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For as long as the Fantastic Four reboot has been in production, we’ve known comparatively little about it. It was like Fox was nervous about what would happen once they admitted the film was real. Slowly but surely now, trailers have been released and we’ve been able to see a bit about what’s going on in this movie. Now we have a new ad spot which makes the movie look a little less dark and gritty.
To be fair, it makes them sound a little less dark and gritty. They're still looking very...grey. YouTube had the clip, entitled "Extraordinary Subjects," which shows a lighter side to our fantastic heroes. This may be the first time we’ve seen any of them crack a smile so far. It’s nice to know that Fantastic Four is allowed to make a joke or two now and then, and that there isn’t a policy against such things.
While this property never made sense to be overly dark and serious, it is completely understandable for them to hold off on the funny for a while. Fox has been making a concerted effort to separate this movie from it’s predecessor, which went fairly heavy on the gags. For many people, that was one of the issues with the films from last decade. We can probably all do without a Mr. Fantastic getting down at the dance club scene.
Obviously Fox is hoping the new life that they have been able to get out of the X-Men franchise recently will bleed over into Fantastic Four. The series is name checked in this ad, as well as most others, and there is a definite aesthetic similarity. To whatever degree Fox is trying to create their own superhero universe this movie will be part of it in some capacity so that at least makes sense. They are taking obvious cues from Marvel as well as they are billing the movie as a "team-up," similar to Guardians of the Galaxy rather than as the traditional family dynamic. Another way to separate it from the "films that must not be named."
With all the superhero films that come out every year, Fantastic Four has been able to set itself apart if for no other reason that nobody knows what to expect from it. It doesn’t have the pedigree of Marvel Studios behind it, but Fox’s recent efforts have been strong, so nobody is certain it will be bad. It has a director with a strong history but stories of erratic behavior on set. All questions will be answered, one way or another, August 7.