Fantastic Four in film
The fictional superhero team Fantastic Four featured in Marvel Comics publication has appeared in four live-action films since its inception. The plots deal with 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 by New Horizon Studios owned by Roger Corman. 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 mixed to negative reviews from critics, yet earned a combined US$619 million worldwide at the box office. Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment with 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 canceled.
In 2009, the development for a reboot was announced. Directed by Josh Trank, Fantastic Four was released on August 7, 2015 and received negative reviews from both critics and public, and Trank himself. A sequel to the reboot was scheduled to be released on June 9, 2017, but it was removed from Fox's upcoming slate.
- 1 Films
- 2 Recurring cast and characters
- 3 Crew
- 4 Home media release
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
The Fantastic Four (1994)
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. 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. 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. While the film was never released to theaters and home-video, it was released by bootleg video distributors.
Original film series
Cover of Fantastic Four - 2-Movie Collection, the 2007 DVD box set of the first two films
|Directed by||Tim Story|
by Stan Lee
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Fantastic Four (2005)
The story features Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Victor von Doom getting hit by a space storm after boarding a space station. As a result of the radiation from the storm, they gain new abilities and powers that they have deal with in their own ways.
Chris Columbus was hired by 20th Century Fox to write and direct the film in 1995. In 1997, Peter Segal was attached to a script which had been written by 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. 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. Reed contemplated making the film as a period piece set in the early 1960s during the space race. He later dropped out from the film. In April 2004, Tim Story was hired to direct and principal photography began in August in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with re-shoots carried on until May 2005. 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)
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.
With Fantastic Four grossing $330.5 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox hired director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost in December 2005 to return to work for the sequel. Don Payne was also hired to write the screenplay. Principal photography began on August 28, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The film was released on June 15, 2007.
Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment in the box-office performance of the film, a potential third Fantastic Four film and a Silver Surfer spin-off film were cancelled.
Fantastic Four (2015)
The story, loosely based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic-books, features four people teleporting to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form and grants them new abilities. They must learn to harness their abilities and work together as a team to save the Earth from a familiar enemy.
In August 2009, the development for the reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise was announced by 20th Century Fox. In July 2012, Josh Trank was hired to direct. Michael Green, Jeremy Slater, Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg were hired to write the screenplay with Slater and Kinberg receiving credit. Casting began in January 2014 with the announcement of the cast occurred in the following months. Principal photography began in May 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and ended in August the same year. Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell, the film was released on August 7, 2015. A sequel was originally planned for 2017, but was removed from the studio's schedule in November 2015.
At San Diego Comic-Con International 2017, Noah Hawley said that he was developing a film centered on Doctor Doom. Dan Stevens was also said to be involved with the film. In June 2018, Hawley stated that the script was almost finished, but that there was "a little uncertainty" about whether it would be filmed due to his upcoming film Pale Blue Dot and the fact that Disney plans to acquire Fox.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company agreed to a $52.4 billion dollar deal to acquire 21st Century Fox, including its subsidiary 20th Century Fox. Disney's CEO Bob Iger stated that they plan to integrate the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Recurring cast and characters
- This section shows characters which have appeared in more than one film.
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film.
|The Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four
Rise of the Silver Surfer
|Alex Hyde-White||Ioan Gruffudd||Miles Teller|
Owen Judge (young)
Mercedes McNab (young)
|Jessica Alba||Kate Mara|
Phillip Van Dyke (young)
|Chris Evans||Michael B. Jordan|
|Michael Bailey Smith
|Michael Chiklis||Jamie Bell|
Evan Hannemann (young)
|Victor von Doom
|Joseph Culp||Julian McMahon||Toby Kebbell|
|Alicia Masters||Kat Green||Kerry Washington|
|The Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four
Rise of the Silver Surfer
|Director||Oley Sassone||Tim Story||Josh Trank|
|Producer(s)||Steven Rabiner||Bernd Eichinger
|Executive producer(s)||Roger Corman
|Writer(s)||Craig J. Nevius
|John Ottman||Marco Beltrami|
|Director of photography||Mark Parry||Oliver Wood||Larry Blanford||Matthew Jensen|
|Editor(s)||Glenn Garland||William Hoy||William Hoy
Peter S. Elliot
Stephen E. Rivkiv
Home media release
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Fantastic Four (2015) on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. The films were also released on DVD and Blu-ray box sets:
|Fantastic Four 2-Movie Collection||DVD||October 2, 2007||Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|The Ultimate Heroes Collection||October 16, 2007||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|Marvel Heroes||May 13, 2008||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand|||
|Blu-ray 3-Pack||Blu-ray||November 18, 2008||Daredevil, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|20th Century Fox Triple Feature||DVD||June 1, 2010||Daredevil, Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|October 5, 2010||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005)|||
|20th Century Fox Double Feature||Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||Blu-ray||May 15, 2012||Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|Fantastic Four Double Feature||Blu-ray/Digital HD, DVD||March 8, 2016|||
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||All time ranking||Production budget||Reference|
|United States||Other territories||North America||Other territories||Worldwide||North America||Worldwide|
|Fantastic Four (2005)||July 8, 2005||July 6, 2005||$154,696,080||$175,883,639||$330,579,719||305||348||$100 million|||
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||June 15, 2007||June 13, 2007||$131,921,738||$157,126,025||$289,047,763||410||425||$130 million|||
|Fantastic Four (2015)||August 7, 2015||August 5, 2015||$56,117,548||$111,860,048||$167,977,596||1,392||$120 million|||
|$ 342,735,366||$ 444,869,712||$ 787,605,078||$350 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 grossing over $342 million in North America and over $787 million worldwide.
