After Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four was released proceeding a wave of disastrous behind the scenes stories, everybody was looking for a villain to blame for the film’s critical and financial failure. Could it be blamed on Josh Trank, the young director that the blogosphere painted as rebellious and unprepared? Was it the fault of the studio, who was looking for someone to paint by their numbers and interfered too often? Perhaps it was a little from Column A and a little from Column B? Over a year after its release, it’s still not entirely clear who deserves the scorn for the doomed production.
Funnily enough, if you’ve paid attention to either comic books or movies in the last 20 years, then you’re aware that Trank’s Fantastic Four isn’t the first doomed attempt at bringing Reed Richards et. al. to the big screen (and, if we’re counting critical feedback, it’s not the second or even third disaster). Back in 1994, Roger Corman produced a low-budget adaptation that, depending on who you believe, was either never meant to be seen (just a $1-million-dollar exercise in contractual obligations) or had the plugged pulled on it at the last minute when the powers-to-be got wind of the machinations of a bunch of plucky underdogs.