Hey folks, Harry here... Shocking to say - I was quite pleased with FANTASTIC FOUR's opening weekend. Why? Well frankly - I wanted the film to do really well on it's opening to prove that the FF was a worthy story worth pursuing. I'm also very happy that America's public went away to the tune of nearly 60%... but I'll get into that later. Here ya go...
Whilst I'm sure you'd not class this as particularly good news, Ioan Gruffudd revealed this morning on the BBC's Breakfast programme here in the UK, that he was contacted last week by the head of Fox, and informed that there would indeed be another Fantastic Four movie. Make of that what you will!
With the nearly 60% drop from it's opening weekend - I thought - once I heard news of a sequel in the works - that I'd pass along some notes from a FANTASTIC FOUR fan other than myself. I'd also recommend going back to Michael France - whose original script perfectly nailed what the first film SHOULD HAVE BEEN - until ya hired a 1000 monkeys with typewriters for a rewrite. I'd also recommend hiring a better director with a penchant for directing actors as well as visually inventive scenes.
Harry - I have never commented on the board but have been a frequent reader for a long time. Thought I would forward this to you after seeing Fantastic Four (F4.01) this weekend.
TOP TEN THINGS TO DO TO IMPROVE THE NEXT FANTASTIC FOUR MOVIE
By Shane Montgomery
I saw the movie this weekend and would give it a “C”. Being the Internet lurker that I am, I have read a few reviews of the flick – all of which can be summed up by the phrase I read on one review…
“FOUR? Yes. FANTASTIC? Not so much.”
So I got to thinking about this particular franchise and have a few suggestions…
THIS IS A COSMIC LEVEL, GRAND SCOPE SCI-FI MOVIE: Treat it as such. Make no apologies for the Negative Zone, Cosmic Rays, Crazy Powers and the Fantastic Car. It’s a science fiction movie. George Lucas didn’t say, “A light saber would not work in the real world.” Well, Stan and jack could not have given a rat’s @$$ about how Reed built the Fantastic Car or if it looked stupid. They just made it cool. The world the F4 live in is not ours. They visit other planets, dimensions and realities while we are still driving our Honda Civics to our 9-5 jobs. These guys fight world-devouring giants, anti-matter insects, and alien shape shifters. Spider-man works because it is a movie firmly rooted in the real world of New York. The time it doesn’t (Green Goblin in 1st Movie) is when it moves to far into the real of camp. The X-Men work because it is set in a real world with real racial tensions. Those directors got it.
COULD WE START BIG TOO? I MEAN REAL BIG? The opening should be so different than the first movie that there is no mistake that the new movie is so different in content and professionalism that it sets the tone for the rest of the franchise. (Give me 15 minutes of film to shoot my idea and a budget and I will show you what I mean – imagine the FF fighting their way back to our universe against a horde of bug-eyes Negative Zone creatures – explosions, tension, humor and the only thing standing between them and a safe return to Earth is a certain green alien with leathery bat-like wings and a cosmic power rod on his neck.) Once through the FF go about their business – just another day in the life of the Fantastic Four.
ART DIRECTORS TAKE NOTE – JACK KIRBY WAS A GENIUS: Base your art and style for the movies on his concepts – particularly his designs after issue 45. His walls were full of freaky, over the top, mind-blowing machines. Reed’s workshop should look like a giant erector set. The retro, art-deco feel would be completely different than anything in the theaters now. Ditch your modern Star Trek designs and embrace the King.
REED RICHARDS IS A FRIGIN’ GENUIS – He is the most intelligent man in the world and everyone knows it except Reed. He is way to busy creating. Reed needs to create something useful. We never saw that in F4.01. I want to’ see him create a Negative Zone Portal, A fantastic Car, Ben’s Flying Air Cycle, a thought projector helmet. I know he created a chamber to reverse cosmic rays - but come on, that felt more like a plot device (Superman 2 anyone) than something that sprung from his imagination.
GET A NEW CINEMATOGRAPHER- F4.01 looked like a television show. The shots had no depth; the lighting was not very strong.
GET DOCTOR DOOM RIGHT – He hates Reed Richards because Reed is smarter than he is, not because Reed has Sue; not because he lost his company; not because he botched an experiment. He hates “Richards” because he knows that Reed is smarter and he will not tolerate that. Doom is also noble, unlike the Doom portrayed in F4.01 who is petty, dishonest and moons over Sue more than schemes ways to destroy Reed Richards. I remember an interview with Stan Lee that quoted Stan when he described Doctor Doom’s motivation to take over the world, “Doom wants to rule the world and the scary part is he may actually do a better job than we do right now if he was in power.” With Doom you have to get the feel that he might actually be able to create a better world, society and culture with him at the helm. The biggest weakness he has little to so with his armor. In fact he only has two weaknesses – his hatred for Reed and his love for Laverteria. Oh yeah, he has to say, “Richards? Bah!” at least once!
KEEP CHIKLIS BUT DITCH THE THING SUIT– If you keep the suit, redesign it to resemble how Ben really looks. The distinct brow. I personally was surprised at how much of Ben came through the mask and chalk that up to the job done by the actor. But what was most disappointing was the size of the Thing on screen. Ben is huge in the comics. He is massive. Don’t think that size can be done without CG Effects. Take a page out of the LOTR and SW universe. A CG Thing would rock (pun intended) and with the technology used on the Hulk every emotive expression would be captured on film.
DON’T CHANGE JOHNNY STORM EITHER – Chris Evans is perfect in his role as the FF’s resident hot head. He just needs to loose the buzz cut.
GET A REAL SCORE – Think John Williams meets Danny Elfman. The music has to be on the same scale as the visuals – Comic when it is larger than life and intimate when the screen is filled with tender, emotional moments. Oh yeah, CAN FRIGN’ DOCTOR DOOM HAVE HIS ON THEME A’LA DARTH VADER?
VILLIANS – WE WANT VILLIANS – I want to see the fricken’ Frightful Four (Wizard played by Steve Buscemi, Trapster, Medusa, and Hydro-Man)! I want to see Anihillus and the Negative Zone! I want to see The Super-Skrull fight the FF and defeat them and summon his fellow Skrulls to invade the Earth! I want to see Galatcus, the Silver Surfer and the Watcher but they have to be done right!
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STORY STUPID – Most of all, remember that we saw the plot holes in the first movie and we are not idiots. We want to know why the character do what they do unlike how Doom acted in the end of the movie. We want action driven by a plot, not vice-versa.