Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Rise of the Silver Surfer
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Story|
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Running time||92 minutes|
|Box office||$289 million|
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a 2007 superhero film, and the sequel to the 2005 film Fantastic Four. Both films are based on the Fantastic Four comic book and were directed by Tim Story. Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm are the film series' recurring protagonists, while Julian McMahon and Kerry Washington reprised their roles from the first film as, respectively, Victor Von Doom and Alicia Masters. Beau Garrett appears in the sequel as Frankie Raye, along with Doug Jones as the Silver Surfer and Laurence Fishburne as the voice of the Silver Surfer. The plot follows the Fantastic Four as they confront, and later ally with, the Silver Surfer to save Earth from Galactus.
As Reed Richards and Sue Storm prepare for their wedding, a silver object enters Earth's atmosphere, creating 1 mile wide craters across the Earth. General Hagar asks Reed to track and identify its movements. He initially refuses, to appease Sue, who feels he is again neglecting her for his work. However, he surreptitiously builds a radar tracker to locate the object, as the Army requests.
During the wedding, Reed's systems detect the phenomenon approaching New York City, which suffers a blackout since it emits electromagnetic pulses that cause power outages. Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, pursues the object, discovering it to be a silvery humanoid on a flying surfboard. The "Silver Surfer" drags him into the upper atmosphere and drops him. During his fall, Johnny finds his flame powers fluctuating and barely survives, successfully flying only at the last moment. Later, Sue and Johnny switch powers when they touch, prompting Reed to deduce that exposure to the Surfer has affected Johnny's molecular structure, allowing him to switch powers with his teammates through physical contact. Tracing the cosmic energy of the Surfer, Reed discovers that a series of planets the alien has visited have all been destroyed.
With the Surfer creating craters around the globe, Reed determines that the next will appear in London. The team arrives too late to stop the crater, which drains the River Thames, but does prevent the London Eye from collapsing after it was damaged by the quake (though Johnny nearly thwarts their effect in the process when he switches powers with Reed). Afterward, Reed and Sue contemplate abandoning their lives as superheroes in order to have a normal life and raise a family. The Surfer's movements around the globe bring him past Latveria, where the cosmic energy affects Victor von Doom, freeing him from two years encased in metal. Doom, able to move again but scarred, traces the Surfer to the Russell Glacier and offers to join forces. When the Surfer rebuffs him, Doom attacks. The Surfer returns fire, blasting Doom through the ice. The cosmic energy of the Surfer's blast heals Doom's body.
Doom leverages his experience into a deal with the American military, who force the Fantastic Four to work with Doom. Deducing that the Surfer's board is the source of his power, Reed develops a tachyon pulse generator that will separate him from it, while Doom works on a machine whose function he does not reveal. In the Black Forest, the Surfer confronts Sue and reveals he is merely a servant to the destroyer of worlds, and regrets the destruction he causes. The military opens fire on the Surfer, which distracts him and allows the Fantastic Four to fire the pulse, separating the Surfer from his board. The military imprisons the Surfer in Siberia, while they torture him for information. Sue uses her powers to sneak into his cell, where he reveals more information. He tells her his master, known by the people of his world as Galactus, is a massive one million mile long cloud-like cosmic entity that feeds on life-bearing planets to survive, and that his board is a homing beacon summoning Galactus to the planet. The Silver Surfer has to serve Galactus, who will otherwise destroy not only his loved ones but also his planet.
Doom, using the device he has created, betrays Hagar and steals the board from the compound using his device from earlier, killing the majority of the Army present there. The Fantastic Four rescue the Surfer and pursue Doom in the Fantasticar, confronting him in Shanghai. During the battle, Sue is mortally wounded. With the Surfer powerless, Johnny absorbs the combined powers of the entire team in order to battle the now cosmic energy-empowered Doom (also saying Ben's catchphrase). Johnny succeeds in breaking Doom's controlling device over the Surfer's board, and Ben Grimm uses a nearby crane to knock Doom into the harbor. However, Galactus has arrived, and Sue dies in Reed's arms. The Surfer regains control of his board, restoring his power. He revives Sue and chooses to defend Earth, flying, with an extra boost from Johnny, into Galactus. The conflict results in a massive blast of energy that engulfs Galactus in a cosmic rift, and apparently kills the Surfer as well. Johnny has recovered his stable molecular state after touching the Surfer's board.
Reed and Sue get married in Japan, in an abbreviated ceremony. Receiving news that Venice is sinking into the Adriatic, the team heads to Italy. In a post-credits scene, the Silver Surfer's seemingly lifeless body floats through space. His eyes then open and his board races toward him, showing that he is alive.
