The Fantastic Four films have grown a reputation for being extremely awful. The 2015 film, the 2005 film along with its sequel, and even the 1994 unreleased fan favorite have ensured fans that any film involving Marvel’s first family is one that should definitely be avoided. But despite the failing track record Fox accumulated over the years with the rights to the comic book property, rebooting Fantastic Four is a lot easier than they’re making it for themselves. Fox doesn’t seem interested in giving the Fantastic Four back to Marvel just yet. So whether we like it or not, we will see another Fox produced Fantastic Four in the future.
The biggest issue with rebooting the film franchise is the fact that it already has a bad reputation. But if rebooted correctly and mainstreamed a little, the next Fantastic Four movie could help Fox rebuild the franchise enough to actually make a profit off of it. Here are a few ideas on how to reboot a Fantastic Four film properly.
- No origin story
It’s not rocket science. (Although they did gain powers from outer space. And that required a little rocket science.) There are three origin films that explain how the super powered family came to be. Do we really need another? The reboot should start off with the family already established as heroes. The Baxter Building should already exist as their functioning headquarters, and the family should already be integrated in to pop culture when the film starts. It’s not as big of a stretch for the Fantastic Four to be viewed as celebrities in the current time we live in. In fact, the 2005 film touched on that a little with Johnny Storm. So expanding on the idea of a super powered family being viewed as celebrities as well as heroes would make the film a little interesting.
The actual origin story for the team could be retold through a video news package during a fictional show similar to Extra, or TMZ. Just a quick recap of how our heroes came to be is enough to fill in the audience in on their origin while moving things along as quickly as possible. And with that aspect out of the way, the film could truly focus on who the characters currently are as established heroes today.
- A proper Doctor Doom
The biggest issue that has plagued both adaptions by Fox is the misuse of Doctor Doom. Just like The Joker compliments Batman, and Magneto compliments the X-Men, Doctor Doom is the villain mostly associated with the Fantastic Four. But instead of giving one of the biggest villains in the history of Marvel proper treatment, Fox has twice reduced him to being an afterthought.
In both the 2005 and 2015 films, Doom was given ridiculous and unclear powers along with the team as part of his origin story. But if the reboot went the route of avoiding an origin story of F4 in order to jump right in to things, then the time saved could be used on developing Doctor Doom as a huge threat to the team instead.
The way Doctor Doom should be approached is as a dictator and a terrorist. A leader of his own nation, like the source material, Doom should be a threat to the United States with his highly advanced technology too advance for the military to deal with alone. Reed Richards, whom has a past connection with Victor Von Doom, has to join forces with the military to find ways to deal with Doom’s inventions. The idea behind the concept of Doctor Doom invading the United States is that the Fantastic Four will have to face an actual huge threat for the first time in their heroic career. And with the stakes higher than they’ve ever been, the team must pull together to stop the dangerous dictator.
Although the comics version of the character uses technology and magic, the streamlined version of the character could rely on just highly advanced technology instead. His suit should serve as more than just a disguise, considering that Victor isn’t shy about his identity. His suit should be weaponized armor. Powers vs technology should be the theme of Doom’s struggle against F4. And if done right, the final battle between the heroes and their new nemesis would turn to be epic.
- Doombots are a must
So far, the Fantastic Four films have relied on Doom being their only threat. The previous films are filled with forgettable filler until the final showdown at the end. We have yet to see Marvel’s first family really cut loose and use their powers to the best of their ability. And that is where Doombots come in. With an ever replenishing army of highly advanced robots to invade New York and the rest of the United States, Doom would be such a serious threat that the US Military would need Reed Richards to help stop him.
The inclusion of Doombots would allow the team to finally throw down in a way they haven’t before on film. Just imagine a few Avengers: Age of Ultron like action scenes in the middle of New York with the team battling an unrelenting force. It would be a great way to give fans an action packed film leading up to the final showdown at the end, and the film could use the old “Doom didn’t die, that was really a Doombot” trick to set up for his return in the next film.
- Doctor Doom must have valid reasoning behind actions
If you were to hold a gun to my head and threaten to pull the trigger unless I recited Doom’s intentions in the previous films, I’d be deader than Fan4stic’s box office sales. The reboot is in definite need of giving Doctor Doom a serious endgame, or reasoning for his actions. Doom should want something that is too dangerous for him to get his hands on. And that quest for serious power should drive his invasion. With a definitive reason for his actions, and his past feud with Reed Richards reignited, Doctor Doom would have a personal and professional reason to take out the team in his way of gaining more power.
Considering that a future Fantastic Four film will eventually happen, it could definitely benefit from skipping the origin,revamping Doctor Doom, and placing more focus on action. But as simple as that sounds, Fox has failed three times with the property. Hopefully, the massive loss from Fan4stic will persuade them to actually take the property seriously. We’re currently in an era of comics dominating both the box office and television. So if Fox wants to capitalize on currently having the rights to the Fantastic Four, especially with the bad stigma already surrounding the name, they must embrace change and actually invest the time and money in to it. Either that, or give up the rights to Marvel. Because it’s time for the Fantastic Four to either go big, or go home.