BY THE WAY BEFORE I START THIS ARTICLE I JUST WANT TO SAY
OBVIOUSLY, YOU CARE =]
Now onto the JUICE of this article. I was recently asked to make an article discussing the very nature of a man, his name is fairly forgotten, probably for a number of reasons or probably because we choose to blame all instead of just one man; but there comes a time where fingers must be pointed in the direction it should, where fingers not only point but also give the middle one directly to his face runing and giving the very fabric of the name MARVEL a horrible name. That man ladies and gentlemen, is none other than "TOM ROTHMAN". By that I believe it's time to go over the enemy that was and forever shall be an enemy to making movies.
So who is this Tom Rothman. After Singer left the X-Men production, I remember seeing the one man who wanted to change X-Men forever being flaunted left and right on internet articles. Movies.com, SHH, even Comic Book Movie when it first started, but the one that pretty much struck a cord was the review of the script for X3 which never got great raves, mainly over the fact that it was a terrible script. AICN was the one that pointed out this unforseen enemy to me by calling him the only reason why X-Men is going down the horror route. So who is this gastly madman that has ruined your X-men childhood and comics. It certainly wasn't X-Men since there was a good amount of fans from the beginning with box office numbers and reviews praising the first two movies. But before we dwell deep into that since I want to save the best for last, lets go over his position of power in FOX.
Look at that shit eating grin, the balls on this guy for...nevermind. This guy has been an old timer at FOX, in 1998 his interest in comic book movies took shape, or maybe it didn't to the point where in 2000 he became CEO of FOX taking control of all films coming into the production studio to ensure anything relating budget, scripts, choosing actors even, all went to him for a final say. So I won't go in order, but I will go through each and every movie franchise he was responsible for.
So where does this story begin when it comes to Daredevil, back in the late 90'; many studios were trying to bring Daredevil to life, it wasn't until FOX bought Daredevil from SONY in order to make way on capitalizing on the comic book movie genre. With that said everything was fine and dandy, even to the point where evn Kevin Fiege at the position he was in felt that Daredevil and I quote the man that is CEO of Marvel Studios
"We have one of the strongest comic scripts we've ever had, and if we can get all our ducks in a row, we're going to start shooting as soon as possible."
So with that being said, what did that even mean? I mean it's obvious to us that what he was speaking of wasn't the movie that we saw since it wasn't as strong as he claimed it to be. So what happened during production as to what many believe to be a strong disapointment instead of a strong movie. Sources indicate from many other users including AICN that the movie had the directors cut in mind as the theatrical cut which was over 2 hours and featured more dialogue between Jennifer Gardner & Ben Affleck, including a sub-plot involving Matt Murdock working on his case that linked right into Kingpin. Word got out as the years went by that Rothman decided to cut the movie down under 2 hours. Now for anybody that doesn't know, a movies runtime is important. Not because of the quality of the movie, but because of extra showings of the movie. Meaning the shorter the movie, the more theaters playing on different showtimes to allow more money to flow through and to allow a stronger chance at success. This move was not only done on Daredevil, but also done on Fantastic Four which also still not improvement, but nonetheless a better movie than the theatrical cut of Fantastic Four.
With that being said, once the movie was released, the movie managed to make over $100 million at the box office but wasn't the success that let's say X-Men or Spider-Man had dominating at the box office which in turn made FOX realize potential in a Elektra spin-off movie, rather than a sequel to Daredevil. I never saw Elektra because of how bad people reacted to the movie. All I know about the movie is that my friend saw it noting the Fantastic Four trailer looked promising, which honestly is indeed one of my favorite songs to use for a movie trailer to get you hyped or pumped for any movie. What I do know about Elektra though is surprisingly the budget cut which Rothman loves to do. Here is a quote from writer Stu Zicherman
"Elektra is one of the reasons I got into television. I spent a year writing the movie, and it was supposed to be this gigantic movie and then they decide they're not going to make an $80M movie they're going to make a $30M movie, they bring in a director we didn't know, you get fired, someone else comes in and rewrites the entire movie but you still get credit because you wrote the first draft. Then you go to the premiere in Las Vegas and 30-seconds into the movie you're like oh, [frick]. I literally, to this day, am still so embarrassed by that movie. I probably shouldn't say this but I know Jennifer Garner is too. She hired us to write the movie which was pitched as something much more smart and sophisticated....it's a blemish. "
Many already know the history of Fantastic Four, from the 1994 movie that was never released into theaters, to Tim Story soap opera director to Josh Trank taking over. Now one thing mostly everyone has in common with this movie by FOX is that it is probably the most hated and requested movie to return to Marvel Studios due to FOX butchering a property that even I as a kid had a lot hopes for as a movie and was actually more excited for Fantastic Four than I was Batman Begins at the time. So what had this movie to fail, with the movie plagued from the beginning once Avi Arad took over on the movie. This was the first movie where you can actually say he had a lot of say in choosing what role everybody was to undertake. Being that Tom Rothman & Avi Arad had a relationship while working on the movie. For the most part, I have to again quote this man on why he was wrong for the job for Fantastic Four and Marvel in general. This was a quote where he had finally picked the director and came across Tim Story (Barbershop, The Best Mans Holiday, RIDE ALONG)
"Well, my Tim Story journey started by my wife and I going to see Barbershop. And Barbershop, as you remember was 10 characters in one room for two hours. A lot of story and a lot of terrific acting. And for Fantastic Four, we needed someone with a good heart, a light head and a sense of comedy that can follow a group."
