It appears that was as reports have surfaced over the weekend that Josh Trank, whose feature film debut Chronicle is set to open next month, is the studio’s top choice to bring the Marvel superhero team back to the big screen following the two entries directed by Tim Story that were less than enthusiastically received by comics fans and general audiences alike. The director has reportedly had several meetings with the studio about the project, but won’t be formally offered the job until execs get a chance to see how Chronicle performs when it opens Super Bowl weekend.
Chronicle is a “found footage” film about a trio of high school boys who gain amazing telekinetic powers after discovering a glowing alien artifact, so there is at least a passing similarity to the Fantastic Four’s origin of gaining superpowers after being exposed to a strange radiation while test flying a space craft.
Fox has been trying to get a new Fantastic Film going for a couple of years now. They first announced their intention to reboot the franchise back in 2009 with writer/producer Akiva Goldsman hired to spearhead the effort and Michael Green, who scripted Green Lantern, brought on to write the screenplay. Since then, Joe Carnahan, David Yates, and James McTeigue have been under consideration by the studio to direct with names like Adrien Brody, Amber Heard, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and even Bruce Willis being bandied about as possible stars. Time will tell if this latest news will be more fruitful than the other reported plans we’ve heard about over the last two years.
But Fox might be under the gun for getting the film into production. The studio controls the film rights to the comic book characters in perpetuity, but only so long as they continue to make films with the characters. However, it is not known the exact terms for which they must continue producing the films before forfeiting the right to do so.
In a related note, I’m guessing that Fox’s long in development Fantastic Four spin-off feature Silver Surfer, with a screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski, is probably a dead project.