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‘Fantastic Four’ is a Celebration of ‘Comics That Preceded It,’ Simon Kinberg Says

fantastic four

Fans of the Fantastic Four upset by actress Kate Mara’s recent comments about the Fox reboot may take some comfort in screenwriter Simon Kinberg’s assurances that the director Josh Trank’s “science adventure” does indeed take its cues from the comics — even if it’s not a direct adaptation of any one run.

“I actually think that this Fantastic Four movie is sort of a celebration of all the Fantastic Four comics that have preceded it,” Kinberg, who also serves as an executive producer, tells Latino Review. “We have elements from the original Fantastic Four that there’s a sort of optimism and inspirational quality to the film. In some ways a comedy that was really distinct in the original Fantastic Four. Also, the notion of this dysfunctional surrogate family that comes together and has to work together is very present in the movie that owes a great debt to the originals. And this idea that they are scientists and that it’s almost like this science adventure, more than being superheroes, they are almost like scientific adventurers, that’s a big part of the movie too.

“We also owe a lot to the Ultimate’s and the current crop of Fantastic Four comics and you’ll see that. I don’t want to give anything away but you will see it in the details and a lot of the story telling. It’s really sort of inspired by all the different history of the Fantastic Four comics. I think what Kate meant, and I read that comment, I think what she meant which was right is that it’s not based on any one run. Days of Future Past was obviously based on Days of Future Past comic run and that was something that I could easily give the actors to read and they’d know the whole story. In this case because we are really snatching details, story lines, moments, action sequences from across the whole gambit of the decades of Fantastic Four, there isn’t one comic that defines the movie.”

Kinberg explained the tone of Fantastic Four has remained grounded, but that it has evolved because the actors have lived in the characters for so long. He also said that, even though the film is based on a variety of sources, it will still feel like a Fantastic Four film, not “something just to use the title as an excuse to do a goofy kids movie.” He then completely dodged a question about the movie’s found-footage feel.

Contrary to rumors, Kinberg said Fantastic Four won’t have a presence this week at Comic-Con International. “I can definitively, officially tell you that there will not be anything from Fantastic Four at this year’s Comic Con,” he said. “We are still very much in the middle of shooting and we don’t want to show anything until it’s ready and it’s not ready yet. We want the first stuff that we show from the film to really blow people away, and it will but we have got to wait until it’s ready.”

Starring Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell, Fantastic Four arrives June 19, 2015.


  • uatu13

    Screw this movie. It sounds like complete garbage made by disrespectful hollywood tools. I hope it bombs horribly, marvel gets the rights back, and we can finally get a FF movie that isn’t butchered to pieces.

  • Jack R

    I would love to be proven wrong about how this will be an FF movie in only the broadest of terms. But it wasn’t just Kate Mara’s comments. Jordan’s recent comments mirror what she said. Even going so far as to suggest the reaction to their powers is one of dealing with disabilities. True enough for Ben Grimm, but that’s not true to the narative of the others. That’s an x-men theme not an FF theme. DOFP aside from the framing device, doesn’t really follow the comic itself either. But it did an excellent job of being true to the nature of the character’s themsleves and the themes of the series. I’m dubious Trank’s FF is headed that way or there wouldn’t be need for this kind of damage control. The only positive take away you might have here as a fan, is that if you liked the Ultimate versions of these characters you might like this movie on one level or another.. If you’re still hoping for classic done right? Abandon ye all hope.

  • nerissapartington

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  • lewis4510

    Every time he opens his mouth he just digs a deeper hole for himself and this movie. My advice is to shut the hell up.

    When GotG was the early stages of production they still had stuff for Comic Con. What is Trank’s problem? Given the negative vibe about this he probably wants to a public fiasco where they get heckled and booed off the stage.

  • afrocarter

    I gotta say: I don’t understand why the movie HAS to follow a specific Fantastic Four story, so the fact that this reboot doesn’t do that is no skin off my back. I’m against reboots as a personal rule, but beyond that I have no qualms with this film.

  • ElWaldorf

    ” Also, the notion of this dysfunctional surrogate family that comes together and has to work together is very present in the movie that owes a great debt to the originals.”

    This was my final straw, I can’t get behind this movie. Mark Waid echoed this on twitter, FF is probably the most functional family in all of comics.

  • afrocarter

    For argument’s sake: just how exciting would a film about a perfect family be?

