Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s “Fantastic Four” comic book series has struggled to work on the big screen after three critical misfires: 2005’s “Fantastic Four” and its 2007 sequel “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” followed by the notorious 2015 reboot. The first two films pre-dated the Marvel Cinematic Universe and were directed by Tim Story, who was best known at the time for his comedy work on films such as “Barbershop” and “Taxi.” Story knows firsthand how difficult it is to pull off the Fantastic Four and his career directing superhero tentpoles ended after “Silver Surfer” bombed with audiences.
Story recently caught up with CinemaBlend to promote his latest directing project, the “Shaft” reboot, and got asked to share his best piece of advice to whatever filmmaker ends up taking over the “Fantastic Four” movie franchise in the future. Story responded: “First, I’d tell them to listen to Kevin Feige. Kevin Feige is the man.”
Now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, the studio has free rein to use Fantastic Four characters such as Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The same goes for Fox-owned properties such as “X-Men” and “Deadpool.” Many comic book movie fans expect the MCU to introduce the Fantastic Four characters in the future and are banking on Feige to finally do the superheroes justice. Feige and Marvel Studios already have experience taking a botched superhero movie franchise and turning it into a winning success (see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” following “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”).
Story’s next piece of advice was more specific: “I would just say, do all your research on Reed Richards. Stretching is not easy. But I wouldn’t have much to say, they’ve got an incredible, incredible system happening over there and I don’t think they need to be told anything. I can’t wait to see it.”
Marvel and Disney have not formally announced plans for a new “Fantastic Four” movie. Story’s films starred Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, and Ioan Gruffudd as the superhero team. The infamous 2015 reboot was directed by Josh Trank and featured Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller, and Jamie Bell.