Fantastic Four (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tim Story|
|Based on||Fantastic Four
by Jack Kirby
& Stan Lee
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Edited by||William Hoy|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Box office||$330.6 million|
Fantastic Four is a 2005 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. It was directed by Tim Story, and released by 20th Century Fox. It is the second live-action Fantastic Four film to be filmed. A previous attempt, titled The Fantastic Four, was a B-movie produced by Roger Corman that ultimately went unreleased. Fantastic Four was released in the United States on July 8, 2005.
Despite being a box-office success, the film was negatively received by critics, being criticized for its plot and its lack of originality. A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was released in 2007.
Physicist Dr. Reed Richards is convinced evolution was triggered millions of years ago on Earth by clouds of cosmic energy in space, and has calculated that one of these clouds is soon going to pass near Earth. Together with his friend, astronaut Ben Grimm, Richards convinces Dr. Victor von Doom, his former classmate at MIT and now CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow him access to his privately owned space station to test the effects of a biological sample of exposure to the cloud. Doom agrees in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the profits from whatever benefits it brings. Richards brings aboard his ex-girlfriend and Von Doom's chief genetics researcher Susan Storm and her hot-headed ex-astronaut brother Johnny.
The quintet travels to outer space to observe the cosmic energy clouds, but Richards miscalculates and the clouds materialize ahead of schedule. Richards and the Storms leave the shielded station to rescue Grimm, who had gone on a spacewalk to place the samples. Grimm receives full exposure in outer space, while the others receive a more limited dose within the station. Back home they soon develop superpowers: Richards can stretch his body like rubber, Susan Storm can become invisible and generate impact resistant force shields, Johnny Storm can engulf himself in fire and fly unaided, and Grimm becomes a rocklike creature with superhuman strength and durability. Meanwhile, von Doom faces a backlash from his stockholders because of the publicity from the space mission, and has a scar on his face that came from an exploding control console on the station.
Grimm's fiancee Debbie cannot handle his new appearance and leaves him. Grimm goes to brood on the Brooklyn Bridge and accidentally causes a traffic pileup while preventing a man from jumping off the bridge. Grimm, Richards and the Storms use their various abilities to contain the damage and prevent harm. The media dubs them the Fantastic Four. They move into Richards' lab in the Baxter Building to study their abilities and seek a way to return Grimm to normal. Von Doom, himself mutating, offers his support but blames Richards for the failure of the spaceflight, which has lost him his company.
Richards tells the group he will construct a machine to recreate the storm and reverse its effects on them, but warns it could possibly accelerate them instead. Meanwhile von Doom's arm has become organic metal, allowing him to produce bolts of electricity, and he begins plotting revenge. He drives a wedge between Grimm and Richards, who has rekindled his relationship with Susan Storm. Using the machine, von Doom restores Ben to human form, while accelerating von Doom's condition, causing much of his body to turn to metal. Von Doom knocks the human Grimm unconscious and captures Richards.
Now calling himself Doctor Doom, he puts on a metallic mask to hide his disfigurement, tortures Richards and fires a heatseeking missile at the Baxter Building in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Johnny Storm. Susan Storm confronts Doom but is outmatched. Grimm arrives to assist her, transformed into the Thing again by reusing the machine (speaking his signature line, "It's clobberin' time!"). The battle spills into the streets. The Storms combine their powers to wrap Doom in an inferno of intense heat, and Grimm and Richards douse him with cold water, inducing thermal shock and freezing Doom in place. In an epilogue, Grimm informs Richards that he has accepted his condition with the help of Alicia Masters, a blind artist for whom he has developed feelings, and the team embraces its role as superheroes. Richards proposes marriage to Susan Storm, who accepts. Meanwhile, Doom's statue-like remains are being transported back to his homeland of Latveria when the dockmaster's electronic manifest briefly undergoes electromagnetic interference, suggesting that Doom is alive.
- Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic
- Jessica Alba as Sue Storm / Invisible Woman
- Chris Evans as Johnny Storm / Human Torch
- Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm / The Thing
- Julian McMahon as Dr. Victor von Doom / Doctor Doom
- Hamish Linklater as Leonard
- Kerry Washington as Alicia Masters
- Laurie Holden as Debbie McIlvane
- David Parker as Ernie
- Kevin McNulty as Jimmy O'Hoolihan
- Maria Menounos as the Sexy Nurse
- Michael Kopsa as Ned Cecil
- Kenny "Cowboy Kenny" Bartram as himself
- Ronnie Renner as himself
- Stan Lee as Willie Lumpkin
As in almost all of the previous Marvel Comics-based films, Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance. He is Willie Lumpkin, the postal worker who greets the team on their way to the Baxter Building elevator.
In 1983, German producer Bernd Eichinger met with Stan Lee at his home in Los Angeles to explore obtaining an option for a movie based on the Fantastic Four. The option was not available until three years later, when Eichinger's Constantin Film company obtained it from Marvel Comics for a price the producer called "not enormous" and which has been estimated to be $250,000. Warner Bros and Columbia Pictures showed interest, but were cautious of Eichinger's $40–45 million budget. With the option scheduled to expire on December 31, 1992, Eichinger asked Marvel for an extension. With none forthcoming, Eichinger planned to retain his option by producing a low-budget Fantastic Four film, reasoning, he said in 2005, "They didn't say I had to make a big movie." In 1992 he approached B-movie specialist Roger Corman on the idea of producing the film on a $5 million budget in order to keep the rights, which he eventually decided to bring down to $1 million. In 1994, the adaptation, titled The Fantastic Four, had its trailer released to theaters, and its cast and director went on a promotional tour, however the film was not officially released. The film was accused of being an ashcan copy, meaning it was only made to keep the license. Stan Lee and Eichinger stated that the actors had no idea of the situation, instead believing they were creating a proper release. Marvel Comics paid in exchange for the film's negative, so 20th Century Fox could go ahead with the big-budget adaptation, as well as a possible spin-off film starring the Silver Surfer for summer 1998.
Fox hired Chris Columbus to write and direct Fantastic Four in 1995 who developed a screenplay with Michael France. Columbus decided to step down as director and focus on producing duties with Fantastic Four under his 1492 Pictures company, hiring Peter Segal to direct in April 1997, who was subsequently replaced by Sam Weisman by the end of the year. Fox brought Sam Hamm to rewrite the script in April 1998 in an attempt to lower the $165 projected budget. With development taking longer than expected, in February 1999 Eichinger and Fox signed a deal with Marvel to extend the control of the film rights for another two years, planning on a summer 2001 release, and hiring Raja Gosnell to direct. However, Gosnell decided to do Scooby Doo instead and dropped out in October 2000. He was replaced by Peyton Reed in April 2001 and Mark Frost was brought on board for another rewrite. Reed departed in July 2003 over creative differences with Fox, and was replaced by Tim Story in April 2004, after Fox was impressed with his early cut of Taxi. Fantastic Four was greenlighted after final rewrites from Simon Kinberg, who went unaccredited for his work.
The American premiere of Fantastic Four was moved from July 1, 2005, to the week of July 8 to avoid competition with Steven Spielberg's new motion picture War of the Worlds during its first week. Fantastic Four opened in 3,602 movie theaters in the United States, and this increased to 3,619 theaters in the following week.
In paid attendance, Fantastic Four was a commercial success, and it achieved the top position in gross income with $56,061,504 collected during its first weekend. By the end of 2005, Fantastic Four had accumulated a gross income of about $330,579,700 from theaters around the world, about $154,696,080 of this coming in the United States.
Fantastic Four received mixed to negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 27%, based on 203 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "Fantastic Four is a goofy, mediocre entry in the superhero genre." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
At the Saturn Awards, Fantastic Four was nominated for Best Science Fiction Film, but lost the trophy to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It was given two nominations at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards including Best Hero for Jessica Alba (she lost to Christian Bale for Batman Begins) and Best On-Screen Team for Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd (they lost to Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson for Wedding Crashers). Alba was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performances in both this film and Into the Blue, but lost to Jenny McCarthy for Dirty Love.
- There is a scene where Reed and Sue are in a storage room of the Baxter Building where we see on one of the shelves is a robot that is supposed to be H.E.R.B.I.E. from the Fantastic Four animated cartoon series from 1978.
