10 months after it opened and subsequently crashed and burned in theaters, the saga of the Fantastic Four reboot continues. The anticipated 20th Century Fox superhero film is probably better known for its production squabbles than the finished product, as rumors swirled months before release about extensive reshoots and contention with co-writer/director Josh Trank, culminating in Trank tweeting (and quickly deleting) that he had made a superior version of the film that was not the one being released into theaters. While we still don’t know exactly what went on behind the scenes, the aftermath has not been quiet, and now Dr. Doom himself Toby Kebbell has weighed in.
However, Kebbell isn’t piling on. Instead, in an interview with The Daily Beast for his motion-capture role in Warcraft, he jumps to Trank’s defense, saying there was indeed a very different version of the movie than the one that was released:
“I tell you, the honest truth is [Trank] did cut a great film that you’ll never see. That is a shame. A much darker version, and you’ll never see it.”
This comes in the wake of co-writer/producer Simon Kinberg recently reflecting on the Fantastic Four failure, saying a big reason the movie didn’t work was because they tried to make the film too dark, which was in direct contrast to the source material. Perhaps Trank was fighting to release his dark, body-horror Fantastic Four movie and the studio and Kinberg were apprehensive about the tone?
We do know the movie went through some serious reshoots, as evidenced by Kate Mara’s fairly awful wig, and those reshoots changed the structure of the movie pretty significantly. Moreover, Kebbell reveals that he didn’t even get to play the character of Dr. Doom onscreen all that much, possibly due to those reshoots:
“Unfortunately. I played Doom in three points: Walking down a corridor, killing the doctor and getting into the time machine, and lying on the bench. They were the only times I played Doom. Everything else was some other guy, on some other day… doing some other thing. I was infuriated that he was allowed to limp like that!”
Kebbell added that there was a “Birth of Dr. Doom” sequence that was cut from the movie, but he remains proud of the work they did:
“I missed the press tour forPlanet of the Apes because I was lying under rubble, slowly rising out of the ashes to be Doctor Doom. Never made it to the film! There are always frustrations with these tent poles,” he shrugged. “But it generally comes from the script changing, sadly enough. But I’m very proud of my work. I’m also just as heartbroken as the fans are.”
I’ll admit, I’m mighty curious just what the original version of Fantastic Four looked like. The finished product wasn’t wholly terrible, but it was horribly constructed and felt very much like a puzzle that someone had put together while blindfolded. I’d be shocked if Fox actually did release the original cut, especially since they still have plans for the franchise going forward, but that sure would be interesting, huh?