With everything that happened behind the scenes during the filming of Fantastic Four we sort of assumed that the story would end once the film came out. Yeah, not so much. If anything the story of the filming of the superhero reboot has only gone more crazy since then.
Reviews started being released last week and they pretty much all said the same thing, this movie is bad. Some gave it the backhanded compliment of being the best Fantastic Four movie that’s yet been produced (without ever saying it was good) but many have not been that nice to it. Then, before the movie was ever released to the general public, embattled director Josh Trank fired off a tweet saying that the version in theaters was not his, and that his version would have been good. We’d already heard the stories about Trank being abusive on the set of the movie. We know the movie had problems at the beginning, not just the end. However, there’s now some more evidence that Fox got very involved in the movie and Trank’s claims may have some validity to them. According to John Campea at Collider:
I've got a source, fairly close to the production of this film, who had told me that the movie that Josh Trank and Fox had agreed on making — included 3 really big action set pieces. That was all agreed upon, it was part of the flow of the movie. And a movie is like a puzzle, you have all the pieces in place. You start messing with pieces and suddenly the whole puzzle can look out of whack. And they had agreed upon this vision for a film. And days before production began, Fox came in and made him pull 3 main action sequences out of the film. I was also told, the ending of the film was not even Josh Trank's. At some point they hijacked the editing bay from him. To the point that the editing of the film was done without him.
This information has apparently been corroborated from a second source. If true, this lends some credence to Trank’s claim that this was not his version of the movie. If some major set pieces were removed that were integral to the story it certainly would be difficult to recover with production getting under way. We do know there were major reshoots, the cost of which eventually led to the film losing it’s planned 3D release. It is obvious there was an attempt to make a really inexpensive movie here, which backs up the idea that Fox would kill the big action sequences. And if he wasn’t involved in the final edit? It becomes difficult to lay the final product at his feet if he didn’t have a say in it.
Of course, even if all this is 100% true, it begs the question: who is to say that Trank’s version would have been so much better? It’s looking clearer and clearer that if Trank had made the movie that had been agreed to it would have been different, but that doesn’t guarantee it would have been good.
At the end of the day we know a few things for sure. The movie is bad, Josh Trank is going to have to deal with its terribleness, regardless of how much he is to blame for it, and Fox doesn’t know how to make a good movie with the Fantastic Four, regardless of how much they took over direct control of it.