FANTASTIC FOUR Writer Jeremy Slater Recalls Difficult Process Of Working With Josh Trank Across 18 Drafts

FANTASTIC FOUR Writer Jeremy Slater Recalls Difficult Process Of Working With Josh Trank Across 18 Drafts

Fantastic Four writer Jeremy Slater has explained that director Josh Trank "hated every second" of The Avengers, and reveals that he struggled to bring a comic book feel to his movie as a result...

When director Josh Trank started working on Fantastic Four, he enlisted Jeremy Slater to write the movie for him. As a comic book fan, there was a lot he could bring to the table, but it didn't take long until their very different visions for the franchise started to cause problems. 

As Polygon has explained, Trank had only seen a few episodes of the Fantastic Four cartoon before working on the movie and, well, he didn't really like comic book movies. "The first Avengers movie had recently come out, and I kept saying, ‘That should be our template, that’s what audiences want to see!" Slater explains. "And Josh just f*cking hated every second of it."

Trank counters that point, saying: "The trials of developing Fantastic Four had everything to do with tone. You could take the most ‘comic booky’ things, as far as just names and faces and identities and backstories, and synthesize it into a tone. And the tone that [Slater] was interested in was not a tone that I felt I had anything in common with."

To try and win the filmmaker over, Slater provided him with comics from his own personal collection, but nothing resonated with Trank, and he instead wanted to explore his own take on the team. "It didn’t matter if they were fighting robots in Latveria or aliens in the Negative Zone or Mole Monsters in downtown Manhattan; Josh just did not give a shit," Slater says. 

"I feel like I get Mole Man," Trank responds in his defense. "He’s angry and undermined by the system."

Slater believes he wrote nearly 18 drafts and 2000 pages while working on Fantastic Four, but only two of those made it to Fox. Trank insisted on acting as a messenger between his writer and the studio, and would only give him certain notes.

"Right from the start of the process, Josh told me I wasn’t allowed to speak with Fox without him present. I never saw 95% of those notes."

Ultimately, it all became too much and he walked away from Fantastic Four after six months. The movie, meanwhile, started shooting without a third act, and the rest is history. Trank is now getting ready to release his new film Capone. Slater, on the other hand, successfully adapted The Umbrella Academy for Netflix and is set to serve as showrunner on Disney+'s Moon Knight

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