  • ElWaldorf

    Perfect and functional are not the same thing. They have problems sure, but not to the point that they are poor and unhealthy. This is a family that no matter what happens to them, they are always stick together, Hickman’s run on it is a great example.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    Er Pixar’s Incredibles was pretty much that . And every public from kids to adults seemed to enjoy that aspect . A functional family doesnt mean no one argues or is ever unhappy . It is disturbing here , when they are actually taking the most functional family from the Marvel universe , if not comicdom , and talking about making it ” a dysfunctionalf amily that comes together” . Maybe the final product wont reflect the PR diarrhea coming out of the mouths of the cast and producers , but so far , it’s awful

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    That’s not always and really the issue there . it’s a combination of every thing said so far about the movie , that ends of an amagalmation of sheer negativity . It’s not as if Day of future past , did more than follow the summarized plot of the eponym comics story , but they did not go out of their way to say so often that it wont have much to do with the comics .
    Avengers isnt either solely following a single known story arc , nor will Guardians of the Galaxy . It just bugs people , especially knowing the wealth of stories from the franchise (pretty much half of the MU current fondation spinned out at some point from a FF book) , when ties to past stories are so blunted denied

  • Bill T

    Yeah, I’m going to trust a damage control ass-clown who refers to the FF as a,”dysfunctional surrogate family.” He couldn’t google Reed and Sue were married in a comic book that came out 49 years ago? That Johnny is Sue’s brother? That would make 3 of 4 member of the FF a family bonded by blood and/or legality? No footage at SDCC either? Come on Kinberg, do you disrespect your built-in audience that much? Wonder if he’s the same genius who wanted the Harry Potter films to be ‘mericanized and set in Chicago. Looking forward to arguing what’s a better film Gigli, Ishtar or this turd in the making.

  • afrocarter

    Hickman’s run is a great example, I agree, but it also looks at the FF decades after their origin, so of course they would have figured out family life by then. I don’t think it’s all that hard to imagine a young family coming together over the course of an adventure, going from dysfunctional to functional — becoming the FF we know and love.

  • afrocarter

    The Incredibles were very functional by the end of the movie, but they had their issues throughout the film.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    Again , you’re reacting on the belief being a functional family , means everything is rosy . They were functional through and through , they had they share of issues to overcome that’s all . That’s not at all the idea proposed here for this movie , at least from what can be gathered from past interviews and reaction from Fox , producers , writers and the cast .

    Maybe they are expressing themselves badly on the matter , or we are reading too much into each sentences , but with so many converging views and speeches on the matter , it seems unlikely and worrisome for those not convinced

  • ElWaldorf

    Sure, under the right hands that could happen. Nothing that has been said about this movie tells me that is going to happen tho.

  • afrocarter

    We’re arguing over semantics. What does “dysfunctional family” mean to you, then, if not a family with issues?

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I dont think i am . Never had it been argued that a functional family is ever without issues , tensions and harships to overcome … Many movie families and tv shows familes are dysfunctional. That is because it is much easier to create drama and comedy , from failures of communication and absence of support . A good example would from American Beauty or in comedies like Weeds and Arrested Development imo .

    A dysfunctional family is usually known as relatives that lives together but without family values. They seldom communicate , respect each others and each others opinions , often led by co dependant parents that imposes they views and needs , can even be in a toxic environnement .

    If their FF movie is just going to be a bunch of kind unrelated but trying and succeeded at being family , they need to stop throwing around terms like “dysfunctional family” , especially when it concerns a franchise with a mostly functional (as much as a superhero books allows it) family

  • afrocarter

    If I remember correctly, Mr. Incredible was sneaking out to play superhero — i.e. he was not communicating well with his wife & children, which by your definition is a symptom of a dysfunctional family. The family that existed at the beginning of the Incredibles isn’t all too different from the Bluths (toned down, of course).

    And, as you said, more dysfunction allows for more drama and comedy (i.e. a better movie), so why are we complaining?

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I never said more dysfunction allows a better anything . just that it’s the common easy path . And can only disagree with your insistance on taking one issue or a few tiny issue as the sole defining factor . They were in a rut hardly as dysfunctional as the kind of defintion i gave . They still liked and respected each other , enough to acknowledge their mistake and correct them .

    The Bluths were a bunch of leech , caring mostly about their wealth and appearances , and with their Son so starving for their love , he’s fix everything for them . It’s a far cry from Incredibles .

