User:Harish/sandbox/Fantastic Four (film)

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For the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four film, see The Fantastic Four (film).
Fantastic Four
Directed by Tim Story
Produced by Avi Arad
Bernd Eichinger
Ralph Winter
Written by Screenplay:
Michael France
Mark Frost
Comic Book:
Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Starring Ioan Gruffudd
Jessica Alba
Michael Chiklis
Chris Evans
Julian McMahon
Music by John Ottman
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Edited by William Hoy
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
June 8, 2005 (2005-06-08)
Running time
Theatrical Cut:
106 min.
Extended Cut:
124 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100 million
Box office $330,579,719

Fantastic Four is a 2005 superhero film based on the Marvel Comics comic Fantastic Four. It was directed by Tim Story, and released by 20th Century Fox. This is the second live-action Fantastic Four movie to be filmed. The previous attempt, a B-movie produced by Roger Corman to retain the film rights, was never officially released.

The film was released in the United States on July 8, 2005. It was the third superhero film of the year, after Elektra and Batman Begins.

This film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA for "sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content".

Plot[edit]

Dr. Reed Richards, a brilliant and bankrupt physicist, is convinced that evolution is triggered 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, Reed convinces his one-time classmate Dr. Victor von Doom, now CEO of Von Doom Industries, to allow him access to his privately-owned space station. Victor agrees, in exchange for control over the experiment and a majority of the resulting profits. He brings aboard his love interest, chief genetics researcher (and Reed's ex-girlfriend) Susan Storm, and her arrogant brother Johnny Storm, Victor's private astronaut. The quintet travels to space to observe the cosmic energy clouds, but Reed has miscalculated and the clouds materialize well ahead of schedule.

Victor refuses Reed's plea to abort the mission, knowing he must produce results to justify his expenditure at any other cost. Knowing Ben is space-walking to set up equipment, Reed, Susan and Johnny leave the shielded inner area of the station to rescue him. Ben receives full exposure from the cloud whilst out in space, while the others receive a more limited dose within the station. The crew make it home intact; however, they begin to mutate with each developing unique abilities. Reed is able to stretch like rubber; Susan can become invisible (by bending light around objects); Johnny can emit fire as hot as the sun as well as fly; and Ben is transformed into "The Thing", a large, rock-like creature with superhuman strength.

When Ben is brooding on the Brooklyn Bridge, he inadvertently causes an explosive major traffic pile-up whilst attempting to stop a man from committing suicide, and the four use their powers to prevent any loss of life. The media, quick to report the incident, dub them the 'Fantastic Four'. Johnny eagerly embraces his powers and new life, Ben - the only one whose permanently physically transformed - suffers.

Reed blames himself for Ben's misfortune and takes it upon himself to find a cure. He brings the group together to his loft-turned-high tech laboratory in the Baxter Building. He becomes engrossed in his research of understanding the mutation in order to reverse it, while remaining overly cautious in taking any steps involving experimentation. Sue spends a lot of time trying to understand Reed while being couped up with him. She feels her feelings for Reed grow more and more, as her relationship with Victor disolves.

Johnny exploits his ability, turning himself into a brand-name as he desires nothing but public attention with celebrity status, much to the dismay of the group who plead that he remains restrained as Reed intends to understand the mutation. Johnny goes against all that is asked and learns that his attitude has a damaging impact upon his relationship with the Fantasic Four, and their individual priority over fame. Ben's disfigurement caused his fiancé, Debbie, to abandon him while New Yorkers shun him. As time progresses though, he meets a blind lady, Alicia Masters, who see's past Ben's disfigurement and accepts him, changing the way Ben sees his own mutation. Despite this, Reed's excessive caution with testing begins to test Ben's patience.

Unknown to the others, however, Victor's body is also mutating; he is turning into organic metal capable of absorbing and manipulating electrical energy. As a result of the disastrous expedition, his company is going bankrupt and he is losing public stature; blaming Reed for his misfortunes, Victor swears revenge. Victor manipulate Ben's insecurity and anguish, convincing him that Reed doesn't care enough about curing him. After arguing Between Reed and Ben, Reed experiments with the curative machine on himself, learning that the machine only needs more power to fully succeed. Victor, who has been spying on Reed, tricks Ben into entering the machine and provides the extra power.

