Fantastic Four has captured our curiosity not on the merits of its story, but by the behind-the-scenes disaster and people wondering what was cut from the movie and who was responsible. It’s not a good film, and it’s tough to blame any screenwriter—the credited ones are Jeremy Slater (who tweeted that there’s not much left from his screenplay; mostly just the first act), Simon Kinberg, and director Josh Trank—because the film was clearly hacked up in the editing room. However, if they had stuck to a solid screenplay, I wonder how much better the film would have been, or if a “gritty, realistic” bent was doomed from the start.
For his part, Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis has tweeted out the first four pages of a Fantastic Four screenplay he wrote four years ago. Landis doesn’t says if he was hired to write this or if it was on spec (I assume the latter since the former would probably be an unauthorized leak of 20th Century Fox’s property), but his approach seems to be that it’s exciting to introduce the Fantastic Four without really introducing them. His build up is four voices on a radio leading to a blastoff, and it feels like an opening that’s better suited to a sequel where you already recognize the characters and their relationships before they come on screen. However, these are only the first four pages, so maybe this intro would work better in the overall context of the movie.
Check out the first four pages from Max Landis’ Fantastic Four screenplay. How do you think it compares with Trank’s movie featuring Lil’ Reed Richards and the Dream-Crushing Science Teacher?
In celebration of the release of Fantastic 4, here’s the first 4 pages of a Fantastic 4 script I wrote 4 years ago… pic.twitter.com/izKR96G67G
— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) August 10, 2015