Remember the First Two ‘Fantastic Four’ Films? Fox Doesn’t Want You To

By June 9, 2015

The summer of 2005 is looking eerily similar to the summer of 2015 in regards to a blockbuster from 20th Century Fox. Ten years ago, they were prepping the release of Fantastic Four, written and directed by Tim Story, in hopes of kickstarting a brand new franchise based on some of the most timeless characters from the Marvel Comics Universe. This year, they’re prepping the release of…Fantastic Four. A new blockbuster directed by Josh Trank, with hopes of…well, kickstarting a new iteration of that franchise. Now, though, it looks like the studio is making an effort at revising history to a degree, because they’re doing something that could make it seem like they want you to forget about their first try at adapting Marvel’s “first family.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has removed both 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer from a wide array of VOD digital storefronts like Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, and Vudu, all ahead of the release of the new Fantastic Four film hitting theaters in August. From a “close source,” the THR report reads in part,

…the older titles have been removed from digital platforms ahead of the release of the new film, so as not to distract from promotion of the rebooted franchise, which is seeking to establish a different tone than the previous releases. The source says the older titles might cause confusion in the marketplace.

This is certainly unusual behavior, and really the first example of a studio attempting to do this ahead of the rebooted release of a franchise. Warner Bros. certainly never tried to pull any DVD’s of the prior Batman films ahead of the release of Batman Begins, nor did Paramount try to do the same thing with Blu-rays or VOD availability for prior Star Trek films before J.J. Abrams’ first film with the characters came out in 2009. It’s even more unusual because in the past, studios and VOD vendors have actually tried to take advantage of other films in a series by selling them at a discounted price to get the names of the characters in peoples’ minds ahead of the release of a new installment.

While unusual, it may be hard to blame the studio. Both Fantastic Four and Rise of the Silver Surfer hold something of a less prestigious place in the genre of superhero cinema, with the 2005 film garnering only 27% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, while its 2007 sequel did only marginally better with 37%. Still, both films were moderate box office successes, grossing $330 million and $289 million worldwide respectively, but they failed to catch on in the same way as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films or Bryan Singer’s first two X-Men films.

The Fantastic Four reboot hits theaters on August 7th.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation,, The Huffington Post, and He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
  • KeithAdams

    If you think about it, it’s pretty cold and funny!

  • tommymadden3

    To be fair, i think the first one ( 2005) deserved more of a score than 27%

    • lily

      I really enjoyed the original to be honest, I have watched it like 5 or 6 times since as well!

  • Mikey Silva

    I had no problem forgetting those lame original movies, lol :p

  • Daniel

    A lot of Hollywood movies struggle with Originality in my opinion. I sometimes wish there was a rule where movies could only be made once, no sequels, no remakes, nothing. I think originality would thrive once more in that scenario

  • Andy Spears

    What bizarre behavior from Fox! To me it seems like a really weird move to try to wipe out previous attempts at a movie in order to re-do it.. But who knows maybe it will work fantastically four them! 😉

  • David Black

    Hmm.. interesting strategy there Fox. I am very intrigued to see what they mean by “seeking to establish a different tone than the previous releases” I think I shall watch it! 🙂

    • Michelle

      yeah i am exited to see what they’ll pull out of their sleeve!

  • Sean L

    they should create a memory wiping device and check the record for everyone who has ever purchased the original movies, and take a trip to their house and apply it, that would be much more effective than just taking the title from digital marketplaces 😀

  • MaceyK

    just to spite them,I am gonna go see the new one in theater, but am gonna watch the original 2 on the same day just before I go in 😉