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Fantastic Four movie idea [Nov. 24th, 2015|03:54 pm]
Watched the new Fantastic Four movie.

I quite enjoyed Chronicle, the director's previous film, so I was still hopeful going in.

It's not an *awful* movie, but it is deeply flawed. I'd put it in the same camp as Green Lantern, which had some neat ideas and could have been salvaged.

I want to give Trank the benefit of the doubt, and believe him when he says that studio interference was the problem, but it sounds like he shoulders at least some of the responsibility.

Either way a lot of missed opportunities.

I think the first problem was starting too early, starting with Reed and Ben's childhood doesn't benefit the film. There's no emotional resonance there, and it's difficult to swallow the idea that this kid built a teleporter on his own.

And they messed up Doom, again.

Which is strange to me because Doom really doesn't require too many alterations to make him work on screen.

As a child Victor von Doom witnesses his mother's death at the hands of what can only be described as a demon and is driven to try to understand what happened. Finding evidence of others who have died in a similar manner, he begins studying science and the occult, gaining insight into the underlying framework of the universe.

Incredibly intelligent he earns a full scholarship to State University in New York. There he meets Reed Richards studying to be a physicist, and Ben Grimm an engineer. A rivalry soon develops between Doom and Richards.

In his spare time Doom continues working on a machine that he hopes will allow him to peel back the veil slightly, giving him the answers he seeks. Reed, who has always been skeptical of Doom's claims with regards to the occult, notes a potential problem with one of Doom's equations. But Doom ignores Reed's warnings and goes ahead with the test. The resulting explosion scars Doom's face and leads to his expulsion.

Over the next decade he pursues his exploration of the occult, slowly gaining in power, eventually arriving at a small Tibetan monastery. There, with their help, he constructs his iconic suit of armour.

He then returns to his homeland Latveria and with his vast intellect effortlessly overthrows the government and with a Lex Luthor-like singularity of purpose sets about reshaping society. He installs a puppet prime minister and oversees the transformation of the country into a utopia.

I'd have this be the opening of the movie, more or less following Doom's early life to the present from his perspective.

The new Fantastic Four movie is based on Ultimate Fantastic Four, right down to Reed building a teleporter as a kid, and I think that's where a lot of the problems lie. I'd get rid of the child prodigies angle or them being students in the Baxter Building.

I can see why screenwriters have struggled with Fantastic Four. There's no real good origin for the team that makes sense. The original was an unauthorized launch by a group of unqualified people to beat the Soviets to the Moon. The Ultimate version is a bunch of child prodigies who all go to the same school and build a teleporter. With the former hard to justify why Johnny (who doesn't even seem to have a job in the original incarnation) or Sue, neither of whom had any background in science, would even be there.

IF you went with a space origin, then having Johnny be a test pilot, like they did in the first Fantastic Four movies, sorta works.

But I prefer the teleportation origin, not much for a pilot to do in that case.

So I think I'd keep Reed working on a teleporter, but a little later, during university. Both him and Doom would have been clandestinely building something in each of their dorm rooms.

Reed would test the teleporter with some recognizable object, the movie used a toy car.

Reed et all would end up working at a government think tank similar to the project in the movie, except as adults/right after graduation. Reed could specialize in astrophysics, Ben in engineering, Sue in quantum mechanics, and Johnny in mathematics (with a bit of a rockstar flair/Good Will Hunting smart guy doesn't want to apply himself kind of vibe).

They help build the government teleporter project almost from the ground up.

The day finally comes to test the teleporter.

They are sent through the N-Zone and arrive at a strange primordial world (think less glowy green crap like in the movie, more Mars). There is a large pile of Hot Wheels toy cars that accumulated over the years (something they inexplicably left out of the movie).

No silly glowy power source subplot, just a really creepy alien world with a cosmic horror kind of feel to it. They can see some sort of structure in the distance.

The N-Zone is an alternate universe near the end of its lifespan, trillions of years older than ours. Entropic heat death has claimed almost everything. White dwarf stars have become cold spheres of solid iron, black holes have begun to evaporate and the sky is filled with only red dwarfs expending the last of their fuel. There are a few scattered settlements, holdouts of unimaginably advanced technology just barely managing to maintain a toehold at the end of the universe.

But the four fundamental forces are expressed differently in this universe, and almost immediately the four participants in the experiment begin to change.

They hit the panic button and are transported back to the facility.

I'd keep Trank's body horror angle, but I'd play it up even more when they emerge from the pods. Almost like The Fly.

Over the following weeks they are quarantined and studied, but eventually it becomes clear that whatever happened to them is not contagious. They are slowly given more freedom, and eventually, with greater control over their powers, are able to demand more rights.

The government desperately wants to exploit them, but it can't control them.

I'd keep the Mole Man fight from Trank's original script and use it as a team building exercise that helps them learn to work together as well as an homage to the first issue of Fantastic Four.

A montage of them becoming famous, saving people, etc.

Doom learns of the accident and wants to know more about the N-Zone, intrigued by the promise of advanced technology.

Baxter Building security presents no challenge to him as he strides into the chamber containing the teleportation pods.

Reed confronts him. Big fight. The other members join in but Doom holds his own.

Doom and Reed simultaneously come to the realization that the devices they were both working on in college were fundamentally the same, the N-Zone representing the convergence of science and the occult. The demon "Mephisto" is an inhabitant of that universe, a survivor of a civilization that had long since succumbed to entropy. It had been trying to use Doom's mother (contacting countless others, including Silver Surfer) to claw its way into our reality. With the teleportation pods it finally had the means.

It begins to manifest and Doom and the Fantastic Four are forced to join forces.

Doom's mystical armour protects him as the fight moves to the alien world where they witness the full might of Mephisto. Together they banish Mephisto, and Doom turns on them, wanting to secure the advanced technology for himself. Fantastic Four defeat him, and teleport back to Earth.

Mostly happy ending, but Doom is revealed to have survived, albeit stranded on the alien world without the teleporter pods, and all the disturbance has drawn the attention of Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

[User Picture]From: soloist
2016-02-23 04:41 pm (UTC)
Can you just write these movies please?! This is not the first time you've written a MUCH better outline for a movie that could have been great. I'm not really all that keen on Fantastic Four personally, they've never been my favourites. But I'm just going to watch your movie in my head and fill in the gaps and I'll be a happy camper.

I really agree with all of your criticisms and you've nailed why this movie fails. There were good PARTS but I feel like a movie driven more by Doom's story than the Four's is where it needs to go next. He's so much more interesting.
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