Fantastic Four should’ve been a much different movie. Thanks to a clash between Josh Trank and Fox — and Josh Trank and Miles Teller, if you believe such things — scenes were cut, reshot and slapped together to form the version we saw on the big screen. Remnants of what could have been litter the initial trailers, but a new report provides a detailed description of what one of the bigger deleted action scenes would’ve looked like.
The most notable scenes from the trailers that are missing from the film center around Jamie Bell’s The Thing airdropping onto an unknown military base and calmly clashing with gunfire. According to Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, who interviewed various sources close to production, this was supposed to be one of the film’s big action scenes. Here’s how it should have gone…
In the events following the inter-dimensional trip gone amuck, Reed Richards (Teller) makes his elastic escape from the government facility that leads us to a time jump a year later. The final cut brings us right to Dr. Allen (Tim Blake Nelson) explaining to government officials that Ben Grimm has been executing covert missions, showcasing footage of him clobbering tanks with his new rocky physique. However, his big moment was to take place directly after the time jump and just before this moment.
According to the description, we should have seen terrorists loading weaponry onto trucks at a Chechen rebel base in the middle of the night. We aren’t given any explanation as to why we’re seeing this until a siren blares and the soldiers look up to the sky to see a large object falling from a stealth bomber. The object hits the ground, causing debris to fly every which way.
The soldiers slowly move towards the object after recovering from the impact and see a pile of orange boulders slowly forming arms, legs, a torso and head. The Thing proceeds to move towards the soldiers slowly as he’s pelted with bullets, all of which ricochet right off his rocky exterior. The soldiers eventually realize they can’t harm him and retreat, but it’s all in vein as Navy SEALS hiding in the surrounding forest shoot them down.
The camera shifts to a bird’s-eye view to show American soldiers flooding to secure the base. When they reach The Thing, it looks like they might clash, but then Ben gives them a nod and they clear a path for him to make his exit in a large helicopter.
Depending on which EW source you listen to, the reason this scene was ultimately cut either falls to Trank or the studio: one claims Trank was indecisive, while another claims the scene was a casualty of the cut-down budget. We might never know exactly what happened, but this movie could’ve definitely used such an action-heavy scene.