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Fant4stic

It is an open secret that I love Kevin Smith so much that I even look like him (that is just more of a coincidence but still true). When he had Josh Trank on his show Fat Man on Batman for 3 Episodes telling us all about how great the new Fant4stic movie would be I listened and hope sprung up in my heart. I have yet to see an iteration of the Fantastic Four that excites me as much as what I read growing up. I saw the Sci-fi take on this property and thought that it would be a good take to bring Marvel ’s First Family into the modern age of cinema. I listened to Josh Trank pour out his love for comics and how he brought in Jeremy Slater as a co-writer bringing some serious FF credentials. I loved the story of how a broke kid living on couches made it big in a tough industry with a short video called Stabbing at Leia’s 22nd Birthday Party. He went on work on Big Fan and then make Chronicle. Josh Trank was on the road to the big time but he didn’t expect to go as big as the Fantastic Four. Over 4 hours of listening time was devoted to listening to Kevin Smith and Josh Trank hash out the story of his life and I became a fan. I went from saying that I would wait for Fant4stic to come out on streaming to talking about going to see it in theaters. If anyone can sympathize with Trank about the box office returns not being what he and the studio expected Kevin Smith is the man to do it. The difference is that Smith owned his Walrus sized bomb and Trank distanced himself from it. I know that Smith was self-producing and Trank was working for a big studio. I have no doubt that Fox helped destroy a good movie as they have done in the past. I was disappointed when I read what Josh Trank had to say on Twitter.

Trank Tweet

It was deleted later but the Internet never forgets. When talking to Smith I heard a man who was excited about what he had made and I doubt that in the three weeks between when he spoke on that podcast and when the movie hit theaters there were any major changes made to it. Josh Trank knew what his movie was going into that interview and sold it to the fans, the real comic fans that listen to podcasts just to hear their heroes talk about what they love. He had a chance to say that what he made was co-opted by the studios and didn’t, the closest he came was saying that production notes came from the top. Is it fair of him to sell us a bill of goods and then say it wasn’t his? I don’t think so. He made the movie and he should own it no matter who had a say in it. I will not be as quick to trust his work in the future. I would have given him the benefit of the doubt if he told us to wait for the Director’s Cut but all he did is ding-dong-ditch that turd on the moviegoers’ doorstep. I know fans are quick to jump all over something that is perceived as bad and I feel that we should each reserve judgment until we see it but I will not be shelling out my $10 to see a movie that the director won’t own.

 

Tags: Fantastic Four, Fant4stic, Josh Trank, Kevin Smith, Marvel, Fox, Legion of Leia

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Michael Espinos

When I’m not teaching middle schoolers engineering I am a Maker, Outdoor Enthusiast and consumer of all things geeky.
Working on a book as well. See a sample here: michaelespinos.wordpress.com

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My thoughts exactly, and I really hope Kevin addresses this in an upcoming pod. It’s almost like he was lied to for 4 hours, I totally bought into the hype that Trank created.

  • Actually he wasn’t allowed in the editing bay during the reshoots and had no control over final cut. The cast hadn’t even seen the movie two days before it was released (according to interviews) so I doubt the director who was pushed away had seen it yet either. Even scenes that were in the trailer and Trank talked about with Smith weren’t in the final cut of the film so that’s even more evidence Trank hadn’t seen it. Kevin Smith knew there was some dirt to dig up and said in the very first episode that it was going to be a four parter because he planned out how to tell the story. They might have had to cancel it since Trank has had to lawyer up after his tweet, but I think they will still do SOMETHING. I don’t agree with the conclusions you’ve come to, but it’s your article. I’m surprised I even found it.

    • Hey Jason,
      Thanks for your input. It has been a crazy week with all this new info coming out so fast. I am glad you found the article and read it. I agree that Kevin Smith knew something was up but I am not convinced he knew what. I can guess that there are off mic conversations we didn’t hear but that is just a guess. Did you see Fant4stic yet? I watched it and thought it was better than the critics billed it but it was just another Fantastic Four movie that didn’t feel right.
      -Mike

      • I actually liked the movie. I was totally in until the last 20 minutes or so when it became a green screen dance party. Even then, if you embrace the craziness, it’s still somewhat entertaining. The anticipation for the next Trank episode is killing me! I hope it’s not a casualty of the legal battle. Really- if FOX was so concerned with it losing money, they shouldn’t have cut the budget for the script they agreed to make days before filming started. That almost seems like they were trying to sabotage it.

        • They weren’t trying to sabotage it. They were trying to fix Josh Trank’s mess. Call me crazy, but I have a hunch that one of 3 things happened: 1. Trank was able to sell his Fant4stic idea to Fox because it wasn’t too out there at the time (but then that change). 2. Trank lied to Fox and they found out. 3. They were fine with Trank’s vision until the internet went ablaze.

  • So I too listened to Kev’s podcast with Trank. Its such a weird thing because even BEFORE the movie came out there was already talks about how bad production – especially post production had been. That there had been re-shoots to the ending etc. So there was this weird thing where the entire time I thought “ok so maybe the final product isn’t totally his – but he must be ok with it to some extent…”

    Do I expect him to distance himself BEFORE the movie is received? No. He has a duty to expect it/want it to be successful. For instance, I don’t think Marc Forrester (World War Z) is “upset” that the mess of a movie he originally made was somehow “fixed” and ended up being successful, even if a good chunk of it isn’t really his.

    I just think the really weird thing is that he talked up a movie and the process as if had seen the finished product – and I can only assume two things: (1) he didn’t – which frankly makes no sense…he had not seen a single “cut” other than his assembly?; or (2) he had seen it and just hoped that the it would work.

    Either way, I am glad SOMEONE is writing about this – because I cam away from the podcast really appreciating Trank’s take (and I even really liked the first 40% of the film). It just is such a weird thing because it does seem like Trank spends all that time “proud” of FF, but now that its been released, bombed, and basically critically hated – what is the response? Does ep 4 just get cancelled? Does Kev address it? Such a weird dynamic.

    Thanks for the article.

    • Here’s the weirdest thing: Trank never set out to make a Fantastic Four film. I think he always intended to turn this into his personal pet project: Chronicle 2, basically. His vision was a body horror genre deconstruction. He even said in at least one interview that it was less of a superhero movie and more of a straight-up horror film with the heroes viewing their powers as a curse. He claims to love Fantastic Four and yet judging by interviews, he seems to know very little about the franchise. He even went as far as to claim that his Sue Storm is progressive compared to the comics. Lastly, even Simon Kinberg himself stated that they got the DNA of the source material wrong.

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