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Rumor: Fantastic Four Movie Scrapped? Fox Issues Denials

Despite having announced the main four cast members, and despite releasing a shortlist of actors for Dr. Doom, Bleeding Cool has just reported that according to their well-placed sources, Twentieth Century Fox has dumped Fantastic Four director Josh Trank and the script by Simon Kinberg and are actively looking for replacements for the cast. All a mere six months before they are due to shoot, for 2015 release. Fox has issued a firm denial to Slashfilm, as well as Badass Digest, but…this wouldn’t be the first time a studio lied to save face, let’s be honest.

So for argument’s sake, let’s assume this rumor turns out to be true, which I’m having a hard time believing with this much casting already done, and no doubt this far into pre-production, but regardless of denials  let’s just assume. What could this mean? Well, it could mean that the throng of racist disgruntled internet commenters has made the executives at Fox nervous. There has been an outpouring of negative feedback around the young cast ever since they were announced, mostly due to fanboys having a collective amnesia about the entire run of  Mark Millar’s Ultimate Fantastic Four comics from about a decade ago, on which this is clearly based.  It would mean they would have to go back to square one, after all this money was spent. Of course, they could also be terrified of the 2015 release date. We’ve already seen Batman vs. Superman and a couple other movies run scared from that overcrowded summer, but what summer isn’t overcrowded?

Josh-Trank

Fox was long seen as the bane of fanboy’s existence during the Tom Rothman regime; he was said to (allegedly) “not get” superhero movies, and the success of X-Men took him by total surprise. He’s the guy that nixed Sentinels in X2, turned Galactus into a cloud for Rise of the Silver Surfer, and pretty much gave Fox the worst reputation in town when it came to being creator friendly. But then a couple years back, Fox started to seemingly make a turnaround with their genre properties; both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men: First Class ended up pretty darn good, and The Wolverine continued the streak. (Rothman left Fox in 2012) But could we be back to the micro-managing, lowest common denominator days of Fox were this to pan out? Unless this was SUPER close to the expiration date for Fox with the Fantastic Four license (which I actually think is 2017) there wouldn’t really be a reason to get excited about this maybe meaning Marvel Studios will get the property back like with Daredevil. Personally I hope this rumor is false, because I really actually want to see what Trank comes up with for the Marvel’s first family.

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38 comments

  • It’s insulting and incredibly narrow minded to label people as racist for not wanting an iconic comic character to be completely changed for the movie.  It also reveals that some people don’t really know what the word racist even means.  I love comics and just want to see them done properly with the costumes, hairstyles, personalities.. all like they are in the books.  If Johnny Storm were black, I’d want him to be black.  If he were from Pakistan, I’d want an actor who is actually from Pakistan to play the part.  Am I racist for wanting things to be as they appear in the comic in the first place?  No, just a lover of the source material.  

  • “If the only reason you want him to be white is because “he’s always been white,” that makes you shortsighted. The only defense is if there is something intrinsic about the character that depends on his race…in this case? um no”

    Oh, you mean aside from his white sister?

    That’s idiotic, though. So would it be okay, then, for Blade to be turned into a white character? After all, there’s nothing in his story that depends on race. Why not turn War Machine white? His story isn’t dependent on his being black, either. Maybe Bishop could’ve been cast with a white actor, too. He’s not dependent on being black either.

    Johnny Storm has to be white because the character is white. The more you change the character the less he’s Johnny Storm and becomes a new character, in which case what’s the point of making a FANTASTIC FOUR movie? Just invent new characters and be done with it. It certainly worked with The Incredibles. By that argument, you may as well argue that the Human Torch could become Jeannie Storm, Sue’s sister. Or that Johnny Storm could be played by Peter Dinklage. After all, according to your argument, there’s nothing about the character that’s dependent on height. Changing the characters, unsurprisingly enough, CHANGES them. It means they’re no longer the characters they’re supposed to be, in which case why’re they even making a movie about the Fantastic Four if they’re not going to use the actual Fantastic Four?

