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What will be the future of the Fantastic Four franchise, following the dismal reboot that – by several accounts – set the already reeling superhero series back a few additional steps. You are always one hit away from turning things around (right, X-Men: First Class?), which means Marvel’s first family can right the ship, at some point. In order to do so, however, they need to pay attention to the fan feedback, and listen to the outcry that followed this summer’s ill-calculated flop.
This, according to Toby Kebbell, the outstanding actor who played Doctor Doom in Josh Trank’s butchered reboot of Fantastic Four. Kebbell was promoting Warcraft at BlizzCon recently, and was asked by IGN what he thought of the film’s dismal performance. Separated from the release by a few weeks, Kebbell was able to be candid, admitting:
I was disappointed, but the fans aren't wrong. The fans want what they want to see, and if they don't get satisfaction, they let you know. … I don't know if I learned anything from [playing] Doom apart from perhaps when I see something I don't agree with [on set], to voice that immediately."
By now, the problems experienced on the set of Fantastic Four and in the post-production process have been well-documented. Some of the big ideas that director Josh Trank had for the movie – particularly those involving Toby Kebbell’s Doctor Doom and the negative zone that gave the villain his powers – ended up on the cutting room floor, and fans noticed that a better version of the movie might have existed in an earlier form. To be fair, they noticed this because Trank told them this on social media.
But Toby Kebbell’s words also point out that recognizing what went wrong, acknowledging it early, and correcting it can go a long way toward fixing a major problem, particularly when it comes to a superhero franchise. At this point, every major comic-book property has had a debilitating setback, be it Superman Returns, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man 3 or the feature-length version of Daredevil. And virtually all of those characters have figured out some way to bounce back. The Fantastic Four can exist in some fashion on screen. The team has far too much potential, and the franchise still hasn’t figured out how to properly use Doctor Doom… who should be the most powerful villain in the MCU. If only he WAS in the MCU.
Here is Toby Kebbell’s full discussion with IGN, so you can hear his comments in the right context.
For now, Fox has held firm that there will be a Fantastic Four 2 in theaters on June 9, 2017. Will it be a team up with the X-Men? Will it move off of that date, altogether? And if it happens, what changes would you like see implemented to the series that relaunched this past summer?