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Nerd trigger warning. We are issuing a nerd trigger warning for this piece. If you're a Fantastic Four superfan, you are NOT going to like its contents, in regards to what looks like a renegade The Fantastic Four shoot. The rumors have circulated that they would be changing elements of the source material completely. But the truth might be that the source material matters so little that no one is even reading it!
In an interview with Esquire (via Live For Films), Kate Mara (who plays Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman) talked about exactly which classic comic book storyline was being featured in the new Fantastic Four movie. Her answer will surprise you!
"I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions."
Before anyone starts throwing around any furniture, let me just stand up and do a slow-clap.
Why? Because these films have become an absolute slave to the source material, and it isn't fun. The source material is often not just a comic, but a DEFINITIVE comic. Which is to say replicating it to the letter isn't always going to translate. Gwen Stacy is going to die not because anything in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 motivated it, but because it happened in the comics. Batman is going to meet Superman not because Man Of Steel dictated it, but because it happened in the comics. Marvel does a good job with their onscreen superhero universe justifying their adaptation methods as actual, real storytelling. Everyone else is struggling in that aspect.
Also, you know, origin stories? Not only are they not that interesting, but we saw the Fantastic Four origin already. We've had two Fantastic Four movies. The source material had its shot. Was Josh Trank hired to simply xerox the original origin seen in the first film with only superficial changes (i.e. Doom stays home, the Four fight monsters in their first adventure)? Or was he hired to make a movie, his own movie, depicting the heroes as filtered through his unique vision?
There's nothing wrong with The Fantastic Four's origin stories, or any of their following adventures. But they are comic stories, for the comic books. Tim Story directed the first two films, and he tried to make comic book movies. Josh Trank sounds like he's trying to make movie movies. What's certain is that The Fantastic Four is coming, and it is not treating the comics like gospel. The Fantastic Four opens on June 19th, 2015.