‘Fantastic Four’ Film Won’t Be Based on Existing Comic Books

By July 16, 2014
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Although we won’t see Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four film for another year, we still know quite a bit about what we can expect from the comic book feature, from the fact that it won’t be a cinematic universe kickstarter (like the kinds that Marvel and Sony are stuck on) to the inclusion of Doctor Doom as a baddie to producer Matthew Vaughn’s vow that it’s a “total reboot,” but we’ve still got plenty of questions. Classic comic book movie questions, really, like what specific comic book this, again, comic book movie will pull most directly from for its plot.

Turns out, we can stop asking that question.

Star Kate Mara told Esquire Latin America (via The Playlist) that the feature won’t even really be based on any existing Fantastic Four comic books, to the point that she’s really not expected to read any of them. Whoa, what? She told the outlet: “I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it’s very exciting to be part of a movie like this.”

Fantastic-Four-Wall-Paper

As The Playlist notes, this isn’t terrible news, as “while the super hero group is a Marvel flagship team, there’s nary a classic storyline out there and the team and comic themselves were a little inherently lightweight.” That’s a pretty bold statement — the superheroes might not have classic storylines, but they’ve got plenty of classic villains to fight (like Doctor Doom! who is totally in the movie! maybe even with Doombots!). It’s a fine line, but we see what they’re getting at. Still, it can’t hurt for the cast to have some familiarity with the classic characters they are playing on the big screen. It’s a pickle.

Trank has already taken his film in a new direction with just his casting — Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic is far younger-skewing than we’ve come to previously expect, Jamie Bell’s casting as The Thing is pretty much the diametrical opposite of the casting of Michael Chiklis in the last Fantastic Four franchise, and the decision to cast Mara and Michael B. Jordan as the sibling duo of The Invisible Woman and The Human Torch signals an interest in a modern family set-up we haven’t previously seen from most comic book movies. It’s different — but will it be good different? And does this mean that Teller really won’t be getting stretchy?

The Fantastic Four will open on July 19, 2015 — and we’re all on our toes when it comes to a possible Comic-Con appearance by the cast later this month.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.
  • Is this the first time in comic book movie history an actor has been openly dismissive of the comic book medium?