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‘The Fantastic Four’ Writer Compares Reboot to ‘Batman Begins,’ ‘Iron Man’

Writer/producer Simon Kinberg appears to be doing his best to quell skepticism about The Fantastic Four, going so far as to draw comparisons between the Fox franchise reboot and what many consider the paragons of modern superhero filmmaking.

“The tone of this movie will feel as unique as when you saw Iron Man, X-Men, or Batman Begins for the first time,” he tells The Daily Beast. “It’s not as goofy as the first movies; it has humor in it, but the humor is much more real and comes from character, not pratfall jokes. It’s a much more dramatic film than it is a comedy. I would say it falls somewhere between Raimi’s first couple of Spider-Man movies and Chronicle.”

Although most comics fans hold 2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in low regard, many remain vocal in their criticism of the reboot’s cast (which includes Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Kate Mara as Sue Storm and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm). While Kinberg shares their opinions of the first two movies, he’s clearly sold on director Josh Trank’s vision for The Fantastic Four.

“The core fans were not wild about the original movies, and nor was I,” he admitted. “Last summer, Emma Watts at Fox called me on the set of Days of Future Past and said, ‘We really want to do a new Fantastic Four.’ I said to her, ‘I’m interested but it depends how you want to do it.’ She said, ‘Talk to Josh Trank.’ We were shooting the Washington D.C. finale sequence in Days of Future Past and I talked to Josh, and he had such a clear vision of what he wanted to do with the film that was so different from the other movies — it was grounded, real, gritty, and what it would really be like if you went through a transformation and lost control of your body. That, coupled with him wanting it to be a coming-of-age movie, felt fresh to me.”


  • CudaBiro

    There’s that buzzword again – gritty.

    What is with producers on superhero films and gritty?

  • MadMikeyD

    The last paragraph lets me know that this will be everything I don’t want in my Fantastic Four movie. But then, I truly enjoyed the first two films, so what do I know?

  • mel

    Serious would probably be a better word.

  • Patrick Keely

    Agreed, the first one needed some work, but the second one was actually quite enjoyable IMO. Doom felt like Doom in the second one. You just cannot beat Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. Their chemistry was fantastic (no pun intended).

  • lewis4510

    Every time he gives an interview about the FF reboot, it sounds like he’s polishing a turd. Especially when he makes these ridiculous comparisons to Iron Man and Batman Begins. Trank at this point probably regrets taking the job. He’s been so bombarded with negative feedback on his twitter feed he’s had to delete his account.

    And the only reason why they “really” wanted to do a new FF was they knew the rights were about to expire.

  • Hutchimus

    “Gritty, grounded, real” not words you should use to describe a movie titled FANTASTIC Four.

  • Mitch2012B

    Yeah right, totally comparable. Because on Batman and Iron Man they made the characters to be in college and made Tony Stark Japanese and Bruce Wayne a latin lover. Yes we fans love when these movie writers disrespect the source material to the point where the characters are unrecognizable.

  • Jeff Gutman

    Kinberg wrote X-Men III: The Last Stand… That’s all I need to know. That cast does NOT say Fantastic Four to me at all, and to make it a “Coming of Age” story betrays the whole “FF as a family” dynamic which is core to the series. FF should NEVER be a dark and gritty/more drama than comedy film. Just saying.

  • trama

    Agreed. It’s weird to me that producers still aim for gritty, when the highest grossing super hero film of all time was anything but.

  • Tiberius

    Yeah, except those two movies sounded GOOD when they were announced and turned out to be excellent films. This movie? Not so much in the sounding good area….

  • JokersNuts

    lord knows everyone is clamoring for a serious FF film…

  • JokersNuts

    I agree. I reread all of Stan and Jack’s run and then watched the uncut versions of both films. The first movie, in particular, feels to me to be a bit under-rated.
    Anyway, obviously those movies were not that successful so they will go in another direction. Unfortunately, that seems to be the Man of Steel-we-are-embarrassed-to-be-making-a-movie-about-comic-book-super-heroes school of thought. As long as the FF doesn’t kill / let people die, the color palate isn’t completely muted, and there is a sense of fun and adventure (and a good measure of cosmic wonderment) it should be ok.

