Monday, May 19, 2014

Fantastic Four Reboot Movie: It Better Be Good

OK, so Josh Trank is doing a Fantastic Four reboot movie that will be a modern update, based on the “Ultimate Fantastic Four" comic.  I definitely have a different opinion about how an FF reboot should be done.

As most of you know, a director named Bernd Eichinger really wrecked the FF movie franchiese by making three awful Fantastic Four movies including the awful B movie from the early 1990s, the first big budget Fantastic Four movie (2005) and its sequel, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).

Please let the next FF movie be as good as these comics.

I want this FF movie to be done right, so two years ago, when I first heard that Josh Trank would be directing the FF reboot movie and I wrote him an email to explain how I think a Fantastic Four reboot should be done. I felt that an FF reboot movie would only succeed if it went back to the 1960's and tap that "Silver Age" vibe from the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee stories. Here is the email that I wrote to Mr. Trank:

Hello Mr. Trank, 

I am very interested in providing input for the screenplay for your forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot movie.  Since the last two F.F. movies (with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, etc.) were terrible, my idea is that a proper  F.F. movie can only be achieved by getting back to the F.F.'s historical roots in the 1960s.  We need to return  to the artwork, stories, and original spirit of Stan Lee's and Jack Kirby's early F.F. comic book stories. 

The characters of Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm need to be explored in-depth.  The movie should be set in the 1960s with a retro vibe, and "Mad Men" type wardrobes, just as X-men First Class was very successful in capturing the original 1960s essence of the X-men comic book and characters.  Also, completely different actors need to be used for this new F.F. movie.

The story should be set with a space exploration theme.  Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) is the  consummate scientist. His stretching powers reflect his own personality: he is constantly stretching, straining, and yearning for the stars and he is always trying to advance humankind through scientific invention. 

In your movie, Sue Storm is a woman who could be shown as a woman coming of age in a man's world in the 1960s. She is literally "invisible" to the male-dominated world of space exploration in the 1960s but when she gains her powers, she learns to become more assertive.  Yet, she should still be shown as vulnerable in a male-dominated world of ultra-strong male superheroes, but she battles and fights for her place just as women fought for
their rights in the 1960s. 

A great movie scene could show Susan Storm struggling with her mother's advice to be a dutiful wife ("let a man take care of things", etc.). Another great movie scene would be Sue Storm secretly taking part in a community meeting of women's rights activists despite her mother's misgivings. 

I love the fact that each F.F. member has powers that reflect his/her own personality.  So, in addition to the in-depth character portrayal of the Invisible Girl, the other F.F. members—Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and the Human Torch—should also be characters with a lot of depth. 

The villains of the movie could be the shape-shifting Skrulls, and this would keep with the theme of  the1960s space race and space exploration, and it can also hearken back to Fantastic Four # 2.  Superhero costumes should not be used or kept to a minimum, and this would also reflect the stories from the first two issues of the F.F., when they still didn't have their costumes.  The plot could involve the Skrulls trying to conquer the world by using their shape-shifting powers and alien technology.  Another possible space storyline could involve the Kree and their creation, the Inhumans, but I think the Skrulls would make more compelling movie villains than the Kree.  Another option could be making a movie around the Negative Zone and Annihilus as he would also make a great movie villain.

I sent this e-mail to Mr. Trank back in 2012 and it looks like my ideas won't get used. These are just my own ideas for bringing the F.F. back to life and I feel satisfied that this type of story would work on the silver screen.

Movie Villains with Poor Comic Book Values

It’s funny how Comic Con season can disrupt a relaxing summer day. It was a nice summer day back in July, 2013, and I was reading a book and enjoying the summer breeze blowing in from the window.  Then, my tranquility was shattered because I went to the computer and read the news from the San Diego Comic Con, which also took place on the same day.  Joss Whedon had just announced that Ultron would appear as the main villain in the Avengers movie sequel.  Like some frantic stock trader with insider information, I swung into action. I desperately phoned a few comic dealers in an effort to snag some copies of Avengers # 55 (the first full appearance of Ultron) for cheap. It took about a day to hear a back from them about the comics, and when they did call me back, the ink had already dried on the new price tags that they had slapped on the polybags.  I think one dealer wanted $300 for a very fine copy of #55 so I passed on it.

In thinking back on this moment, I’m writing today to advise you not to hastily buy a supervillain’s comic just because that villain will be appearing in the next Hollywood blockbuster. Read more >>