Critical and public response
|The Fantastic Four||29% (7 reviews)|
|Fantastic Four (2005)||27% (206 reviews)||40 (35 reviews)||B|
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||37% (168 reviews)||45 (33 reviews)||B|
|Fantastic Four (2015)||9% (224 reviews)||27 (40 reviews)||C-|
None of the Fantastic Four films have been positively received by critics. Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic called the 1994 film "[a] painfully silly film, one with more heroic intentions than actual assets."
Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald gave negative reviews to the Fantastic Four films directed by Tim Story. Regarding Rise of the Silver Surfer, he stated, "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." However, Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel gave Story's Fantastic Four films good reviews. He called 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."
The 2015 Fantastic Four film was the weakest reviewed of the series; it was criticised for its dark, humorless tone, its character arcs, designs (especially that of Dr. Doom), bland acting, and poorly written story. Josh Trank, who directed the film, was himself not satisfied, posting a message on Twitter stating he had envisioned a better version of the film, but it was ruined by Fox; he later deleted the message.
- David Hughes (April 22, 2002). "Fantastic Journey". The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1-55652-449-8.
- Muto, Sheila (September 1994). "The Fantastic Four Movie You'll Never See". Wired. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
- "Fantastic Four (1994)". UGO. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
- "Comics Scene 34 Superman Fantastic Four - eBay". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Fantastic Four (archives)". Comics2Film. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
- Susman, Gary (April 4, 2004). "Superhero Story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
- Brodesser, Claude; Fleming, Michael (August 2, 2004). "'Nip' star meets his Doom". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
- 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.
- Michael Fleming (December 4, 2005). "Story booked solid with Fox". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
- Michael Fleming; Dave McNary (May 3, 2006). "Inside Move: Surfer may board Four". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
- Stax (August 17, 2006). "Fantastic New Title". IGN. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
- 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.
- Bussey, Ben (November 28, 2014). "The Fantastic Four Synopsis Released". Yahoo!. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- "Fox is Rebooting Fantastic Four". August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- "Comic-Con: Fantastic Four Director Confirmed While Daredevil Director Exits". July 11, 2013. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Perry, Spencer (July 13, 2013). "Comic-Con: Fantastic Four Reboot Gets a Writer". Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Lesnick, Silas (February 26, 2013). "Seth Grahame-Smith Boards Fantastic Four". Retrieved June 23, 2013.
- Kit, Borys (October 2, 2013). "Simon Kinberg Tapped to Write 'Fantastic Four' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Kroll, Justin (January 21, 2014). "Fantastic Four' Script In, Actors to Test by End of Month". Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Kroll, Justin (February 19, 2014). "'Fantastic Four' Cast Revealed". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Toby Kebbell to Play 'Fantastic Four' Villain Doctor Doom (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. April 1, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Vejvoda, Jim (March 8, 2014). "Miles Teller on What Appealed to Him About The Fantastic Four Reboot". IGN. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- 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.
- Perry, Spencer (August 2, 2014). "Production Wraps on The Fantastic Four Reboot". Superhero Hype!. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- McClintock, Pamela (September 18, 2014). "'X-Men' Spin-Off 'Deadpool' Gets Winter 2016 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
- Perry, Spencer (November 24, 2015). "Fantastic Four Sequel Pulled from Fox Schedule". Superhero Hype. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Leadbeater, Alex (July 20, 2017). "Doctor Doom Movie In Development From Legion's Noah Hawley". Screen Rant. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- Davison, Joshua (July 20, 2017). "Legion Panel: Hawley Working On Doctor Doom Film, Season 2 Going To Be 10 Episodes, Can't Cross Over With The Movies". Bleeding Cool News. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Riesman, Abraham (June 4, 2018). "Noah Hawley's Doctor Doom Movie Is Written, But Don't Expect to See It Anytime Soon". Vulture. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
- "Brian K. Vaughan Reportedly Writing Silver Surfer Movie For Fox". 27 February 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "The Walt Disney Company To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., After Spinoff Of Certain Businesses, For $52.4 Billion In Stock" (Press release). The Walt Disney Company. December 14, 2017. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017. Additional Wayback Machine archive, December 14, 2017.
- "Search results for: Fantastic Four". Archived from the original on August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: The Ultimate Heroes Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Marvel Heroes Collection". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Marvel Three-Pack". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Daredevil & Fantastic Four & X-Men". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Daredevil & Elektra & Fantastic Four". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four & X-Men". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer [Blu-ray]". Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- "BestBuy.com: Fantastic Four Double Feature (Blu-ray Disc) (Eng/Spa/Fre)". Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "BestBuy.com: Fantastic Four Double Feature [2 Discs] (DVD) (Eng/Spa/Fre)". Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "Fantastic Four (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Fantastic Four (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Fantastic Four Movies at the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Marvel Comics Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- "The Fantastic Four". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
- "Fantastic Four". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "Fantastic Four". Metacritic. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- "Cinemascore". Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Metacritic. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- "Fantastic Four (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- "Fantastic Four Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Abad-Santos, Alex (December 15, 2017). "What Disney's acquisition of Fox means for Marvel's superhero movies". Vox. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Weinberg, Scott (May 13, 2011). "The Fantastic Four Review". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Rodriguez, Rene (June 15, 2007). "Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer film review". Archived from the original on June 23, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Moore, Roger (July 8, 2005). "Roger Moore Review: Fantastic Four". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Moore, Roger (June 13, 2007). "Roger Moore Review: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer". Retrieved July 29, 2014.
- Breznican, Anthony (August 7, 2015). "Why did Fantastic Four director Josh Trank slam his own movie?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 7, 2015.