  • JokersNuts

    It’s because the studios tend to be weirdly embarrassed about optimism, bright colors, and fun. See the David Goyer school of thought.

  • BeastieRunner

    I don’t actively hope for people to lose thier jobs but … can’t something happen to make this go back to Marvel? PLEASE!?

  • Cybearnetic

    Why does half of Hollywood think there are just two settings to superhero movies: Adam West or Christian Bale? All the while seemingly ignoring the existence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is probably both the most comics-faithful and financially successful superhero movie franchises?

    The X-Men film franchise is slowly heading in the right direction, it seems, but it seems like it’s being dragged, kicking and screaming.

    Here’s the thing about the Fantastic Four… the characters are incredibly dated. It’s not hard to find an image of Reed Richards smoking a pipe in a smoking jacket, or slapping his wife, or telling her what he thinks a woman should be doing (mostly cooking and caring for children in his enlightened super-scientist view.)

    I know they’ve tried to do a lot with him since then, but the most major developments are that another alternate reality version of him has turned evil, or he seems to be dead, or he’s compromising his tortured principles yet again.

    Reed Richards is the B-movie 1950’s scientist who is called by the Army when giant ants are on a rampage. That’s basically his character, made into a superhero. And everyone else is his entourage, there to make him truly “Mr. Fantastic,” as he calls himself.

    If you want to play it completely straight and “gritty”, these characters just aren’t relate-able enough to make it to the big screen and remain likable. And if you change them significantly to do so, then why do the Fantastic Four?

  • mel

    I would pay to see Bat-Hombre on screen. BatManuel.

  • RussBurlingame

    I loves me some Batmanuel. #TheTick

    (And he later appeared in the Dark Knight Trilogy…well, the actor did.)

  • PietroMaximoff

    especially when not even the comic book is gritty…

  • PietroMaximoff

    Yeah keep dreaming!!!

  • FF Fan

    If Batman Begins is your template for Fantastic Four YOU’RE GETTING IT WRONG!!!!!!!

  • RNKR2005

    “Gritty”? Even before the movie has shown, it’s already misfiring. There are two words that usually describe the FF: “family” and “adventurers”. Neither word appeared in this news article…

  • Jonny_anonymous

    So in other words it’s NOT going to be a Fantastic Four movie.

  • Manuel J Maura

    I know people are probably sick of me bashing Fox studios but… What else would you ever expect from anything produced from them? Heartfelt quality with a good understanding and appreciation for the material you are basing your movie on? Psssshh… Nah, let’s just redo absolutely everything and smack the character names on it.

  • dj pizzo

    Give the man a chance. Yes, he did write The Last Stand, but he also wrote Days Of Future Past and First Class. What color their costumes are or who is playing who really doesn’t matter if it is handled well. I think we saw that with Quicksilver.

  • Hypestyles

    The film should be high adventure! But not bleak.

  • Reza Muhammad Iqbal

    flame it!! human torch now is black, I don’t accept it!!! :(

  • Ribbus

    I had my own issues with the first two but could put that aside enough to enjoy them for what they were. This sounds good but for the casting. They’re never going to hit one out of the park if they keep trying to be edgy and change things just to make it different. Why bother using the source material at all? I’ll see it just like every other comic book-related movie and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it for the most part but most likely it’ll be another it-is-what-it-is movie.

  • NerdcoreKnight

    “Grounded and gritty.” With the Fantastic Four.

    My interest just tanked even moreso than it had already.

  • robert paro

    Even though those 2 movies were decent, they still are very lacking and change a great deal from their comic history. They need to just accept who the characters really are and put it on screen. It has worked wonders for Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and Nick Fury….

