In 2015, 20th Century Fox released a reboot of the “Fantastic Four” franchise and the result was a disaster on many levels. A critical dud and a commercial flop, the film was the subject of massive behind-the-scenes political issues through production and it led to the effective implosion of promising filmmaker Josh Trank’s career.
Reports emerged during the film’s making of extensive reshoots, of Trank effectively having something of an emotional meltdown on set and isolating himself while “X-Men” franchise head Simon Kinberg and others at the studio wrestled control away from the filmmaker whilst also forcing him to make all the changes they wanted.
Just before it was released, Trank said he was proud of the version he made but that wasn’t the film being released into cinemas. The movie’s first two acts are decent enough, but the last act is when Fox visibly takes over and the film implodes at that point.
Now, four years later, Trank himself has taken to Letterboxd (via The Playlist) to post a ‘review’ of the film, in the process offering the most candid comments he’s made so far about the runaway train wreck the film became:
“The movie is ALRIGHT. I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. I literally haven’t seen it since like two weeks before it came out, and I was in a heavily fucking traumatized state of mind. Why? Eh, save that for another time.
Great cast. Everyone in the film is a great actor, and overall there is a movie in there, somewhere. And that cast deserves to be in THAT movie. Everyone who worked on Fant4stic clearly wanted to be making THAT movie. But…. ultimately… It wasn’t.
Did I make that movie they deserved to be in? To be honest… I can’t tell. What I can tell is there are TWO different movies in one movie competing to be that movie. Is there a #releasethetrankcut? Doesn’t matter. I’m not Zack Snyder.
Zack Snyder is a storied, iconic, legendary filmmaker who has been knocking it out of the fucking park since I was in high school. Me? Then? I was 29 years old, making my 2nd film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into.
That said… I don’t regret any of it. It’s a part of me. And I just hope Peyton Reed makes the next Fantastic Four and crushes it. And that I get a cameo.”
2005’s “Fantastic Four” closed out its run with just $167.9 million worldwide from a budget of around $150 million. Trank finally returned to directing with the already shot Tom Hardy-led gangster film “Fonzo” which was to debut this year but is now targeting a 2020 release sometime.