  • it’s simple I’ll do the same thing I did for double Daredevil I just won’t go see it I didn’t agree with kingpin being black I don’t agree with giant Johnny storm being black and I don’t agree with ben affleck its being Batman oh wait that’s a separate issue

    • It’s not really a separate issue if you are just saying that you want the actors to be right for the role.  Is Affleck right for Batman?  Much could be argued against that.

  • I have zero plans to see the movie and am very disappointed with how they chose to use the source material and it isn’t because I am a racist. Also to be honest I don’t know anybody who read the Ultimate Fantastic Four. They should scarp it and start over.

  • I believe MANY of you are mistaken, callin’ out fanboys as racist for them wanting the MOVIE to stay true to the COMIC canon. The guy who made the lesbian batman comment couldn’t have been any more spot on. If you want to point out a racist statement, it would probably sound something more along the lines of “There ain’t no niggers in the Fantastic Four”. THAT would be an f’n racist comment, NOT crap such as “I don’t like the casting choice and they’re trying to reach out more to a minority crowd”. Get your shizzle straight. (See, I’m willing to bet you’ve also never read any jive talk in a FF comic, nor was Johnny Storm incarcerated for being a juvenile delinquent. If you’re going to change characters, you gotta keep it realistic and stick with the accompanying baggage, right? Oh, and the FF have also always used proper grammar in the comics. I bet that would totally change on the big screen with skin tone-tweakin’. Just sayin’)

  • Ugh. This has already been debunked by SEVERAL far more reputable websites, other than Slashfilm and BAD, than Bleeding Cool. It doesn’t deserve discussion or further spreading. We need to stop promoting bad journalism.

    It’s sad how badly some people want this production to fail.

  • Just brainstorming… I think the entire FF family should be any color but white to reflect futuristic 31st century ideas about what most people will one day look like. Sue Storm could also be transgender and Johnny Storm could be a cyborg. Dr. Doom could be a Native American space colony reservation chief, played by a CG Marlon Brando. And let’s make the Silver Surfer… a metallic pink female bobsledder. After all, the silver color, gender, and surfing has never been central to his/her character. Galactus could have several wives that like to devour the moons of planets and the occasional shooting star. Rainbow Hulk could also make a cameo appearance! It might make money, but only as the worst 3D movie ever made. It could be Marvel’s superhero version of The Producers.

  • You want to know which Fox film did an excellent job with racial diversity? X-Men, DOFP.

    Between Sunspot, Storm, Bishop, Warpath, Blink, along with painted character like Beast & Mystique being analogues for the discriminated members of society, Fox’s X-Men seem to be doing a much better job at what they’ve set out to do with FF.

    The problem I have personally with what they did with FF was in complicating the Storms siblings situation. Half assing it & not going ahead and make a full 1/2 of the Fantastic Four be African American is probably what’s rubbing most folks the wrong way.

    Why complicate the movie adaptation needlessly? Adopted kids & adults already have X-Men characters to identify with.

    I’m just personally not a fan of enforcing Michael B Jordans’ minority status in the movie by having him be the lone black guy in the family. And by having his sister be WHITE??? That’s almost like saying “We’re so not yet ready to for this that we felt the need to keep Susan Caucasian.” It’s asinine.

    Either go big or go home. Don’t deviate too much from the spirit of the source material.

  • Let’s talk about sticking to the source material. Nick Fury was originally a white guy. For decades. Marvel rebooted Fury to look exactly like Samuel L. Jackson and so far, it’s worked out well for them.

    The freakouts over MBJ being cast as Johnny Storm are no different than the casting freakouts for Heimdall and Hogun in the Thor films. Why would it be so hard to accept a black or Asian actor as an Asgardian? And why is a black Human Torch controversial? It would be super easy for Sue Storm’s parents to want another child and find out they can’t have any more, so they adopt Johnny as a baby. Or they knew his parents and when some terrible tragedy happened they became his guardians and he took their name. It’s not that far-fetched or unrealistic.

