Josh Trank began making movies about superheroes in a much different way than most filmmakers. Rather than teaming up with a major studio and making a huge blockbuster based on a known property, Trank instead went the found footage route, introducing us to excellent actors like Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan to tell a different kind of superpower tale. Naturally, when Trank went on to sign up to make 20th Century Fox's The Fantastic Four, we expected that part of what the studio liked in the filmmaker was the aesthetic featured in his first movie. Turns out that instinct was dead on, and something we can definitely expect to see in next year's blockbuster.
The Hollywood Reporter has run an interview with Fox's President of Production Emma Watts, who has revealed some interesting details about the studio's other big comic book-based properties. Chief among them, while discussing what's in store for 2015's big superhero reboot, Watts was asked if we can expect to have the movie to have the "same found-footage feel" as Chronicle, which was given a very affirmative answer:
"It's Josh, so it can't not have that feel. That's his talent, that's what he does, and that's what excites him about it. It is a really interesting young cast [Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell], and he is the magnet that's brought them all together."
Of course, this doesn't mean that we can expect that The Fantastic Four will be filled with characters running around with handicams and narrating the story all from off screen. Instead, what I imagine Watts is referring to is instead a visual style similar to what Paul Greengrass has established, using a good amount of hand-held camera work to lend the movie the feel of a docu-drama. There are a few critics of this visual style - both within the found footage genre and outside - due to the fact that some people get nauseous watching too much hand-held, but there are certainly films where that aesthetic works to the story's advantage.
In addition to touching on the future of the Fantastic Four, Watts also spoke briefly about Fox's other major Marvel Comics property: the X-Men. Thanks to X-Men: Days of Future Past, the franchise is arguably more popular than ever around the globe, and that spells out a bright future for the next installment, X-Men: Apocalypse. That said, one major question that has hunt over the upcoming film is whether or not Bryan Singer will return to the director's chair following serious sex abuse allegations earlier this year. Asked if there is a plan set in place to have Singer return for his fourth X-Men movie, Watts was rather non-committal, telling the trade,
"Right now we are totally at the outlining phase. But nothing would make me happier than if it all worked out. It's always been the intention for him to do it."
The Fantastic Four is currently filming and will be arriving in theaters on June 19, 2015, while X-Men: Apocalypse is on track to come out on May 27, 2016.