14 filming locations: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Giza, Egypt; London, England, UK (2nd Unit); Los Angeles, California, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China; Pemberton; Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Dumont Dunes, California; USA; Russell Glacier, Greenland; Shanghai, China; Suruga Bay, Japan  
- Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic
- Jessica Alba as Sue Storm / Invisible Woman
- Chris Evans as Johnny Storm / Human Torch
- Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm / Thing
- Doug Jones as Norrin Radd / Silver Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fishburne)
- Julian McMahon as Dr. Victor von Doom / Doctor Doom
- Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters
- Beau Garrett as Captain Frankie Raye
- Vanessa Minnillo as Julie Angel
- Andre Braugher as General Hager
- Stan Lee as Himself / Rejected Wedding Guest
- Brian Posehn as Wedding Minister
- Debbie Timuss as Candy the Hot Party Girl #1
- Moneca Delain as Julia the Hot Party Girl #2
- Kevin McNulty as Jimmy, the doorman of the Baxter Building
- Crystal Lowe as Nicole the Hot Party Girl #3
With Fantastic Four grossing $330 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox hired director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost in December 2005 to return for the superhero team's sequel. Screenwriters Frost and Don Payne were hired to write the screenplay. Payne has said the film is based upon "The Galactus Trilogy", in which Galactus also makes an appearance, as well as issues 57-60 in which Doom steals the Surfer's power. Payne has also said the film takes inspiration from the Ultimate Marvel limited series Ultimate Extinction. As of March 2, 2007, Galactus's design was not yet done, and by April 18, until hiring Laurence Fishburne to perform the voice of the Silver Surfer, the filmmakers were unsure of whether the character would speak.
The film includes the Fantasti-Car, a larger role for Kerry Washington's character Alicia Masters, and in June 2006, the Silver Surfer was announced to appear in the sequel as a "villain / hero". The Silver Surfer has been created by combining the performance of actor Doug Jones, a grey-silver suit designed by Jose Fernandez and created by FX shop Spectral Motion which has then been enhanced by a new computer-generated system designed by WETA.
The sequel, whose working title was Fantastic Four 2, was officially titled Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in August 2006 with filming beginning on August 28 in Vancouver and set for a release date of June 15, 2007. Michael Chiklis's prosthetics as The Thing were also redesigned to allow him to take it off in between takes and for better ventilation.
In August 2006, actor Andre Braugher dropped out of his supporting role in the TV series ER to be cast in Rise of the Silver Surfer. Braugher was cast as General Hager, whom director Story described as "an old acquaintance of Reed Richards and one of the major additions to the movie". In September, Jones was confirmed to portray the Silver Surfer in addition to Julian McMahon reprising his role as Doctor Doom. The Baxter Building was also redesigned. Braugher, McMahon and Chiklis were all starring in FX Network dramas that year.
The teaser trailer was initially exclusively attached to Night at the Museum. It was released to the general public online on December 26, 2006 on the film's official website. The theatrical trailer was scheduled to appear during the film Disturbia on April 13, 2007 but errors occurred and Tim Story announced that it would be released with Spider-Man 3 on May 4, 2007. The theatrical trailer was finally released online on April 30, 2007 on Apple Trailer's website. 20th Century Fox launched an outdoor advertising campaign at the end of February. The cast also made an appearance at the Coca Cola 600 Nextel Cup NASCAR race in Charlotte over Memorial Day weekend.
In late May 2007, 20th Century Fox struck a deal with the Franklin Mint to promote the movie by altering 40,000 U.S. quarters and releasing them into circulation. All of the altered quarters were minted in 2005 and honor the state of California as part of the 50 State Quarters program created by the U.S. Mint. The altered quarters feature the Silver Surfer on the reverse along with a URL to the movie's official website. Once the U.S. Mint became aware of the promotion, it notified the studio and the Franklin Mint that it was breaking the law by turning government-issued currency into private advertising. The federal mint did not indicate whether a penalty would be effected.
The film was released October 2, 2007 on DVD in two versions. The first was a single-disc Widescreen/Full Screen version. A two-disc "The Power Cosmic" Edition was also released that day. and high-definition Blu-ray Disc. The film was also released on HD DVD outside of the U.S.
On its opening weekend, the film was the highest-grossing movie at the U.S. box office, reaching approximately $58 million, $2 million more than its predecessor. By its second weekend, the film suffered a 66% drop and a 54% drop in its third weekend. The film grossed $289 million worldwide, including a $131.9 million gross in the United States and in Canada. The budget was $130 million.
The film received slightly better reviews than its predecessor, with a rating of 37% on Rotten Tomatoes and 45 out of 100 on Metacritic. Its Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "While an improvement on its predecessor, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is nevertheless a juvenile, simplistic picture that has little benefit beyond its special effects."
Awards and nominations
Rise of the Silver Surfer won two awards: the 2008 Golden Trailer Award for "Best Teaser Poster", and star Jessica Alba winning the 2008 "Favorite Female Movie Star" Kids' Choice Award. Rise of the Silver Surfer was nominated for five additional Kids' Choice awards. The film was nominated for two Razzie Awards including Worst Actress for Jessica Alba and Worst Screen Couple for Alba and Ioan Gruffudd, but lost both awards to Lindsay Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me.
In August 2009, Fox announced plans to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise, with Michael Green and Jeremy Slater writing, Seth Grahame-Smith polished the film's script and Akiva Goldsman and Matthew Vaughn producing. Since the release of 2012's Chronicle, Josh Trank was linked to the reboot and in mid July 2012, he was officially announced to be director. Filming started mid September 2013. As it is produced by Fox, the film will be independent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fox said in March 2014 that The Fantastic Four is scheduled to be released on August 7, 2015, and The Fantastic Four 2 on July 14, 2017.
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- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Production Notes