One of the big takeaways from last year’s debacle that was last year’s FANTASTIC FOUR reboot was how squandered the cast was. Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell are all seen as up and coming stars. Yet they hitched their wagons to Fox’s reboot of the classic Marvel property, and were rewarded with a film that failed in every conceivable way. Mercifully for the stars, and their careers, they were spared from blame for how FANTASTIC FOUR turned out. Fans and critics all chalked up the infamous flop’s issues to director Josh Trank and a very messy post-production cycle over at Fox. Since then, the idea of a sequel has been mentioned by producer Simon Kinberg, but has seemed like a very uncertain bet.
One of the young stars mentioned above, Teller, is now saying that he’d be happy to come back for a FANTASTIC FOUR 2.
“Yeah, for sure. I loved the cast, I loved the characters. I think itâ€™s such an interesting dynamic. I love how much they really need to rely on each other,” Teller told JoBlo. He then pointed out that the AVENGERS films from Marvel Studios use the same formula that would make for a great FANTASTIC FOUR movie. “This Avengers thing, theyâ€™ve kind of created their own Fantastic Four in a way, Marvelâ€™s first family. Their powers canâ€™t just exist on their own, you need Thor to do this, the Hulk to do his thing. So yeah, absolutely, I would do another one.“
His next few remarks have an interesting subtext to them. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I get the sense that Teller is implying that Trank, and Trank alone, was the primary cause of FANTASTIC FOUR‘s failure.
Answering a question about the reception the first film got, Teller made it clear where he believes the buck stops in situations like these. “Obviously you learn more as you go on; for me I’ve really enjoyed the fact that I’ve been able to work in pretty much every genre. There’s a lot of different factors you’re going to take into account. I think script is super important, and director,” the actor said. “The director is going to be the most powerful person in terms of what that final product is.“
Interesting for Teller to take that stance, since many folks seem to want to point the finger at Kinberg and Fox for stepping in and ruining Trank’s plans. From a PR standpoint, it makes more sense for Teller to blame the studio, since you don’t want to give prospective directors a reason to think that you’d throw them under the bus if a movie is bad; And people tend to think of studios as corporate echo chambers filled with empty suits anyway. But no, Teller says the director is the main one to fault in all this.
Teller then said that he signed on for the first film because he believed in it, and maintains that he’d only want to do a sequel if he felt that way again. “I can honestly say I’ve never just done something for money; I’d be really embarrassed for something like that to come out, that I had no attachment to the character, no attachment to the script,” Teller explained. “It takes a while before you’re only working with the best directors, nobody’s career is flawless.”
There he goes again, with an indirect jab at Trank. Saying “It takes a while” to get to work with only the “best directors,” implies that he’s worked with some not-so-good ones so far.
Would you give Fox a fourth chance at making a good FANTASTIC FOUR movie? Fourth time…is the charm…right? Would you want to see a sequel with this cast and this continuity, but with a different director and a better script? Or should Fox give the property back to Disney and allow Marvel Studios to make the cool, retro 60s reboot that LRM reader KindOfABigDeal has mentioned in the past?