Miles Teller has been having a fantastic year with Whiplash heading towards theaters very soon, and not one, but two franchise gigs on his plate to guarantee a steady stream of work in the years ahead. But while the former is gaining him notoriety through the festival circuit and some award season buzz, the latter seem to be causing him to spout off quite a bit recently. First he badmouthed Divergent as a "business decision," and now he's taken the original Fantastic Four films to task.
Vulture attended a recent Whiplash screening, and during the Q&A portion of the evening, Teller began to play spin doctor for Fox's next new bite at the Marvel apple. In other words, he's making damned sure you're not going to confuse the new Fantastic Four with the old Fantastic Four. Taking the Tim Story-directed film down in multiple points, Teller first criticized the film for its tone and its "comic book" approach to the subject matter. Said the young actor,
"All those actors were a lot older, their characters were in different places. The tone of this film is completely different: We don’t have Michael Chiklis in a big Styrofoam thing, and I think that [a more grounded approach] is what people are into — X-Men: First Class is doing that."
Rubbing further salt in the wound, Miles Teller added, "You’re dealing with these characters but you’re making them real people in how they exist day-to-day. People wanted it to be taken more seriously than the kind of Dick Tracy, kitschy, overly comic-book world."
That comparison is... actually fairly accurate. Fantastic Four and its sequel were lukewarm comic book films, released during a time when comic book films were just starting to hit their stride. Batman Begins was released in the same summer that the first Fantastic Four movie was hitting theaters, and The Dark Knight was hotly anticipated even in the summer before it's release, which was home to the Rise Of The Silver Surfer. If there was ever a franchise that hit at the wrong time, Fantastic Four was definitely it.
The truth of the matter is, whether his handlers will let him admit it or not, Miles Teller is telling the truth with both the Divergent and Fantastic Four franchises. Whether either franchise will take full advantage of his acting chops is left to be seen, but the man shouldn't be catching flack for trying to bring Fantastic Four fans back to the fold after being burned before. After all, if you were starring in two huge franchises that take up time and pay you a boatload, wouldn't you try to push them into their A-game?
The Fantastic Four will be in theaters on August 7th next year, while Whiplash rocks out in limited release on October 10th. Miles Teller, you're alright in our book.