It’s been ten years since the release of the first film in Marvel’s Fantastic Four ‘franchise’, which ran for just two films. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, released in 2007, failed to build momentum, despite taking over $131m at the box office, and after that, things just fizzled out for the original comic book heroes.
However, the X-Men franchise is living proof that good comic characters never die, and so Fox are having another crack at bringing the Four to life. There are some big names on board, too – Josh Trank, who was at the helm of superhero film Chronicle, has taken over as director, with a screenplay by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse). The soundtrack is by Phillip Glass, who is not usually associated with movie scores, but given the scope of his previous projects (cellists in helicopters beaming down music for stadium audiences, etc) there’s little chance that the music will fail to deliver.
The official trailer has now been released, and the first impression is that this is – different. It’s an original story for one, so there is nothing of the previous Fantastic Four films to be seen here, apart from the characters themselves; Mr Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing and Human Torch. The cast is largely young and little known, and the special effects look absolutely spectacular. The story takes us back to how the Four acquired their super powers – people in a lab, trying to crack the secrets of interdimensional travel so that they can save the world, which they ultimately achieve – up to a point. There is little of the villain, who is now known as Victor Domashev rather than Victor Von Doom – in this version of events he is a hacker with a penchant for world domination.
We get to see some of how the new powers affect out superheroes as well; The Thing is, understandably, bitter about being turned into a pile of rock, and the Human Torch even miscalculates at one point, appearing to burn up. We do not see Mr Fantastic strutting his stuff in the trailer, but the graphics surrounding Invisible Girl are beautiful, and will undoubtedly make her a teen icon once again.
Fantastic Four will hit cinemas on the 6th of August, and the sequel, Fantastic Four 2, is already scheduled for release on the 2nd of July in 2017, so Fox are clearly willing to run with this one. If you want to take a closer look at the character’s individual traits, then you can click here to take the Fantastic Four quiz or head on over to the official website, which contains teaser trailers and information about the world of the Fantastic Four.