    If this movie gets scrapped, it won’t be because of the casting. That’s a convenient excuse. It will be for something behind the scenes that we aren’t privy to.

  • Also, Krayhayft’s line up at the top there, in the second response:

    “If anything, making a classic central character black for the SOUL [emphasis added] purpose of diversity and political correctness is by far more racist. ”

    I’m pretty sure using the word, “soul” when talking about black people instead of “sole” like you actually needed there? That’s gotta be racist ;)

  • FOX doesn’t care, right? They just want people to see this thing?

    I’ll tell you this, if they did “normal” bad moves, people would be apathetic to it, like the last 2 Fantastic Four movies. If they made good moves; obviously, that would be preferred, but it would likely still be boring – the Fantastic Four aren’t an exciting, top-tier, superhero team. But when FOX makes moves that are this specific kind of bad? Oh, people will see this FOR SURE. First weekend, at least.

    It’s the same appeal people get from watching any other disaster; you just want to see how bad it looks. So at least FOX has that. This is almost like a “Lone Ranger”, where everyone just wants to see how much of a disaster this will be. Unlike Lone Ranger though, there’s genuine curiosity out there regardless, so if it actually turns out to be good, it could surprise people and perform… okay.

    I’m not buying this rumor. Exciting to hear though. Any rumor and/or announcement is just more fuel for FOX’s “hype fire”, right? Something the Fantastic Four reboot will desperately need. There’s very little chance people will talk about it because it looks awesome. :P

    Needless to say, I don’t think it’s going to be good – I also don’t subscribe to the “It’s based on Ultimate Fantastic Four” line that very few people seem to use to defend it, you guys included right here. The only similarity there is how youthful Reed Richards looks; you can’t seriously look at the cover to a Mark Millar F4 and then look at this cast and say, “they nailed it”.

  • Ugh. Thank you. I’ve expressed my sentiments on Tumblr about my hesitations of race-bending Johnny Storm and I’ve got nothing but hate for it. (Then again, it’s Tumblr, and they can find anything offensive). It’s not racist to want a character to stay true to the original material. It’s an adaptation for chrissakes. True, being white isn’t an inherent or defining trait for Johnny, but he just is. I’d be equally upset if say, they cast a white guy to play Falcon in Cap 2 (and you just know people will raise hell for that, double standards much?). It’s textbook Hollywood race wank, stirring up shit to be more controversial. No thanks.

  • So I think for the next Batman movie they should cast a red-headed, left-handed lesbian to play the Dark Knight. They should also have a big pair of lipstick covered lips painted on the front of the Batmobile too, with a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror. Oh, and if you don’t like it, piss off homophobes. I mean, seriously, who pays attention to canon anyway? A bunch of homophobic haters, that’s who.

  • I wouldn’t like the character any less black or white but what I’m not clear on is why do they want to change his race is it to draw more black fans? If that’s the case then make black comic book character movies there’s some great black characters. Black Panther would be a good one Luke Cage too. I’m excited to see The Falcon in Winter Soldier the action looks awesome. I’m not a big fan of movie makers thinking they have the right to mess with characters and costumes because as far as I’m concerned they usually screw it up. If they changed Johnny Storm in the comics I’d find that more acceptable because the comics know how to do it unlike Hollywood.

  • So, let me get this straight… To not want Johnny Storm to be portrayed as a black guy when he is traditionally a white guy in comics is racist, but back when M. Night Shyamalan cast a white kid to play Aang in the Last Airbender despite Aang traditionally being Asian and people complained, that was justified? I believe I would file that under double standards.

  • I didn’t have an issue with black Johnny, as MBJ would be great. I just don’t want some weird alternate back story for he and Sue. How cool would it be if Sue was played by Kerry Washington? Why change the family and take up time explaining the biracial/adoption/step sibling crap when you cold cast them as standard siblings regardless of race? The story doesn’t need added back story. We know the origin story. This is a freaking reboot. Just tell a fully new story.