    In American Beauty the family is an attempt to maintain an air of normality via traditional family functions , when it’s clear they can barely stand each other

  • afrocarter

    Again, we’re arguing over simple semantics. in your eyes, a bit of dysfunction within a family doesn’t necessarily mean the family as a whole should be categorized as dysfunctional. Which is fine; I get it. Just know that others will categorize said family differently.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I still refute the semantics angle , we just wont see eye to eye on the matter , i guess . But nevertheless , taking a family known precisely to be a legendary functional family for yet the use of abused , in all medium , dysfunctional families concept instead , is flabbergasting if , what is said during the promo is true . Functional family are already a rare breed in fiction , i see no real value in ditching that , for a common breed , even if i appreciate their use in other stories .

  • afrocarter

    Yeah, everybody understands that the FF is the most functional of functional families. But wouldn’t you want to see a story showing HOW they became so functional?

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I doubt that’s the proposed concept so far , from most accounts and till proven otherwise . I’m all willing to eat crows , but i dont buy the “they are just showing you how they become so great ” theory .

    I think they are just taking a cynical view , and milking the holywood obsession for grit , being grounded , and “modern” , at the expense of it

  • jamesapril

    seriously, someone gave SPAM a thumbs up?

  • jamesapril

    You worry too much.

  • Ben Reilly

    It shouldn’t follow a specific story, but it should be reminiscent of the comics that came before it. The way Trank is reportedly directing this movie so far, you’d think it was a sequel to Chronicle instead of a Fantastic Four movie.

  • Ben Reilly

    Even in the older comics, the FF did have their occasional spats here and there, but they were hardly dysfunctional, IMO.

  • Jeff Gutman

    Well this reeks of damage control. So its paying tribute to the original comics how? The characters are all the same age – as indicated by their casting choices. The FF are all different ages in the comics. In this movie, it would seem none of them are blood related, hence the “surrogate family” line. We keep hearing how “grounded” it all is and how its about them “learning to deal with their disabilities.” Arrrrg. So done with this. Boycott, people. Its the only power we have against these megacorporations and their greed. They clearly don’t understand these characters and their significance to our popular culture. These characters are our modern mythology and should be treated with at least some reverence.

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    I dont believe they’ll go from dysfunctional to functional in that sense at all , especially in the span of that one movie . Either they are wrongfully using the term , solely based on the idea that it’s a bunch of blood unrelated people (and teens at that) … or they are truly going to be a disfunctional bunch , in wich case i doubt they’ll ever become the FF as we known and enjoy .

  • JPoMo

    More liberal BS from Hollyweird. Forced diversity that is a bastardization of American values. Next we will have a gay Hulk. Stupid!

  • antonio dueñas


  • The Doctor

    A gay hulk?
    The words “Hulk smash puny human!” take on a whole new meaning!
    Brain Bleach,Stat! I want the image out of my mind!

  • uatu13

    Nah, I just know how crappy hollywood can treat the things we love, and this movie looks like it’s headed straight into the garbage pit.

  • FF Fan

    Why do the people making this POS keep talking?

  • twincast

    Plus Ben being Franklin’s godfather, he ends up legally connected as well.
    (Well, I’m pretty sure in most places there’s nothing legally binding about being a godparent anymore, but at least by Church Law he should be.)

  • LGBoex

    Pandering. Trying to pull the fanboy (-dollars) back in after they did all they could to distance themselves from what makes the Fantastic Four fantastic.

  • Willie Lumpkin

    Why is he dodging questions about it being found footage. I’d think thats a pretty easy yes/no answer. Isn’t the trailer is going to give it away? Its not like they can trick audiences to get into the theater and sucker punch them with a found footage crapfest.

  • marco

    it is really too bad that FF doesn’t belong to Marvel. the Marvel movies have been the best comic book movies across the board. There is no reason to make a bunch of changes or update the FF movie to be modern or different. Stick to the classic FF.

  • AB


  • bobmcpherson

    The Jordan casting was the first whiff of gas in the mine shaft. The rest of the casting and everyone started choking. Now it is just a matter of time before the walls cave in. I cannot recall a film that was so dead on arrival before a first scene was shot. Some type of accomplishment……………

  • bobmcpherson

    I am sure the first scenes will blow people away………….just not in a good way.
    “Ohhhhhh..myyyyyyyy Goooood!!”

  • Ben

    Which is sad because Jordan is a good actor. This is what happens when the PC Police and Hollywood have a druken night together… Just pure dreck…. Let’s hope,that Jordan’s career isn’t permantly damaged by this….

  • bobmcpherson

    And it is not as if there are not several really exciting and iconic Black superheroes who are being completely ignored so Black actors can play white characters!! Where the hell is the Black Panther, Rage, Black Lightning, Luke Cage, Vixen……………..???

