Modern comic book movies have shown us that there are two equally effective approaches to tone: you can go the fun, more comedic route, like The Avengers, or darker and more serious, like The Dark Knight. Not only does this provide a bit of variety within the genre, it also provides an interesting question about the direction of future projects. In this case, we're talking about the upcoming Fantastic Four movie from director Josh Trank.
Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg was in Anaheim, CA this weekend promoting X-Men: Days of Future Past, and while talking with Crave the filmmaker revealed the tonal direction of the the upcoming reboot. In contrast to the slightly goofy Fantastic Four movies that came out a decade ago, the new film will instead be going in a more serious direction. "It’s a much more grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies," Kinberg said. "If I had to say, the tone of it would be somewhere on the spectrum between [Sam Raimi's] Spider-Man and Chronicle. The other movies were even further on the spectrum of being goofy and fun than Spider-Man."
After talking about Trank's attempts to make the movie as realistic as possible and classifying it as a drama instead of a comedy, the filmmaker added that the movie won't be quite as dark as Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and will have some elements of fun included. Asked how in line the tone would be with the comics, Kinberg said,
"It’s still in the direction of Spider-Man. It’s not like Dark Knight. And even Chronicle has a lot of fun in it. We’re treating this as the origin of the Fantastic Four so in future movies you’d have them on sort of splashier adventures to some extent, but in this one we tried to ground the science as much as possible and make it feel like it could take place in our world before it cantilevers into other worlds."
From Kinberg's description, it actually sounds like there is a much more accurate description of Fantastic Four's tone than "Spider-Man meets Chronicle": the X-Men movies. Singer's original films and the rest since have all had their share of gags and jokes, but are largely serious action movies with hints of political allegory. Considering that it looks like Fantastic Four and X-Men are going to be inhabiting the same cinematic universe, it also makes sense that they would match on a tonal level.
The Fantastic Four is going into production next and stars Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, Jamie Bell as The Thing and Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom. 20th Century Fox has it scheduled to hit theaters on June 19, 2015.