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The Fox side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in a very good place right now. X-Men: Days of Future Past helped 20th Century Fox to have the most successful year of any studio in Hollywood history in 2014, X-Men: Apocalypse is getting into gear, and both Deadpool and Gambit spin-offs are on the way. Of course, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a lot hinging on Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, but even that project is in a very good place, having just broken Fox’s in-house record for most viewed trailer
This development begs the question, however, of whether or not Fantastic Four has a future in translating internet buzz into being a full-fledged hit. Personally, I believe that yes it can. Despite a less than buzz worthy past for previous big screen attempts at the franchise, as well as some concerned press from the present, the Fantastic Four trailer kept fan's appetites whetted, and remembered to stoke the fire in all the right places. When you're dealing with a reboot of a failed franchise, the more secretive you are, the more you'll reel them in.
Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg seems to be acutely aware of this, and recently told Entertainment Weekly in an interview why he feels the trailer took the internet by storm. The filmmaker congratulated the trailer on its cryptic nature, recalling that the Fantastic Four trailer does manage to convey the world of the film in a manner that's atypical of most film trailers on the market these days. This is mostly because the first glimpses of the cast in their pre-Fantastic Four incarnations, which keeps the trailer in the old school "Mystery Box" realm that J.J. Abrams helped make popular. That not only helps sell the film, but also promises to draw the crowds back for the next Fantastic Four trailer.
However, there's some work that needs to be done in order to bring Fantastic Four to the level of a film like X-Men: Days Of Future Past. First, it needs to regain the ground that it's lost between its production and release date. Considering the film is being released in August, and the first trailer just dropped, Josh Trank's upcoming summer blockbuster needs all the press it can get. Considering how long Fox took to cut an initial trailer for Fantastic Four, you'd think they'd be close to, if not already sitting on, another carrot to tease the rabbit. The first teaser that premiered a week ago will be attached to Kingsman: The Secret Service, but the R-rated comedy Unfinished Business will be in theaters in early March.
Ultimately, Fox's own X-Men/Fantastic Four-driven comic book cinematic universe could be a powerful force to be reckoned with, but obviously Fantastic Four needs to really succeed in order to make that happen. The record breaking trailer is a great step. It’s true that the footage has not been immune to being roasted just a bit, and the little details we've gotten before the trailer were also scrutinized, but the Fantastic Four trailer does have people galvanized for a new hit outside of the Disney/Marvel powerhouse. With the right moves being made in the next couple of months, it just might become a reality.
Fantastic Four will be in theaters on August 7th.