Ben becomes normal again, while Victor's own mutation increases exponentially, increasing his power but also physically disfiguring him. Ben realizes too late that Victor wanted the Fantastic Four's strongest rival out of the way, being left immobilized. Victor begins to wear his trademark mask and continues to attack each member of the Fantastic Four and appears to succeed, until Ben reverses the machine to restore his mutation. Eventually the four learn to unite and despite Victor growing in strength from his ability to absorb and use vast amounts of electricty. Reed manages to use his elastic body to temporarily restrain Doom, and then coordinates the team for an offensive attack, trusting his initial judgment for the first time. The team succeed in defeating Doom, who is seemingly left as a statue of inert metal.

Ben informs Reed that he has accepted his condition, and the team decide to embrace their roles as superheroes and unite officially as the Fantastic Four. Reed proposes marriage to Susan, who accepts.

Doom's remains get transported back to his homeland of Latveria, but the ship carrying them experiences unusual electronic interference...

Word count: 849 - cut down to 700

Cast[edit]

  • Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic: A brilliant but timid and pedantic scientist who, despite his genius-level understanding of the sciences, is fiscally incompetent and nearing bankruptcy which forces him to seek investment from Doom to further a project. This project turns way-ward and causes himself to gain the ability to stretch, he proceeds attempting to cope with this ability while attempting to reverse a mutation in his friends, primarily Ben.
  • Jessica Alba as Susan "Sue" Storm / Invisible Woman: A brilliant scientist, she finds herself involved in Reed's project due to being chief of Doom's science department, as well as dating Doom. The project also leaves her mutated, giving her the ability to bend light (causing "invisibility") which is influenced by her emotions, something she learns to deal with as she rekindles feelings between herself and Reed.
  • Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm / The Thing: Being Reed's loyal friend, Ben aids him as best he can in fulfilling the project, but in the process he is exposed to radiation like Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Doom, but with the least amount of protection and physically mutates in a rock-like humanoid. Repulsed by his looks and miserable due to his physicallity, which causes his fiancé, Debbie, to leave him, he desires nothing but to return to human form again. However, meeting Alicia begins to change his view on what it means to be a man.
  • Chris Evans as Johnny Storm / Human Torch: An intelligent yet arrogant young man who loves extreme sports, living on the edge, and is the brother of Susan Storm as well as a pilot. Johnny takes part in Reed's project, forcing a mutation of fire which emanates from Johnny's body, as well as flight. Unlike Reed, Sue, and Ben, Johnny sees this as a gift an exploits it, before wondering if a sense of responsiblity is needed with such power.
  • Julian McMahon as Victor von Doom / Doctor Doom: A billionaire industrialist, who was also a college rival of Reed and had become suitor of Reed's ex-girlfriend, Sue. Doom funds Reeds' project and personally becomes involved, but his greed earns him a mutation and he progresses by losing his business position and girlfriend. All this begins to instill the desire for power as well as revenge.
  • Alicia: A blind artist, her lack of perception changes Ben's perception of himself.
Actor Role
Ioan Gruffudd Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic
Jessica Alba Susan Storm / Invisible Woman
Michael Chiklis Ben Grimm / The Thing
Chris Evans Johnny Storm / Human Torch
Julian McMahon Victor von Doom / Doctor Doom
Hamish Linklater Leonard
Kerry Washington Alicia Masters
Laurie Holden Debbie McIlvane
David Parker Ernie
Kevin McNulty Jimmy O'Hoolihan
Maria Menounos Nurse
Michael Kopsa Ned Cecil
Stan Lee 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.[1]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Fantastic Four (film series) § Development.

The project was announced in August 2000 as being aimed for a July 4, 2001 release date. X-Men producer Ralph Winter joining the project in April 2000, with Fantastic Four receiving the greenlight due to the success of X-Men at the box office. Raja Gosnell, who was at the time was set to direct with a script written by Phillip Morton (Fire Down Below), and then re-written by Sam Hamm in 1998, decided to leave the project to film Scooby-Doo. Gosnell's vision had been "to do a big action comedy thrill ride like Men in Black", he said, describing it as more comic than X-Men (2000). Producer Avi Arad called the script "the biggest sitcom of all time," which lead to fears that the film would be developed as a campy action-comedy adventure. Bring It On director Peyton Reed was announced as his replacement in April 2001.[2] Up until this point, Marvel Entertainment's Avi Arad had been stating the film would be a comedy, stating the "Fantastic Four is a dysfunctional family, a comedy. It's about famous heroes. They appear on talk shows. They are celebrities."[3]

