Thanks to ton of conflicting information – and rampant rumors – fans haven’t really known what to expect from Fox’s upcoming Marvel slate. Thankfully Fox’s Marvel boss Simon Kinberg wasn’t shy about answering questions at this past weekend’s Wonder Con.
While talking to Den of Geek, he discussed the Fantastic Four and their new on-screen origin. Don’t expect to see the grey-templed Reed Richards you’re used to from the comics or from Tim Story’s previous films.
“We’re definitely telling a younger story that the original films did. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is.”
How old are they exactly?
“They’re older than high school, but they’re not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story.”
Kinberg was a little less forthcoming when it came to whether we’d see the FF getting hit with cosmic rays while on a space mission.
“There is archetypal imagery of how they get their powers, for sure, and it does involve some sort of scientific travel.”
It’s looking more and more like the new film will stick closer to the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics than the classic 616 version.
Crave Online talked to Kinberg about the tone of the film, specifically compared to the last adaptation.
It’s a much more grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies. If I had to say, the tone of it would be somewhere on the spectrum between Spider-Man and Chronicle. The other movies were even further on the spectrum of being goofy and fun than Spider-Man.
The writer/producer clarified which Spider-Man he was talking about.
Raimi Spider-Man, yeah, not Amazing Spider-Man. Josh Trank’s instincts are to be as realistic and grounded and real with this stuff as possible. In many ways I would say it’s definitely more of a drama than comedy.
Crave then wondered if that was the right decision, asking, “Is that true to the comic books, because Fantastic Four is one of the lighter Marvel books?” Kinberg replied:
It’s still in the direction of Spider-Man. It’s not like Dark Knight. And even Chronicle has a lot of fun in it. We’re treating this as the origin of the Fantastic Four so in future movies you’d have them on sort of splashier adventures to some extent but in this one we tried to ground the science as much as possible and make it feel like it could take place in our world before it cantilevers into other worlds.
Moving on to the X-Men films, Kinberg spoke to Hitfix and told the site which era’s cast to expect to see in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
“It really follows the First Class cast. Meaning it is a sequel that will feature (James) McAvoy, (Michael) Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nic Hoult and that cast. It is not a sequel that would necessarily feature Ian (McKellen), Patrick (Stewart), Halle (Berry) and the original cast. It would take place roughly between the past of Days of Future Past and when X-Men first started.”
When asked how all the time travel would affect the existing X-Men films, the answers weren’t quite clear.
“Certainly things that take place in Days of Future Past in the past have an impact on the future. That’s the whole point of the plot and, I can say, in at least the vaguest of terms, there are repercussions from what happens in 1973 that ripple all the way forward in time. Which means they would ripple through the time periods of the original X-Men movies.”
As for whether or not the two franchises would ever meet, who the hell knows. Speaking to Coming Soon, he told the site how he clearly wants crossovers to happen but isn’t sure if they ever will.
“Fox has been very generous with letting me be one of the main authors and voices in the process. I mean, there’s other people involved, too, of course. There’s Lauren Shuler Donner, the original producer of the franchise and others. But yeah, they’ve really entrusted me to help craft the story that would have it make sense how these things can coexist and ultimately, maybe, cohabitate in movies.
I see a world where everyone is joined together. The dream is, obviously, one day to do a Marvel movie that is with all the Marvel characters or at least a universe where they can dive in and out of one another’s films. Because that’s the way the comics were created, I think that’s the way the movies should actually be. For a series of business reasons, they aren’t. That’s not for narrative or creative reasons.”
It’s likely that Fox is hesitant to mix their two franchises (especially as they reboot Fantastic Four), because if the crossover fails it poisons both wells. I’d venture to guess though that if we do see a blending of the two worlds (outside of easter eggs) it’ll be when/if Franklin shows up.