans as Johnny Storm and Jessica Alba as Sue Storm. The first 45 minutes of Trank’s film features some of the best scenes that have been produced from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the relationship that Trank built between Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) is far more convincing in its intimacy and good humor than most relationships that have been built out of Marvel Comics.
There’s a very good movie hidden under the rubble of Trank’s Fantastic Four, which leads me to actually believe the director’s quickly erased tweet that he had a great cut about a year ago that was then futzed with to ensure that connections and sequel scaffolding were set in place. With the sequel to Trank’s film seemingly erased from existence, the likelihood here is that they will eventually, once again, attempt to reboot the franchise, this time with a far less outspoken and gifted filmmaker than Trank. That’s about par for the course with these films, but hey, maybe the next one will make me want to watch the whole thing rather than having to suppress the urge to turn the damn thing off about halfway through.
Click here for all our previous Fantastic Four coverage.