Despite an open offer from Tommy Wiseau to direct the sequel to Fantastic Four, its fate has been largely consigned to the trash heap of failed franchises.
However, in a recent interview, producing honcho Simon Kinberg has said that there's still a faint glimmer of hope for Fantastic Four. We want to make another Fantastic Four movie. We love that cast - I mean if I were to say to you now Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, and Kate (Mara) and Jamie (Bella) are great actors - we love that cast. I love the comic, I mean I love it almost as much as X-Men."
Kinberg has been largely responsible for guiding X-Men out of its nadir with X-Men Origins, so if anyone can make it happen, it's him. Speaking further, Kinberg noted that one of the issues with 2015's flop was that they "tried to make a darker Fantastic Four movie, which seemed like a radical idea but we were kind of messing with the DNA of the actual comic instead of trusting the DNA of the comic."
He added that he wants the sequel to be "brighter, funner, more optimistic" which, let's face it, Josh Trank's vision wasn't at all. It's telling that he's using these adjectives to describe the film, as many of the complaints leveled against that other comic-book blunder, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, was that it was none of these things.
Moreover, consistent rumours surrounding Suicide Squad have it that the recent reshoots were done to make the film funnier and more comedic, something that was apparently missing from the initial script. There's another reason, of course, and that's Deadpool. The film, which had a hugely comedic tone, made huge money at the box-office and is responsible for the current shift to R-rated material in the comic-book world. The final Wolverine film, for example, has been confirmed as R-rated. Not only that, Thor: Ragnarok enlisted a comedy director in Taika Watiti, who previously worked on Flight Of The Conchords and the excellent What We Do In The Shadows.
If there's to be a second attempt at Fantastic Four, it's likely that a much more comedic approach will be taken to the story. However, as we said in our review of the 2015 film, there was something really interesting at work. However, with all the drama going on behind the scenes, it's entirely possible that that version of the film was lost completely and will never been seen again.
Whoever tries to take on the film is facing into an uphill battle. Tommy Wiseau, we need you more than ever.