It has been seven years since “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” and only now are some comic fans getting over the pain. Both films came out in that awkward middle ground – after Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” and Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” resuscitated the superhero genre, but before the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy took it to a whole new level.
Tim Story, who directed both films, recently reflected on the differences in the genre between when he made those movies almost ten years ago and today. Talking with Screen Crush, he says:
“I’d say the normal audience has just gotten into more serious tone. I don’t want to say darker because that doesn’t seem right… the tone has gotten a lot edgier and kind of straightforward. It’s going to be interesting just to see, when you think of some of the few superhero movies that may garner a different tone, like an ‘Ant-Man’ or even with rebooting ‘Fantastic Four.’ It’s going to be interesting to see if there’s room for that. I just like laughing and when it can make you kind of smile, it just makes the characters a little more accessible. We’ll see what happens.”
Asked why it’s so difficult to bring “Fantastic Four” to the big screen, he says:
“You know what? It is because it is tongue-in-cheek. It’s a different beast. I’m so excited to see what they do because it is a little bit of a beast. And if you get the right cast and kind of have some fun with it, and at the same time be respectful of it being action. I’m just as curious as anyone as anybody else to see what the tone is they decide to go with. I think they’ll do great.”
He admits he wishes he could have re-made the sequel in today’s era in which the studios trust in the audience being more open to big ideas and you could go all the way with a Marvel cosmic villain like Galactus instead of turning him into a giant cloud:
“The Silver Surfer, if you know his origin, it’s very alien. It’s outer space. It’s a whole other thing and, so, I don’t think at the time I was making the movie the appetite was for that. I really don’t believe I could have gone that far then. I don’t believe I could have.
I think at the time there was a little bit of a fear of going all of the way with that. Because it’s hard to completely grab the concept… [It’s] a very big concept to kind of digest. And I think at the time we made the movie, I think the studio also had a little fear of what that was going to be. I think to a certain degree, we shied away from it because of that.
But, I think in today’s world now, especially with them looking to do things like Ultron… Thanos – it’s going to be the bigger it is now. Especially when you look at what Michael Bay has been able to do with the Transformers. We’re just open to it now. And that’s why the next filmmaker that brings that to screen, it should be pretty freaking incredible. It should be nuts.
I can’t wait to see that because you have to commit to it – commit 100 percent and don’t be apologetic about it. And I think that’s what Marvel is doing so well now: They’re going 100 percent for it. They don’t apologize for it – capes and color and powers! That’s what the audience wants today. Give it to them; just give it to them great and they will be rewarded – which they are.