Fantastic Four in film

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The fictional superhero team Fantastic Four featured in Marvel Comics publication have appeared in three live-action films since its inception. The films are based around four main characters, known formally as Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, and how they adapt to the superpowers they attain.

Constantin Film bought the film rights for the characters in 1986. A low-budget film was produced in 1992 in order to retain the license. In 2004, with a distribution deal from 20th Century Fox, a second Fantastic Four film entered production. Fantastic Four was released in 2005 and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released in 2007. Both films received negative reviews from critics, yet earned US$619 million worldwide at the box office. Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment to the box-office return of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, a potential third Fantastic Four film and a Silver Surfer spin-off film were put on hold.[1]

A reboot, The Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank is scheduled to be released on August 7, 2015.[2]

Films[edit]

The Fantastic Four (1994)[edit]

The story of the film focused on four astronauts that were bombarded with cosmic rays from a comet while on an experimental space craft. In the process, they acquired extraordinary abilities.

In 1986, Bernd Eichinger of Constantin Film acquired the film rights of the Fantastic Four from Marvel Comics.[3] In 1992, Eichinger hired Roger Corman to produce a low-budget film in order to keep the rights. 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.[4] Stan Lee and Eichinger stated that the actors had no idea of the situation, instead believing they were creating a proper release.[5] Marvel Comics paid in exchange for the film's negative, so 20th Century Fox could go ahead with the big-budget adaptation. While the film was never released to theaters and home-video, it was released by bootleg video distributors.[4]

Fantastic Four film series[edit]

Fantastic Four
FantasticFourFilmSeriesDVD.jpg
Cover of Fantastic Four - 2-Movie Collection, the 2007 DVD box set of the first two films
Directed by Tim Story
Produced by
Based on Fantastic Four 
by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Starring See below
Music by John Ottman
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Country United States
Language English
Budget $230 million
Box office $619,627,482

Fantastic Four (2005)[edit]

Main article: Fantastic Four (film)

The story features Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Victor von Doom getting hit by a space storm after boarding into a space station. As a result by the radiation from the storm, they get new abilities and powers that they have deal with in their own ways.

In 1997, Peter Segal was attached to a script which had been written by Chris Columbus and Michael France. Segal later left the project in the same year. Phillip Morton worked on the script, and Sam Hamm did rewrites in 1998. The following year, Raja Gosnell signed on as director.[6] The film was announced in August 2000 as being aimed for a July 4, 2001 release date. Gosnell decided to leave the project to film Scooby-Doo. Peyton Reed served as replacement in April 2001.[6] Reed contemplated making the film as a period piece set in the early 1960s during the space race.[3] He later dropped out from the film. In April 2004, Tim Story was hired to direct and principal photography began in August in Vancouver, Canada with re-shoots carried on until May 2005.[7][8] Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon, the film was released on July 8, 2005.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)[edit]

The story, both inspired by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four comic-book storyline "The Galactus Trilogy" and Warren Ellis's comic-book Ultimate Extinction, features the Silver Surfer, whose cosmic energy has been affecting the planet Earth and leaving craters around the planet. Set against an impending wedding between Reed and Susan, the U.S. Army recruits the Fantastic Four to help stop the Silver Surfer, and separately gain help from Doom.[9]

With Fantastic Four grossing $330 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox hired director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost in December 2005 to return to work for the sequel.[10] Don Payne was also hired to write the screenplay.[11] Principal photography began on August 28, 2006 in Vancouver, Canada.[12] The film was released on June 15, 2007.

Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment to the box-office performance of the film, a potential third Fantastic Four film and a Silver Surfer spin-off film were put on hold.[1]

Reboot[edit]

The Fantastic Four (2015)[edit]

In August 2009, the development for the reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise was announced by 20th Century Fox.[13] In July 2012, Josh Trank was hired to direct.[14] Michael Green, Jeremy Slater, Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg were hired to write the screenplay with Slater and Kinberg receiving credit.[15][16][17] Casting began in January 2014 with the announcement of the cast occurred in the following months.[18][19][20][21] Principal photography began in May 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and ended in August the same year.[22][23]

Based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic-books, the film stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell. It is scheduled to be released on August 7, 2015.[19][2]

Untitled The Fantastic Four sequel (2017)[edit]

A sequel is scheduled for release on July 14, 2017.[24]

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

Character Film
The Fantastic Four
(1994)
Fantastic Four Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Fantastic Four
(2015)
Reed Richards
Mr. Fantastic
Alex Hyde-White Ioan Gruffudd Miles Teller
Sue Storm Richards
Invisible Woman
Rebecca Staab Jessica Alba Kate Mara
Johnny Storm
Human Torch
Jay Underwood Chris Evans Michael B. Jordan
Ben Grimm
The Thing
Michael Bailey Smith,
Carl Ciarfalio
Michael Chiklis Jamie Bell
Victor von Doom
Doctor Doom
Joseph Culp Julian McMahon Toby Kebbell
Alicia Masters Kat Green Kerry Washington

Crew[edit]

Occupation Film
The Fantastic Four
(1994)
Fantastic Four Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Fantastic Four
(2015)
Director Oley Sassone Tim Story Josh Trank
Producer(s) Steven Rabiner Avi Arad,
Bernd Eichinger,
Ralph Winter
Simon Kinberg,
Matthew Vaughn,
Gregory Goodman
Executive producer(s) Roger Corman,
Bernd Eichinger,
Glenn Garland,
Jan Kikumoto
Michael Barnathan,
Chris Columbus,
Kevin Feige,
Stan Lee,
Mark Radcliffe
Writer(s) Craig J. Nevius,
Kevin Rock
Michael France,
Mark Frost
Screenplay by
Don Payne,
Mark Frost
Story by
John Turman,
Mark Frost
Screenplay by
Simon Kinberg,
Jeremy Slater
Story by
Jeremy Slater,
Josh Trank
Composer(s) David Wurst,
Eric Wurst
John Ottman
Director of photography Mark Parry Oliver Wood Larry Blanford Matthew Jensen
Editor(s) Glenn Garland William Hoy William Hoy,
Peter S. Elliot

Home media release[edit]

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.[25] The films were also released on DVD and Blu-ray box sets:

Title Format Release date Films Reference
Fantastic Four 2-Movie Collection DVD October 2, 2007 Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer [26]
The Ultimate Heroes Collection October 16, 2007 Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four, X-Men [27]
Marvel Heroes May 13, 2008 Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand [28]
Blu-ray 3-Pack Blu-ray November 18, 2008 Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer [29]
20th Century Fox Triple Feature DVD June 1, 2010 Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men [30]
20th Century Fox Double Feature October 5, 2010 Fantastic Four, X-Men [31]
20th Century Fox Triple Feature Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four [32]
Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Blu-ray May 15, 2012 Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer [33]

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Outside
United States
North America Outside
North America
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
worldwide
Fantastic Four July 8, 2005 July 6, 2005 $154,696,080 $175,883,639 $330,579,719 254 279 $100 million [34]
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer June 15, 2007 June 13, 2007 $131,921,738 $157,126,025 $289,047,763 353 348 $130 million [35]
Total $286,617,818 $333,009,664 $619,627,482 $230 million

The Fantastic Four film series is the fourth highest-grossing film series based on Marvel Comics characters after the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Spider-Man films and the X-Men film series respectively.[36]

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Fantastic Four 33% (6 reviews)[37]
Fantastic Four 27% (203 reviews)[38] 40% (35 reviews)[39]
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer 37% (166 reviews)[40] 45% (33 reviews)[41]