  • Guest

    I still sounds terrible, fox you should’ve traded fantastic four and silver surfer for something more gritty and less… Well space fantasy, wormholes, alien invasion, crazy sci fi to rival Guardians of the galaxy. (Maybe if that goes really well for Marvel they may reconsider)

    Personally I’d have asked to rent hulk and Mark Ruffalo for a film or two and added him to the next wolverine film, a Wolverine 3: vs the Hulk movie would have killed it at the box office much more then a fantastic four reboot that is angering fans and may as well be Chronicles 2.

    Or even better they could have swapped it for the merchandise rights for the xmen films which are surely worth a great deal more then fantastic four.

    Then again this assumes Disney would want to trade such things… Who knows?

  • Guest

    And women’s rights…

  • Zagreus

    I think the movie makers should embrace that to a certain extent. Make Reed a brilliant, somewhat socially detached, character who needs his family to drag him back to reality and keep him grounded. His love of Sue keeps him human- play on that, use it, not discard it. It’s interesting. It’s really frustrating when filmakers discard cool stuff.

  • uatu13

    Yay, a dark, depressing, gritty version of the Fantastic Four – can someone please just fire this guy already!?!

  • JokersNuts

    The color of Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne’s skin has no baring on their character. Bruce was created in the 30’s and Stark in the early 60’s, as far as ethnicity goes they are products of their time (when strong characters of different ethnicities were rather uncommon in super hero comics). So, I welcome a bit of diversity.

  • JokersNuts

    As far as Goyer goes, yeah that dude really needs some help…

  • JokersNuts

    I think this would be a great way to approach it

  • Brian Adkins

    So,they make a fun,colorful movie for families and most comic book fans didn’t like it now they go for serious and dramatic and- *SURPRISE!* comic book fans complain and think they won’t like it.

  • Mitch2012B

    Then create another movie, don’t call it Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four is a white family, I’m latin myself but I want to see a movie where the characters resemble the comic book I love and grew up reading. Where Johnny and Sue are blonde blue eye brother and sister and Red and Ben are not college kids. As for diversity Marvel has plenty of awesome heroes of diversity, Luke Cage, Black Panther, White Tiger, Shang Chi, Black Goliath, Captain Marvel, the new Ms. Marvel, Sunfire to name a few. Luke Cage was part of the Fantastic Four for awhile, bring him into the fold if you may. Also why make Ben and Red be still in college. You start changing the ages and ethnicities and you don’t have the same characters anymore. These are iconic characters with a 40 years plus rich history. I really don’t care much for reinterpretations that alter the characters so much, he might as well change their sex too while he is at it.

  • JokersNuts

    Do you have a problem with Nick Fury being reimagined as an African American? That seemed to work pretty well.

  • Mitch2012B

    Totally different. Nick Fury is more of a satellite character although I’m sure there might be a couple of hardcore old school Nick Fury character fans that might still be bothered. To me it was pretty crazy to put Idris Elba as Heimdall on an anglosaxon pantheon but I’ll admit that I ended up loving him as Heinmdall although it still looks weird. There has to be some flexibility as long as you don’t divorce the material from its identity its ok. Fantastic Four, these are the Kennedy’s of the Marvel Universe; you don’t get any whiter than that, well with the exception of Thor.

  • JokersNuts

    Fury can be black but FF must always be white? They are the Kennedy’s? Huh? I’m done. There is no arguing with racism

  • Mitch2012B

    Ugh that’s a pretty crazy assumption. I would be arguing against changing Luke Cage, Falcon, Shang Chi, Storm, War Machine or any other character I like into a white character the same way but I guess some people will see what they want to see.

  • Mitch2012B

    “Even though those 2 movies were decent, they still are very lacking and change a great deal from their comic history.” What he said.

  • afrocarter

    The more I read about this movie, the more I — surprisingly — want to see it. It appears that they have a great vision for the First Family. I like coming-of-age aspect & the diversity in the cast. Could be a good film!

  • Adam Jenson

    “polishing a turd” Bingo.

  • Adam Jenson