  • Ben

    Agreed. You need to be careful though, otherwise the interwebz will label you a racist…. It’s ok by the PC police for a traditionally white hero to change skin color, but if you even mention the thought of doing the same to a minority character …RAAACIISSST! It’s so hypocritical and disgusting….

  • bobmcpherson

    EVERYTHING is racism nowadays. That crowd pretend to condemn the racism of the past but……..and I am giving my age away here…….things were never as seethingly racist as they are now. It is all they talk about. Morning, noon and night. And of course the concept of “color blind casting” is nothing of the sort. It is ALWAYS one way. And of course it is nothing of the sort. Suddenly Electro and Nick Fury start wearing hoodies and talking about Whitey. Sigh.

  • Ben

    Obviously this tirade of yours proves that not only are you and your ancestors racist, but so is your spouse, children, dog, cat, and pet gold fish…. Why do you hate people so much…. ;)
    It’s all about controlling people. It’s easy to get them to forget how the government and media is keeping you poor,if you can blame your bad life choices or mistakes on the nebulous term of racisim….
    In terms of this movie, if Jordan is required to make Johnny Storm down to a “street” level stereotype.. I will scream…
    What is so frustrating is that everyone thinks is sooo brave, to slap on a “new coat of paint” to an established brand,… Thats not brave. Thats actually quite demeaning to minority characters becaue your effecitvely saying that the minority hero can’t support it’s own brand on it’s individual merits. You need a “white” brand… Sounds kinda racist to me….
    You know what’s brave? Taking a little known minority hero, and giving it funding/spotlight to see if it succeeds in the open market. Wesley Snipes proved this with the Blade series (the last one was dreck however…). That took some guts and bravery, and it it was WIDELY succesful at the time… altering the skin tone of Johnny Storm to appear to hip and chic.. not so much..

  • bobmcpherson

    There is nothing so brave in the Arts as the cowardly. There is nothing so cutting edge in the Arts as conforming to the crowd. It is also stupid as they now have to jump through hoops and waste precious story time explaining how Johhny Stowm and Susan Storm are siblings. It will never be mentioned in the Thor films that Sif and Heimdal are siblings as well because it just so goofy. And of course that infamous scene in THE HOBBIT 2 where several Black peole appear out of nowhere during Thorin’s speech(What was he talking about again?) with the camera giving them endless close ups practically shouting “LOOK!!! BLACK PEOPLE! LOOK HOW BRAVE AND ORIGINAL WE ARE!!!” Ten years from now people will be looking at that scene and shaking their heads at the condescending stupidity. Well it is moot point. The FF film is oFF my to do list.

  • Ben

    Nothing so condescending as those who pity others because of their color of their skin. Nothing so condescending as treating people like children and not holding them to a higher standard. People think their empathetic by “helping” minorities, but unless you earn something on your own merits you’ll, never appreciate it. Instead of giving a welfare check, teach someone the skills they need to be employable. Instead of free food and housing, encourage teaching financial acumen so they know what not to do.

    Much damage has been done to our scoiety by pitying others and not teaching morality and common sense.

  • bySD

    “Ultimate Fantastic Four” where Von Doom was a… I don’t even know what he was and Reed Richards turned Evil and Johnny wound up living with the Parkers? Is the source material for this film?

    Unless I hear rave reviews, I marking this one off as a Redbox rental.

    On the other hand, Reed Richards as a bacterial colony would be interesting…

    Then again, this is just a desperate ploy to keep the rights. Fox, you had your chance. Let Silver Surfer and the Skrull and the Badoon go back to Marvel already. Oh, and the FF too.

  • Guest

    Oh come on, if Evans can do it so can Jordan, marvels policy of not using the same actor twice does not apply to Fox and Sony, so he may find a place as Black Panther after this train wreck. Maybe that’s what he hopes? Maybe the human torch role will become a kinda super hero trial role for Disney to test out an actors suitability for one of their roles.

    Sorry Fox, your fantastic four films are just feature length screentests ;)

  • Ben

    You miss the point entirely. The choice of Jordan is a mixture of the director liking an actor he’s worked with before (a good thing) and mostly a cynical and clumsy attempt to insert race by changing the “paint job” of one of the main chraracters for no reason than the PC police believe the FF were too white.

    I ask you this, how would the media and race baiters handle it if Black panther, storm and cyborgs race was changed….. Not well I’d imagine.

  • Mr.Sixes

    difference is he’s not working for some big mouse eared corporation and is given creative freedom to actually work harder on it with no pressure from fox.