So pretty much, he looked at the idea that this man can handle the chaos in a Barbershop, he can sure handle the chaos Fantastic Four and 5 characters lives interacting with each other. I mean there is a lot, lot worse to his interview on the subject matter, and even goes on to claim how he was sticking close to the source material.....yea. So now, where does this all fit into the equation of Tom Rothman. Well for starters like I said, he picks the scripts, he picks the director, he picks even the cast. FX was home is owned by FOX, many of the stars that starred in Fantastic Four such as Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon being both respectifully on The Shield & Nip/Tuck so those you can tell were easy picks, along with Chris Evans starring years ago in Not Another Teen Movie geared towards younger audiences, along with Honey that did the same. You also had Ioan Gruffurd in King Arthur playing one of the main characters which seemed promising for him to join another action blockbuster. All these stars probably don't look back at this movie and probably thought a sequel wouldn't happen, in which, they were wrong.
So by doing so we got the sequel which you can tell Rothman had a lot more say than actually Avi Arad. More family friendly, shorter run-time to allow more time for the movie to be shown every hour in theaters and to mention the ruining of favorites such as Galactus & Silver Surfer. Here is a quote from the demon himself, Rothman discussing whether or not Galactus would be the Galactus we all know and love.
"I think the Galactus look, I don't wanna give too much right away, but I will say this, Galactus will appear and fans will not be disappointed"
Yea, we all know how that turned out to be don't we fans? Even though Tim Story has stated he wanted to leave the look of Galactus to another director for the Silver Surfer spin-off, maybe it was Rothman stating to him how ridiculous the look of Galactus is since he even thought Sentinels were ridiculous to begin with. Oh yea, speaking of X-Men, I saved the final look of Rothmans [frick]cipades for last.
Yes, that is a confused face on someone from Marvel with Rothman. The man who pretty much tried to screw the pooch on X-Men. Now let's begin, this was pretty much his first major blockbuster to work with and the one that he took extreme lengths to get it to work or did he? Rumors circulated in 1999 that Rothman had cut the budget of the movie, hoping that the movie would become a flop so he may revert the rights back to Marvel and possibily kill the X-Men franchise. Hes even stated how much he has hated to a bunch of people during production that he disliked X-Men so much that he had hoped the production would fail at one point.
Not to mention, it took Singer, the writer and producers to actually step up to Rothman to take creative control on X2, which Rothman wanted a different approach which I haven't found anywhere on the internet but have had heard rumors in the past, which is why it took longer to approach X2 than it's 2002 release, but failed. As that was said, once X-Men became a critical and box office succes, along with fans who were clamoring for an X-Men movie, everyone went wild. The idea of comic book movies sprang to life to Rothman's dismay, but of course he didn't want to feel like he hated it. Of course in the public eye it was time to show people he cared and take most of the credit at times in the limelight other than Bryan Singer. Once X2 was released becoming yet again another smash-hit at the box office, and rated better than the first film, Singer was offered Superman from Warner Bros. At this moment, Rothman gave him an ultimatum "Do X-Men 3, or you're fired." and obviously Singer decided to join Warners to create the Superman we all want to hate, Superman Returns.