Reed noted "the things that made the comic revolutionary 40 years ago are taken for granted now. That they are heroes with personal problems. They fight crime but can't pay the rent."[4] His interpretation had him contemplating making the movie as a period piece set in the early 1960s during the space race when the comic was first published.[5] In 2003, Mark Frost was hired to re-write the script, and Arad announced a release date of November 4, 2004.[4]

In 2004, Tim Story was hired to direct, with Story being attracted to the aspect of the Fantastic Four being a family "who don't always get along."[6]


The script was written by Mark Frost, and 20th Century Fox chose Tim Story to direct.[7]

Casting[edit]

Peyton Reed sought to cast Renee Zellwegger as Sue Storm and George Clooney as Reed Richards. Although he left the project, he managed to use Zellwegger and the 1960s setting in his film Down With Love.[8]

Filming[edit]

Fantastic Four started its production in August 2005 in Vancouver,[9] and original filming ended in December, until Fox ordered for additional scenes. The reshooting carried on until May 2005. The film was released in July 8, 2005.[10]

Reception[edit]

The film scored a 26% positive rating at the critics-aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes[11] and 40% at Metacritic.[12] The movie was criticized for poor science and having less action than some people would have liked. On a positive note, critics and fans praised the performances of Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis for their accurate portrayals and onscreen chemistry. Ioan Gruffudd and Julian McMahon got very mixed reviews on their performances. Jessica Alba's performance was not received well and she even earned a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress.

At the box office, Fantastic Four reached #1 with $56,061,504 in its opening weekend. By September 2005, the film had grossed over $330 million worldwide, with a domestic gross of $154 million.[13]

Home release[edit]

Deleted scenes[edit]

Among the deleted scenes included on the December 2005 DVD release:

  • Three slightly modified scenes concerning the attack on Doctor Doom - one in which Reed uses his body as a funnel to direct a stream of water at Doom, one in which he doesn't, 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.
  • Two versions of a scene with Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd. The original features the pair in the planetarium, where they communicate their feelings for each other without an argumentative tone. This ends in a kiss. The second version, included in the DVD release as a bonus feature, features the two outside, looking toward the Statue Of Liberty. Similar lines are used, but it ends with Alba's Susan turning invisible before Gruffudd's Reed can kiss her. A joke was used during the line "a stronger man": Instead of Reed giving himself a square jaw (as he does in the theatrical release), he makes his skin look like the X-Men's Wolverine. Actor Gruffudd breaks the fourth wall and looks directly at the camera as he does this.
  • There is also 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 1970s Fantastic Four cartoon.

The novelization of the film contained a number of scenes not in the final cut, including a small number of scenes that developed the character of Alicia Masters.

Extended cut[edit]

In June 2007, an extended cut of the film was released, incorporating over 20 minutes of deleted scenes and also includes a preview of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matthew Kirdahy (7 February 2008). "Q&A With Stan Lee". Forbes.com. Accessed 7 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Fantastic Four (archives)". Comics2Film. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  3. ^ IGN staff (Apirl 28, 2001). "Fantastic Four: The Comedy?!". IGN.com. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved March 24, 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b Susan Wloszczyna (May 8, 2003). "Fantastic Four: The Comedy?!". USA Today. Gannett Company, Inc. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ David Hughes (2002-04-22). "Fantastic Journey". The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1556524498. 
  6. ^ "Superhero Story". Entertainment Weekly. 2004-04-04. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  7. ^ Brodesser, Claude (April 6, 2004). "Fox 'Four' play heats up". Variety. Retrieved May 11, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Invisible Guy". Entertainment Weekly. 2003-07-30. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  9. ^ "'Nip' star meets his Doom". Variety. 2004-08-02. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  10. ^ "'Fantastic' Voyage?". Entertainment Weekly. 2005-07-01. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  11. ^ RottenTomatoes.com: Fantastic Four
  12. ^ Metacritic.com: Fantastic Four
  13. ^ BoxOfficeMojo.com: Fantastic Four

External links[edit]

See also (for article building)[edit]

Usable references[edit]