Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has signed on to work on Fox’s ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot. He joins Matthew Vaughn, with whom he also worked on ‘X-Men: First Class.’ Kinberg has vast experience working in the world of comic book/genre movies having also produced ‘Elysium’, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ and ‘Jumper’ and having worked as a writer on ‘Shelock Holmes’ and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’ He’s also working as a producer and writer on the upcoming ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ animated series and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past‘ as well as also working on the ‘Star Wars spin-off movies.
Josh Trank is attached to direct the revamp of the franchise which has already spawned two movies, first in 2005, followed by a sequel ‘Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ in 2007. Though obviously the first movie was successful enough to warrant a sequel in hindsight, both movies took great liberties with the source material, were awkwardly cast and are not fondly-remembered today. Trank previously directed the film ‘Chronicle’ which also dealt with super beings, although in a more realistic style.
The movies are based on the comic book series which is one of the most pivotal in comic book history, revamping Timely Comics– which mostly published campy giant monster books– as Marvel Comics, creating an entire new super hero universe, marked by heroes that were more complex and realistic that those that had come before. The book quickly established a bickering, but close-knit family dynamic with the patriarchal Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, his wife and the group’s mother-figure Susan Storm Richards/Invisible Woman, her snarky kid brother Johnny/The Human Torch and Reed’s best friend the gruff Ben Grimm/The Thing. A number of other heroes have also rotated through the roster at different times, including Crystal, Medusa, Luke Cage, The She-Hulk and others.
The relaunch has struggled at Fox for a couple of years and at one point, it looked like Fox was in danger of losing the rights back to Marvel. Jeremy Slater, Michael Green, Seth Grahame-Smith and T.S. Nowlin have all worked on the project, but it sounds as if Kinberg is going to scrap all the previous drafts and start from scratch or at least overhaul them substantially.
It was previously announced that the Fantastic Four would occupy the same cinematic universe as the X-Men, so it remains to be seen how that will be reflected in the revamp. But since Kinberg worked on the most recent X-Movies, if anyone can make it work, it’s him.
What would you like to see in the new ‘Fantastic Four’? Any casting suggestions? Comment below!