  • couple of points
    1. the rights revert back this year if fox doesn’t hit certain dates.
    2. i have no problem with johnny storm being black, my problem is with the fact that we didn’t even hear rumors about making sue storm black.
    3. i hope this is true. i haven’t seen chronicle so i don’t know of trank’s work but i don’t trust fox. first class was only ok and the ff isn’t looking so hot. the sooner the rights to ff (which include silver surfer, galactus, and a bunch of aliens) go back to marvel, the better.

  • With many people recently getting excited over the possible death of the Ultimate Universe in comics (which didn’t happen). It would probably be a better bet to model the movie after the 616 FF rather than the Ultimate FF. Let’s be honest, while the Ultimate universe was exciting for awhile, even comic book fans got tired of that universe. All racism and agism aside, there is a reason why the 616 lasted so long, it’s because it’s good. While I don’t mind a few elements of other Marvel Universes finding there way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I always prefer it when they stay closer to the 616.

  • I didn’t have a problem with Jordan being cast, I liked the idea. The problem I had with the other male cast members was that they seemed to be too young for the characters they were supposed to be portraying.

  • Have you even looked at what’s coming out in 2015? There will be movies that will have poor box office receipts just BECAUSE it’s coming out in 2015. And that summer is a fracking gauntlet.

    If the Fantastic Four fans aren’t excited about this movie (and from what I understand, the Ultimate FF isn’t exactly well received) I can completely understand Fox getting nervous about this.

  • I don’t think it’s ever been about racial diversity. Michael B Jordan is a great actor and could possibly be the best actor for the job. I’ll take better acting over choosing someone because of their race any day.

  • Ill be the four millionth person to point out that Johnny Storm’s race has never been central to his character. Yes, he and Sue are siblings, but for fucks sake that doesn’t mean they have to be the same race. Adoption, parents re-marrying, and mixed race couples are fairly common occurrences in society today that could all be plausible reasons for two siblings to look ethnically different but still be family. So shut up. Maybe you dont see it as racism. Maybe you’re just prejudice towards “unconventional” families. Or maybe you are just taking shit way too seriously. In any case people against the casting choices are spreading hate. There is absolutely nothing about Johnny Storm’s character that relies on him being a white dude. Get over it already.

    More to the point, I hope this rumor is false. I have high expectations for a reboot of the first family, who I’ve been a fan of for as long as I’ve been reading comics, and I’d hate to see all of the work they’ve done on this new film be scrapped and replaced with a rushed, hastily produced movie instead.

    But either way I’ll be seeing this movie, whatever version we end up with, on opening day.

    • So if it doesn’t MATTER what race he is… why does he HAVE to be black this time?  He never was before.  What has changed to make him look different than in 45 years worth of comic book stories?  Why argue in favor of a black Johnny Storm if it doesn’t matter?

  • I agree with Krayhayft. Just because someone is against changing the race of a central character doesn’t make them a racist. It just means they want to stick to the source material.

  • Being “disgruntled” over the casting of an African American actor as Johnny Storm is not racist, and assuming that is ridiculous. Sue and Johnny are siblings, for that to work you have to change the origin story which fans get upset about.

  • If the only reason you want him to be white is because “he’s always been white,” that makes you shortsighted. The only defense is if there is something intrinsic about the character that depends on his race…in this case? um no

  • I like how you just assume that if someone wants to keep Johnny Storm white because, I don’t know, he’s always been white, is racist. If anything, making a classic central character black for the soul purpose of diversity and political correctness is by far more racist. I believe that if they make a Cloak and Dagger movie and they make Cloak white, there would be the same response from the fans.

    My suggestion, know who the fan boys are before you insult them, especially by calling them racist.

  • Now this was unexpected, if true. I don’t actually know what to think. I was not so impressed with the casting of Thing, but Richard seemed fine and whole thing shouted “Ultimate Fantasctic Four” which was pretty good. Doctor Doom actors were bit underwhelming, only good contestant was Eddie Redmyne.

    What could this mean? New cast, but without thinking it long enought could lead to disaster, or does Marvel want the right to himself? I’m hoping for the last one.