All Fantastic Four films got a negative consensus from critics. Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic called the 1994 Fantastic Four film a "painfully silly film, one with more heroic intentions than actual assets."[42] Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald gave negative reviews to the Fantastic Four films directed by Tim Story, stating "Story does the same sort of efficient, impersonal job he did on the first film, keeping things at such a basic, almost childish level that it seems the movie is aimed squarely, if not exclusively, at the 12-and-under set."[43] However, Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel gave Story's Fantastic Four films good reviews. Calling the first film as a "popcorn popper" and a "cinematic sugar buzz" and the second film an "entertaining film that doesn't overstay its welcome."[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Galloway, Steven (July 10, 2007). "Studios are hunting the next big property". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved November 3, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b McClintock, Pamela (September 18, 2014). "'X-Men' Spin-Off 'Deadpool' Gets Winter 2016 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b David Hughes (April 22, 2002). "Fantastic Journey". The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-449-8. 
  4. ^ a b Muto, Sheila (September 1994). "The Fantastic Four Movie You'll Never See". Wired. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Fantastic Four (1994)". UGO. Retrieved September 26, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Fantastic Four (archives)". Comics2Film. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  7. ^ Susman, Gary (April 4, 2004). "Superhero Story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ Brodesser, Claude; Fleming, Michael (August 2, 2004). "'Nip' star meets his Doom". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  9. ^ Ben Morse; Brian Warmoth (2007-01-15). "2007 Preview: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Wizard. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  10. ^ Michael Fleming (December 4, 2005). "Story booked solid with Fox". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2006. 
  11. ^ Michael Fleming; Dave McNary (May 3, 2006). "Inside Move: Surfer may board Four". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2006. 
  12. ^ Stax (August 17, 2006). "Fantastic New Title". IGN. Retrieved December 9, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Fox is Rebooting Fantastic Four". August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Comic-Con: Fantastic Four Director Confirmed While Daredevil Director Exits". July 11, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ Perry, Spencer (July 13, 2013). "Comic-Con: Fantastic Four Reboot Gets a Writer". Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ Lesnick, Silas (February 26, 2013). "Seth Grahame-Smith Boards Fantastic Four". Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (October 1, 2013). "Simon Kinberg Tapped to Write 'Fantastic Four' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 21, 2014). "Fantastic Four' Script In, Actors to Test by End of Month". Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (February 19, 2014). "‘Fantastic Four’ Cast Revealed". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Toby Kebbell to Play ‘Fantastic Four’ Villain Doctor Doom (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (March 8, 2014). "Miles Teller on What Appealed to Him About The Fantastic Four Reboot". IGN. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ Scott, Mike (May 5, 2014). "'Fantastic Four' reboot begins filming today in Baton Rouge; here's what we know so far". Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ Perry, Spencer (August 2, 2014). "Production Wraps on The Fantastic Four Reboot". Superhero Hype!. Retrieved August 3, 2014. 
  24. ^ Couch, Aaron (March 20, 2014). "Fox Sets Dates for 'Wolverine,' 'Fantastic Four' Sequels". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Search results for: Fantastic Four". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Amazon.com: The Ultimate Heroes Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Amazon.com: Marvel Heroes Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Amazon.com: Marvel Three-Pack". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Amazon.com: Daredevil & Fantastic Four & X-Men". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four & X-Men". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Amazon.com: Daredevil & Elektra & Fantastic Four". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer [Blu-ray]". Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Fantastic Four (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Marvel Comics Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  37. ^ "The Fantastic Four". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Fantastic Four". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Fantastic Four". Metacritic. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
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  41. ^ "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Metacritic. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  42. ^ Weinberg, Scott (May 13, 2011). "The Fantastic Four Review". Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  43. ^ Rodriguez, Rene (June 15, 2007). "Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer film review". Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  44. ^ Moore, Roger (July 8, 2005). "Roger Moore Review: Fantastic Four". Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  45. ^ Moore, Roger (June 13, 2007). "Roger Moore Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Retrieved July 29, 2014.