One of the key scenes seen in the promotional material for the recent “Fantastic Four” reboot, but not appearing in the final film, is a scene where Jamie Bell’s The Thing essentially leaps off a plane and drops down to Earth to lay the smackdown.
Of course that scene was likely from the earlier cut of the film before extensive reshoots saw most of the movie’s third act seriously retooled and not for the better judging by the scathing reviews.
In a new piece in Entertainment Weekly it is said that the time jump in the film – the point at which it truly goes off the rails – was originally going to be less abrupt and that a key action sequence revolving around The Thing would be used in the transition.
According to the site’s sources, the film’s director Josh Trank was indecisive over whether or not to include the scene. They also claim that Trank always wanted to include it, had to cut it due to budget, and then was told to put it back in later after the film had been taken out of his hands.
Ultimately it wasn’t used, the sequence cut in favour of a title card and then a scene with our heroes being filmed engaging their extraordinary powers via security footage. Details of what was to be the scene are now out:
“A Chechen rebel camp in the wee hours of the night. There’s no explanation for where we are, but there are soldiers speaking a foreign language, and they are loading up some heavy-duty weaponry.
Crews are filling truck beds with the gear, preparing to mobilize – then a siren goes off. Everyone freezes, and one by one they turn their faces to the sky. A stealth bomber whispers by overhead, and a large object falls from it, streaking through the air at great speed.
The object – a bomb, a missile? – collides with the earth in the center of the camp, sending debris is all directions. The soldiers take cover, then tentatively emerge and walk toward the crater, where there is a giant pile of orange boulders.
Slowly, the rocks begin to move on their own, becoming arms, legs, a torso, a head…
This rock-figure lumbers out of the smoke, and the soldiers level their weapons – then open fire.
As The Thing lurches into view, bullets spark and ping off his impenetrable exterior.
Rather than some elegant, balletic action sequence, The Thing moves slowly and deliberately. He’s in no hurry. The storytelling goal was to show the futility of firepower against him as he casually demolishes the terrorists. It’s a blue-collar kind of heroism.
When it becomes clear this rock-beast cannot be stopped, the surviving Chechen rebels make a run for it – and that’s when a hail of gunfire finishes them off.
From the shadows of the surrounding forest, a team of Navy SEALS emerge with their guns drawn and smoking. The cavalry has arrived, but the enemy has already been subdued.
The film would then have shifted to a bird’s-eye view of the camp, an aerial shot showing waves of American soldiers flooding in to secure the base. Just when it appears the American soldiers may be ready to clash with the rock monster, The Thing gives them a solemn nod, and they clear a path. He lumbers past them, almost sadly, a heartsick warrior. Then he boards a large helicopter and is lifted away.
“Fantastic Four” is now out in cinemas.