Comic writer Mark Millar (‘Civil War’, ‘The Secret Service’, ‘Wanted’) serves as Fox’s creative consultant on their super hero movies. While his involvement in the massive flop ‘Fantastic Four’ is unknown, he clearly played some role and clearly a champion of director Josh Trank, who has (perhaps unfairly) taken the most heat for the movie’s failure– it has lost the studio roughly $100 million.
Millar recently addressed the epic bomb, although didn’t have an explanation:
“It’s a shame because I think elements of it were good… I remember the first half in particular works well. [Josh Trank] is brilliant. Chronicle was my favorite superhero movie in 2012 — and be reminded Avengers was out that year. I really love Chronicle. It’s just a shame sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Nobody goes in hoping it’s not going to work out. Everybody is trying their best and those guys worked their asses off. It didn’t quite come together as well as they hoped, which is a shame.”
It’s hard to deny that nearly everyone from fans to other studios and filmmakers had it in for this movie from the moment it was announced. Some of that stemmed from the popular hope that the film rights to ‘Fantastic Four’ would revert back to Marvel so that they could incorporate the characters into their hit franchise. But clearly, as Millar points out, no one sets out to make a bad movie. But in this case, it seems that a lot of behind-the-scenes turmoil helped sink the film.
Despite the punchline that the movie has become, sequel rumblings persist. Millar states that discussions are still underway but cautions not to count the property out, pointing out unevenness in the super hero movies that even Marvel produces.
“I think everything’s open to discussion. No decision I think has been made on anything yet like that. There’s chats everyone’s going to have on the phone at some point, but the Marvel brand is such a powerful brand. Marvel doesn’t always work out great — Thor 2 didn’t work out especially well, Iron Man 2 didn’t work. But then Iron Man 3 comes along and it’s great. These things can be uneven sometimes. Avengers 2 is nowhere near as good as Avengers 1.”
Marvel itself considers ‘Avengers 2’ a failure because it didn’t make as much money as the first ‘Avengers.’ But overall, Marvel has made enough GREAT movies that they balance out weaker offerings. (For example, ‘Ant-Man’ was Marvel’s weakest opening in years and reviews were mixed.)
Considering this was a fresh start to Fox’s new ‘Fantastic Four,’ that’s not exactly a great foundation from which to build. Even their previous two ‘FF’ movies were hardly stellar examples of super hero movies and would be forgotten today if FX didn’t air them every day between ‘Two and a Half Men’ reruns.
Finally, Millar addressed Steven Spielberg’s controversial prediction that super hero movies would soon go the way of the western… i.e. they would be dead within years.
Millar put things in perspective:
“The human race will go the way of the Western. Everything has to end at some point. [Laughs] We’re just going to be atoms. It’s inevitable. I think [the superhero movie genre has] got at least another good five years. The stuff that’s coming up is so strong.”
Fox does at least have its ‘X-Men’ franchise, which is going strong again after a lapse in quality following ‘X-Men 2’. ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ was a smash and anticipation is high for the follow-up ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ as well as the genre-bending ‘Deadpool’ whose comedic tone is perking up the eyes and ears of jaded moviegoers weary of lackluster super flicks.