The History of FOX/Marvel; Chapter 4: Fantastic Mr. Story

The History of FOX/Marvel; Chapter 4: Fantastic Mr. Story

With the sucess of X-Men, Fox brought the original Marvel team to the big screen... but it was more of a DareDevil than an X-Men United.

CHAPTER 4:
FANTASTIC MR. STORY

 
Let's go back to before the X-Men. Back in 1961, two men created their first of many superheroes, THE FANTASTIC FOUR! The Fantastic Four is known today as the first family of comics, up to the point where a movie about an actual superhero family (The Incredibles) was said to be inspired by F4 (which is why I said The Incredibles was the best F4 movie).
 
It was no surprise that someone wanted to make an F4 movie. In 1983, Stan Lee met with a german producer by the name of Bernd Eichinger. However, it wasn't until
1986 when he was able to buy the rights.
 
So for a few years the film rights belonged to NEUE CONSTATIN FILMS. However, they didn't have any plans to make an F4 movie until 1992. You see, it was that year when the film rights were starting to expire and WARNER BROS. (despite owning the DC universe) & COLUMBIA PICTURES had interest. So the studio decided to make an F4 movie as quick as they could just to keep the rights and they got Roger Corman to direct the movie.
 
Some of you may be wondering why they got a director known for making low-budget B-movies to make a summer blockbuster. Well, he directed the movie just so they could keep the rights.And what would they do to the film afterwards. 
 
NOTHING!
 
They NEVER planned on releasing the movie. AT ALL! And only the studio knew that. They didn't tell anyone else. They didn't tell the director. They didn't the crew. THEY DIDN'T EVEN TELL THE CAST! 
 
YOU SEE THESE FOUR PEOPLE SMILING?
THESE POOR BASTARDS THOUGHT THEY WERE IN A SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!
 
Stan Lee confirmed all of this, although the studio claimed that the movie never got released due to the rise of such a low budget movie ruining the fanchise (In the future, we later learned that the budget on the F4 movies had nothing to do with ruining the franchise).
 
Anyway, because the movie was made, Eichinger held on to the F4 film rights. Although, one thing's for sure, he's not staying at the same studio that got Roger Corman. 
 
Later on, FOX and produce Avi Arad paid Eichinger a couple million bucks, saying that they would take all copies of the movie and destroy them (that turned out well). FOX said that if Eichinger agreed to this, he could produce a big-budget F4 movie with them.
 
So in 1995, Chris Columbus signed on to direct and write the movie. When he was directing, he wanted Dennis Quaid & Meg Ryan to play Reed & Sue. Columbus and Michael France ended up writing a draft, but Columbus decided to step down from directing and would simply produce the movie. FOX got Raja Gosnell to direct the film, but he wanted to direct Scooby-Doo,so he left. (Good, he destroyed Scooby. I don't want him near F4). 
 
As known by most people, there was a time when Peyton Reed was to direct the film and Doug Petrie wrote a draft for the film (http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MrFantastic/news/?a=103834).  Reed left the project in 2003. So FOX got comedy director Tim Story to direct the film because they were impressed by his latest film...
 
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
THAT'S LIKE IF MARVEL GOT THE DRIECTORS OF YOU ME & DUPREE TO DIRECT CAPTAIN AMERICA.
Oh Yeah.
 
Anyway, with him at the helm, there were many different actors considered for the part. The late actors Jame Gandolfini & Paul Walker were considered for Ben & Johnny. George Clooney & Brendan Fraiser were considered for Mr. Fantastic. And apperently, FOX loved Hugh Jackman as Wolverine so much that they wanted him to play Mr. Fantastic. And finally, before Jessica Alba got the part, Rachel McAddams & Keri Russell were wanted for Sue Storm.
...
...
MAD? WHO, ME? I'M NOT MAD. HOW CAN I BE MAD AFTER FINDING OUT THAT FOX ACTUALLY CONSIDERED GETTING ACTUAL TALENTED ACTRESSES LIKE RACHEL MCADDAMS & KERI RUSSELL TO PLAY SUE STORM, BUT INSTEAD THEY CAST JESSICA ALBA & HER NON-ACTING ASS IN THE ROLE? I'M FINE! I'M NOT MAD!
...
Sorry.
 
Anyway, In 2005, the movie was finally released. At the box office, the movie made about as much money as the first X-Men film, so FOX was doing with with money. But when it comes to the critics, things weren't as happy. They mostly critizied the story, the motivations of the characters, the campiness, and, of course, Jessica Alba. Also, many fans (& Stan Lee) felt that Doctor Doom was handeled poorly. However, there were some compliments given to the film. Some people praised the casting of Chris Evans & Michael Chiklis as Human Torch & Thing, while others liked the fact that they kept to the campy, family-friendly nature of the original comics.
 
The following year, FOX released their next Marvel project, X-Men: The Last Stand, but I'll talk about that in the next chapter. Instead, let's skip ahead by a year and take a look at Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
 
In December 2005, FOX brought back Tim Story to direct & Mark Frost to write the sequel. Story wanted to make things bigger and better by bringing in Galactus & The Surfer. However, for a while he debated whether or not to give the Surfer a voice. Also, he decided to bring in the Fantasticar and to give Kerry Washington (who played Alicia Masters in the first film) more scenes.
 
The Surfer was performed (physically) by Doug Jones, known for his role in Hellboy. Speaking of Hellboy, what FOX did with Jones was similar to his performance in that film, where he performed the character's movements under a buttload of makeup, but he was dubbed by a well-known actor with a cool voice. Speaking of dubbing, Gary Sinese, Timothy Olyphant, and Djimon Honsou all auditioned to voice the Surfer. The Surfer's voice was found in Laurence Fishburne, who was supposed to voice Galactus before they made him mute.
 
By the way, here's something cool. You know that black gerneral in the movie that hated the Four becuase he's normal and they're all sci-fi powers, and not normal is bad and blah blah blah. Well, that General was supposed to be:
Yes. While I've heard that Sam Jackson was supposed to play the part before the MCU, I can't find anything confirming that. But yes, Nick Fury was supposed to be in the movie. However, Marvel Studios (who where busy developing their IM & Hulk films), were all like "MINE!" and Fury was replaced by generic prejadace government man.

When the movie was released, it got slightly better reviews than the first movie. Most people had the same critisims and compliments as the last films. A lot of people bashed the film's depection of Galactus, by turning him into a cloud. A CLOUD! Look, I get that Galactus has a silly design and you have to change it, but were you so non-creative that the best you could come up with was to turn him into A CLOUD?!?!? Meanwhile, some people praised the special effects, as well as Doug Jones & Laurence Fishburne's two-man performance as the Surfer. The film didn't  make as much as the original, mainly due to a big 2nd weekend drop. Despite the film making back it's money, F4 2 is still cosidered a flop. This meant that plans for a third movie and a Silver Surfer spin-off were cancelled.

But enough about F4 and DareDevil. Let's go back to X-Men. See, in between F4 and Silver Surfer, FOX put out another X-Men movie...
without Bryan Singer.


TO BE CONTINUED...
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