- The biggest change is in the theatrical version showed a scene with Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd's character looking toward the Statue Of Liberty. Similar lines are used that was in the version on DVD but it ends with Susan's turning invisible before Gruffudd's Reed can kiss her. When Reed describes Victor as "a stronger man", he creates a square jaw emphasizing that. The version on DVD replaces that with the pair in the planetarium, where they discuss their feelings for each other without an argumentative tone. The DVD includes the theatrical version as a bonus feature, but instead of the square jaw, he makes his skin look like that of Wolverine of the X-Men comics. The actor Gruffudd breaks the fourth wall and then looks directly at the camera as he does this. The extended cut includes this as part of the movie along with a longer version of the scene in the planetarium.
- When Dr. Doom fires his heatseeking missile, there are no beep sounds before this takes place.
- The theatrical version shows Doom saying "And to think I was going to spend the rest of my life with you" when attacking Sue Storm, but in the DVD version, it depicts him laughing instead.
- Three slightly modified scenes concerning the attack on Dr. Doom - one in which Reed uses his body as a funnel to direct a stream of water at Doom, one in which he does not, and one in which Doctor Doom's line "Is that the best you can do, a little heat?" is cut short, having the "..a little heat?" portion removed.
The novelization of the motion picture contains a number of scenes that were not in the final cut of the movie, including a small number of scenes that developed the character of Alicia Masters.
In June 2007, an extended cut on DVD of Fantastic Four was published. This incorporated about 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and it also includes a preview of the sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This DVD expands on The Thing's relationships with Alicia Masters, Doctor Doom's manipulations to break up the group, and the Human's Torch's womanizing, and how it backfires.
|Fantastic 4: The Album|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||June 28, 2005|
|Recorded||Various times (2003–2005)|
|Marvel Comics film series soundtrack chronology chronology|
Fantastic 4: The Album is the official soundtrack to the movie Fantastic Four. The soundtrack features two supergroups that were formed specifically for the album: Loser (former Marilyn Manson guitarist/writer John 5) and T.F.F. (featuring Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Chris Cester of Jet, Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Dolf de Datsun of the Datsuns).
|1.||"Come On, Come In"||Velvet Revolver||3:50|
|2.||"Error: Operator" (demo version)||Taking Back Sunday||3:09|
|4.||"What Ever Happened to the Heroes"||Joss Stone||3:56|
|5.||"Waiting (Save Your Life)"||Omnisoul||4:02|
|6.||"Always Come Back to You"||Ryan Cabrera||3:33|
|7.||"Everything Burns"||Ben Moody feat. Anastacia||3:41|
|8.||"New World Symphony"||Miri Ben-Ari feat. Pharoahe Monch||4:01|
|9.||"Die for You" (Fantastic Four mix)||Megan McCauley||3:49|
|11.||"Surrender" (Cheap Trick cover)||Simple Plan||2:58|
|12.||"I'll Take You Down"||T.F.F.||2:50|
|13.||"On Fire"||Lloyd Banks||3:07|
|15.||"Goodbye to You"||Breaking Point||3:51|
|16.||"Shed My Skin"||Alter Bridge||5:08|
|17.||"In Due Time"||Submersed||4:04|
|19.||"Now You Know"||Miss Eighty 6 feat. Classic||3:03|
|20.||"Kirikirimai" (Fantastic Four remix)||Orange Range||3:14|
- Main Titles (2:34)
- Cosmic Storm (4:47)
- Superheroes (5:52)
- Experiments (2:41)
- Planetarium (1:28)
- Entanglement (1:13)
- Power Hungry (4:26)
- Changing (2:47)
- Lab Rat (4:50)
- Unlikely Saviors (2:15)
- Bye Bye Ned (2:16)
- Battling Doom (7:02)
- Bon Voyage (1:16)
- Fantastic Proposal (2:21)
A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was released on June 15, 2007. Director Tim Story and the cast reprised their roles for the sequel. In the film, the Fantastic Four encounter the Silver Surfer. The film had a mixed, but overall better reception. However, the sequel would be the last in this particular film series, as 20th Century Fox chose to reboot the film series completely.
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