What if I told you that Fox’s highly fan scrutinized new film “Fantastic Four” could actually have taken much more inspiration from their comic book counterpart than Director Josh Trank has led on. Yes the reviews have been atrociously bad thus far, scoring a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of publication for this article, but all may not be lost for Marvel’s first family. The perfect way for Fox to salvage the sinking franchise is to turn Reed Richards heel in the sequel. In laymen’s terms, make Mr. Fantastic the ultimate bad guy.
Known for his work on the small budget hit “Chronicle”, Director Josh Trank enjoys creating dreary environments to place his characters in. His latest film is no exception. Trank also has experience with stories involving super powered friends turning on each other. With so much of this new “Fantastic Four” apparently centered around the character development of Miles Teller’s Reed Richards, it would serve Fox well to consider looking into Marvel Comic’s Ultimate Universe for inspiration.
Since its creation in the early 2000’s, Marvel’s Ultimate Universe has always been known for its rather dark concepts of iconic characters and storylines. With the game changing catastrophic event known as Ultimatum, Reed Richards became disillusioned and killed his own family. He would later take on the codename “Maker” and become a villain hellbent on destroying the heroes of the Ultimate Universe.
The Maker was such a dramatic turn for the former leader of the Fantastic Four that the only comparison that comes to mind for such a drastic fall from grace would be Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s consumption into Parallax. The Maker was so vicious, that he nearly pummeled his former lover, Sue Storm to death with his bare hands. Johnny Storm retaliated in fury by burning half of Reed’s face off. Miles Teller’s actually does have facial scars left from a near fatal car accident he suffered in 2007 so a bit of additional SFX makeup would give him the ultimate Maker-face.
With so many filmgoers embracing darker stories, using Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and the new DC Cinematic Universe as examples, this could be the distinguished tone Fox was seeking. In an interview with BBC, Miles Teller proclaims the franchise’s ambition;
We tried to make something coming from a more dramatic standpoint so we’re hoping that people enjoy it and recognize that we’re trying to do something original.
There certainly isn’t anything more dramatic than having the leader of a superhero team become one of the greatest arch nemesis ever created. Make it happen Fox. Originality also needs an origin and Ultimate Fantastic Four is the inspiration this franchise needs to survive into the future.