MOVIE PITCH: A 60s Set FANTASTIC FOUR Movie
I give a pretty detailed plot outline for my ideal Fantastic Four movie - one that is set in the 60s. Come check it out.
Set during the height of the 1960s space race, with the Russians and Americans racing to reach Mars (instead of the Moon) after a valuable mineral is discovered on the planet’s surface (this is in line with Stan Lee’s original concept for the Fantastic Four’s origin: “In Lee's original synopsis of the comic the original plan is flying to Mars but Stan Lee writes that due to ‘the rate the Communists are progressing in space, maybe we better make this a flight to the stars, instead of just to Mars, because by the time this mag goes on sale, the Russians may have already MADE a flight to Mars!’”). I’ve tried to capture some of the story elements of the original comics and craft a narrative that would be largely in line with the essence and tone of those stories.
Here it is:
- Victor Von Doom is a scientist and astronaut working for the Russians on experimental space weapons
- In this version of the story Latveria is part of the Communist Eastern Bloc and has suffered greatly under Russian occupation; Doom, seeing himself as a voice of the people, attempted to stir revolution against the Russians but was caught and sent to Siberia; here Victor is recruited by the Soviet Space Program knowing of his genius, to earn his freedom and ensure the safety of the people of Latveria (essentially becoming a slave to the Soviets)
- The Americans, actually ahead of the Russians, send Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny (all working in some form for NASA) on a rocket to Mars
- Learning of the American’s plans, the Russians send their own team (including Doom) to Mars in an experimental (and possibly unsafe) rocket that Doom designed (Doom says the rocket isn’t ready but the Russians use it anyway)
- On route cosmic rays bombard the Russian ship, heavily damaging the Russian’s and sending it spiraling back to Earth
- Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny all make it to Mars and plant the American flag in the red martian soil, collect samples, etc... before making their way back to Earth
- On their way back they too are hit by cosmic rays but manage to successfully land
- The Russian rocket is retrieved by the Russians with Doom being the only survivor (who is horribly scarred)
- Meanwhile the four’s powers begin to manifest and are placed under quarantine; news of their successful mission has been revealed to the public and the media dub the four “The Fantastic Four”
- Reed has the power of elasticity (gaining it from the rocket’s experimental lightweight rubber polymer), Sue gains the power of invisibility (from the rocket’s stealth functions), Johnny gains fire powers (from bonding with solar flare particles), and Ben becomes rock-like (from bonding with samples of Mars’ soil)
- Back in Russia the Soviets see the American’s success as a huge embarrassment to themselves and lay the blame on Doom; as punishment Doom’s village is massacred while Doom is put back into prison
- The Fantastic Four begin training to control their powers; Reed is guilt ridden for what happened to his friends and is worried they may never lead public lives ever again - especially Ben
- The military wants to use the Fantastic Four as propaganda pieces and embrace their media popularity; they do so by revealing the team’s abilities to the public and calling them the first REAL American superheroes; this angers the team who still see themselves as freaks
- In his prison cell, Doom’s powers manifest (various forms of “cosmic energy projection”) and he escapes (killing nearly every guard and soldier)
- Doom flees to Latveria and discovers his village and family massacred; he retreats to his ancestor's castle where he finds a suit of armor and cloak which he fashions into new attire and wears it to cover his scarred body and face; it is here that Doom learns of the “Fantastic Four” and stews in anger and jealousy
- Apprehensively the Fantastic Four make their first public appearances in person (they are given costumes to wear - all part of the propaganda angle); to their surprise the four are welcomed by the public and begin to feel more at ease with their powers and new identities (Ben in particular is loved by children)
- A team of Soviet soldiers is sen’t into Latveria to retrieve Doom; the USSR know of his powers and wan’t to use him as their own propaganda piece and weapon; Doom kills the soldiers and decides to take action - never again will he or his people be used in such terrible ways
- Doom returns to Russia where he holds General Secretary Brezhnev hostage and assumes control of the Russian military and nuclear weapons; Doom activates the space weapons program known as “Annihilus” - a satellite with a cosmic control rod that collects cosmic rays and channels them in a form of a ray which Doom plans to use to literally carve the world in his image
- The Americans learn of what has happened in Russia and send the Fantastic Four to stop Doom before he activates Annihilus
- The Fantastic Four and Doom battle as Annihilus begins to wipe away portions of the United States and Russia landscapes as it moves towards major cities
- Working as a team, and with great struggle, the Four incapacitate Doom and shut down Annihilus
- The US government (in contact with the Four) order the Four to move control of Annihilus to the military team; the Four refuse and opt to destroy it, believing no government should wield that type of power
- During this Doom escapes
- Sometime later the Fantastic Four have separated from the US Government, agreeing to look out for the interests of the globe and not just the United States; because of how loved they are by the public the US agrees and as a peace offering allow the Four to take up residence in New York City’s historic Baxter Building
- Alarms go off in the Baxter building as subterranean seismic activity begins to rattle New York and reports of a a giant three-headed monster emerging from the ground pour in; the four suit up and get to work
- Doom meanwhile has fled back to Latveria where he has started to gain a loyal following; Doom declares himself “absolute monarch of Latveria” and works towards inciting further revolution in the region
So thats how I would/would have done a Fantastic Four movie. Having it set in the 60s would allow for the right amount of cheesiness and fun while the space race/nuclear war elements would be enough to ground the film in some historical context ensuring the tone balances out (similar to X-Men: First Class and X-Men: DOFP).
Thanks for reading!