It’s hard to think of the recent Fantastic Four movie as anything but a failure. In reviews, revenue, and reception, the film has been an unmitigated failure. However, it’s almost ironic that this most almost became an entire different film. Chronicle writer Max Landis at one point had a different pitch of Fantastic Four to Fox, and he even wrote 50 pages of the script before Fox said they were going in a different direction. Landis later posted four pages of his script on Twitter. Landis chatted with The Daily Beast and let them know his vision for a trilogy of Fantastic Four films.
“My ‘Fantastic Four’ was an on-the-run movie,” he recounted. “It begins with their origin, which is an illegal Branson-esque space launch where they want to go see this thing. They become the biggest celebrities in the world, except then they wreck and they get these horrible powers. The government is hunting them and they split up, and you really get into the dynamics of these people as they’re learning to control their powers. So the origin takes place in the first two minutes and then you learn it’s a character movie.”
“‘Avengers’ had just come out, and I wanted to present Fox’s superhero team so that any one of them could beat all of the Avengers, and any one of them could be the villain of an Avengers movie,” he explained. “Reed Richards is indestructible. Sue Storm can control light. Johnny Storm can burn hotter than the sun. The Thing is impossibly strong, and you can’t hurt him no matter what you do. I thought, what a cool idea, that these four friends have accidentally become gods.”
“I had Doctor Doom as a good guy, one of Reed’s college friends, and my whole movie he’s trying to find and help them but it wasn’t clear if he was good or bad — until the finale of the movie when you realize his connection to Reed, and that they’re best friends. The audience who knows Doctor Doom thinks he’s going to turn bad, but the movie ends with him saving them. And in the sequel he’s probably good, too. You know, you Sam Raimi-‘Spider-Man’ it — at the end of the sequel he gets all fucked up and shows up in the Doctor Doom armor. But then in the third movie he’s like, ‘What have you done to me?'” he concluded.
It’s almost insane how different this simple vision is from the movie we just got.