At that point it was up to Rothman to find a director and a new writer to rush and hurry on schedule for X-Men 3 without Singer. Number of directors were considered. Darren Aronofsky, Robert Bowman, Alex Proyas who had worked on I Robot, but has cited difficulties with Rothman. Rothman actually almost made Proyas retire from directing movies all together and has cited the issues with working with FOX while working on the movie. Another example of a director being mishandled is Stephen Norrington who had actually quit directing all together due to being embarrased by Sean Connery & Tom Rothman, what ended up was a shellshock conclusion to his career. Soon after, Matthew Vaughn was chosen for X-Men 3. Soon after, Vaughn quit one month later due to this quote "didn't have the time to make the movie that I wanted to make." and that is where he left. It has been said cause of family and what not, but no one really knows for sure.
After that, Brett Ratner signed up, which quite obviously he meant he could deliver a movie on a tight schedule and not question the script or budget of the movie. We all know how that came out to be, usual Rothman bullshit. Movie under 2 hours, to allow more showtimes on Memorial Day weekend and screw it over with a rushed script. The next idea was to create prequels, since prequel movies seemed to be profitable. In pretty much the first and last prequel Marvel movie ever made, X-Men Origins began production a year later with director Gavin Hood. Most thought with the impressive resume of the director that this would be a better movie. Again, not really since during filming, both Gavin Hood & Rothman clashed on certain scenes during the movie. Here is one quote when he defended Rothman during the movies release"I am very fond of Tom [Rothman]. When he and I are in a room together and debating, he's a very forceful personality, I'm a fairly forceful personality, and I hope he and I, through our debates, which we didn't always agree... We certainly never yelled at each other. Some of these fan sites have really been upsetting in that way. I have never had a stand-up argument with Tom Rothman. Never, ever, and nor has Tom with me, ever, and that is a fact. And it's quite upsetting to see how these things sort of spiral into...""Did we discuss and debate, what stylistically I was going to bring to the movie, and his expectations, and my [expectations]? Of course, of course you do that, and I hope it makes the movie better. Nobody's trying to screw up the movie. I mean, there's this stupid notion out there that Tom Rothman wants to ruin the franchise. What? That's stupid... This is a huge thing for the studio. Of course he doesn't want to ruin the franchise. Is he going to put a gun to his own head? He has a huge amount riding on this movie, as do I. There were disagreements, but they were handled with dignity and sincerity..."
There it is pretty much how bad this was getting that Gavin had to come out and talk about, but even then here is another statement right after Enders Game calling production close to a "baptism of fire"
After not making the money back, it became clear that Rothman was loosing all his key moments on what made him the high powered CEO where it became clear that comic books and him never mixed. Soon after, he decided to make X-Men First Class, but again rush the production. In spite of rushing it, he decided to use Bryan Singer who had then dropped out and only served as producer to which later Vaughn joined. At that moment it was out of Rothman's hands but to trust the process of the movie. when created we got X-Men First Class, while a moderate success, it proved that it wasn't the studio that drove the movies down, but the CEO himself who finally gave a create a fairgame. Thus, we got a good movie finally after years of torment of X-Men.
Soon after Rothman left after joint company News Corp came in and decided to join with FOX. Soon after rumors circulated that Rothman was fired due to a phone call with News Corp discussing the hate for the collaboration, and also rumors of him being replaced as CEO. At that point in time, it was time for him to go and since then he has been gone. Even though he was behind the reboot of Fantastic Four, maybe he was the hold up of the whole entire movie. Same with the fact that as soon as Rothman left, X-Men Days of Future Past started filming, Fantastic Four was finding newer writers, everything began to happen fast. Rothman was gone and the studio was changing with new CEO Jim Gianopulos joined as replacement.
So as far as the new Marvel movies goes. Let's just see how it goes. We now know the history of the demon known as Rothman and who really gave the terrible name to FOX. There is also how he screwed AVP over Alien 5 passing on Ridleys script. Cutting the R rated version of Prometheus, making Die Hard 4 PG-13 for more money. Rothman was a man who only saw making money and saving money as an option and even though I can see that as a positive. One man has actually proven him wrong when it comes to making great movies.
LIKE ALWAYS, I APPRECIATE YOU ALL READING THIS ARTICLE! NOT A FLAME WAR ARTICLE, BUT AN ARTICLE WHERE WE RECOGNIZE OUR ENEMY, THE REALY HYDRA LEADER! ANYWAYS DON'T FORGET THE "THUMBS UP" BUTTON! AND REMEMBER, LIKE ALWAYS