With Fantastic Four Doing So Poorly, Will Director Josh Trank Ever Recover?

Fantastic Four gets CLOBBERED by bad reviews at the Box Office
Fantastic Four CLOBBERED at the Box Office

With it turning out so bad, I have to wonder if The Syfy Channel should Pick Up the Fantastic Four (2015) movie For TV?


The Fantastic Four movie directed by Josh Trank debuted to a dismal $26M opening weekend. Critics hate it and fans are actually agreeing with critics. That's a first.

But what happened to this Fox produced Marvel film? How did it get so horrible that no one likes it? And what's all this noise going on in the background about it between director Trank and Fox?

I want to point something out for you to keep in mind.

Fantastic Four has a Rotten Tomatoes (RT) Critic Score of 9%, while RT users gave it a 24% rating.  IMDb users gave FF a 4.1. 

If we look at Trank's original film, Chronicle, RT critics gave his work an 85%, users gave it a 71%. IMDb users gave this film 7.1.

So did something happen to Trank's ability to have a great vision or did something else take place?


Remember to use the word "Alleged" a lot while reading EVERYTHING. Just in case.

First, a tiny bit of back story about Fox that came to mind that may or may not be related:

Historically speaking, Fox is most notorious for f*ing with Joss Whedon's space western, Firefly.

When Firefly aired the network rearranged the episode order and gave Whedon a ton of production grief. Having episodes reordered so that the first episode shows up four months after the series starts is pretty sad and confusing.

Firefly was cancelled after one season, but once fans got wind of the DVD/Blu-ray products and watched the show in the order presented, the popularity of the short-lived series took off in a big way.

Several years Fox let Whedon run with his complicated story of Dollhouse. They pulled the pilot episode and first season finale from airing. And if production codes are any clue, it looks like they reordered the episodes... again.

This could be just a Fox thing or this could just be the way it is. (But then again, these turned out to be good things because Whedon may have never landed the Marvel Avengers gig that he did!)


Let's jump to today and take a peak at this new failure with Fantastic Four (2015) film as it cratered spectacularly at the box office.

On Rotten Tomatoes the film sits at an RT score of 24% with fans.

It only pulled in around $26M in its opening weekend and IMDb users have given it a 4.1. Holy crap, that isn't even good enough for a Syfy Channel pickup! This is horrible for a film that had a $122M budget.

CONFLICT of TALENT???: Even though FF got a 4.1,

Months ago we had heard that Trank was hard to work with and was a no-show in post-production work. That seemed like a poor reflection on him. But opinions and reports varied.

Early last week Fox enforced a movie review embargo on critics that restricted release of their opinions to the day of the film opening in theaters and press media, the day after.

That is never a good sign.

Then later in that same week on Aug 6, Trank tweeted that he had a great version of the film but that we'll never see it. That sounded odd or spiteful or what have you. But a director bashing his production studio is never a good sign.

As it stands, the studio wanted to ramp up the action of the closing act, so others stepped in to make that happen. And now critical reviews say that acts one and two are so different from the third act, that it was glaring.

And it is common for smaller directorial figures to step away from the limelight to avoid the compromises they need to make with their visions of the story, when it comes to what is known as tent-pole productions.

IE: Edgar Wright heralded the making of Ant-Man for several years, but once Disney/Marvel stepped in, their creative approaches were quite different. And he stepped down and let others helm the project.

Sources were saying Trank was pissed about something altogether different and taking it out on the cast and crew.

Conflicting sources are coming forward to EW and saying that Trank was having a hard time dealing with casting delays and script approvals from Fox, or more specifically, with production president Emma Watts. (Which, BTW, you wont find her name on any credits under IMDb for this film.) Trank's budget was also cut and that the studio was trying to force last-minute script changes. And that

Looking over the EW piece, it seems that there were a ton of last-minute changes coming down the executive pipe that even kept the production staff off-balance while trying to build/create sets, props and costumes for the movie.

Sadly, some say this is normal for a tent-pole production and that Trank did not have the clout or balls to deal with what came down the pipe from Fox.

Some say he was not ready for the "intense oversight" of production.

And then, after all was said and done, Trask decided enough was enough, and hence the tweet of honesty, breaking that vow of silence we usually suspect from the working realm of Hollywood.

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For now we will never know what Trank had in mind and what Fox injected into the final product. We've seen a track record with Fox that is curiously consistent (between just these two data points) and we also know that Fox was still trying to protect Trank from too much public criticism, until his tweet of truth.

This event may have very well destroyed Trank's film career. We already know he was dropped from the Disney Boba Fett Star Wars film because of all this noise.

If he does anything else, it will probably be an indie flick... which I would totally check out, because judging from Chronicle, he is good at this film making business.

Of course Fox, towing the proper political lines, is saying that regardless of being the lowest ever reviewed movie on several main boards like Rotten Tomatoes, they're totally committed to the characters.

Hey for those of you who may have seen the flick, did you notice just how many scenes from the trailers we were shown, DID NOT make it to the final cut?

I'd love it if they would quit making movies with this franchise and let Marvel take over and do it right. Because if they're' committed to the franchise, I really don't want to see yet another origin story.

All this from the cornerstone of comic titles for Marvel.

Have you noticed how quiet Marvel has been about this entire debacle. They're waiting for the smoke to clear.

And to think, Fox went all bug eyed and pulled all their other Fantastic Four offerings from iTunes, Amazon and what not so we would not get our films confused, as if we were the idiots.

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{ew: fantastic-four-josh-trank}
{rottentomatoes: fantastic_four_2015}
{imdb: fantastic four}
{rottentomatoes: chronicle}
{imdb: chronicle}

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