Back in 2015, Fantastic Four aimed to revive the beloved family of Marvel characters, only for the project to ultimately be a financial and critical disappointment, with writer Jeremy Slater recently addressing what he feels the problem was with the picture. Given the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Slater aimed to write a project in the vein of that franchise, though director Josh Trank seemingly had a different approach to the material, with that divide being one of the project's downfalls. Slater had the opportunity to return to Marvel by creating the new Moon Knight series, which is currently available on Disney+.
When asked by a fan on Twitter what takeaways he had from his time on Fantastic Four, Slater explained, "Well, most of my problems with Fantastic Four stemmed from the fact that I was trying to write it like an MCU movie, which wasn't what the director wanted. I didn't have that problem [with Moon Knight]."
Well, most of my problems with FANTASTIC FOUR stemmed from the fact that I was trying to write it like an MCU movie, which wasn't what the director wanted.— Jeremy Slater (@jerslater) March 29, 2022
I didn't have that problem here. https://t.co/TQ3oFYiMyN
Despite being such beloved characters, the Fantastic Four's transition to the big screen hasn't been nearly as successful as their source material.
Back in the 2000s, following the success of films like X-Men and Spider-Man, Fantastic Four landed in theaters starring Chris Evans and Jessica Alba. At the time, most superhero films followed in the footsteps of early successes, regardless of the nuances of their specific stories. While the debut film was a relative financial success, it only sits at 28% positive reviews, according to aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The follow-up film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer fared slightly better, with 37% positive reviews, but marked the end of this version of the characters.
Ahead of the release of the 2015 reboot, Trank himself shared his disappointment of the theatrical release, with the film sitting at 9% positive reviews. While Trank has been vocal about behind-the-scenes disagreements with the studio, he also accepted responsibility for the film's shortcomings.
"What I tried to do with Fantastic Four was so arrogant for somebody who hadn't really gotten the handle of his own skill set as a filmmaker to do that kind of stuff with it," Trank shared with The Hollywood Reporter back in 2020. "I obviously loved what I was doing at the time and thought I was onto something, but when I take a look back, I'm able to, as a film man, remove myself and enjoy the works of James Gunn and Zack Snyder … Zack Snyder is a visual genius and clearly he has a very passionate fan base, so it's not like it's not spoken of enough, but I think he's incredible."
The Fantastic Four are currently set to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts tapped to bring them to life.
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