We've seen absolutely nothing from Fox's new Fantastic Four. Not even a shot of the four leads together pre-Fantastic Foursening. It's been a complete blackout on official imagery and video, and it's made me wonder what the heck is up. It was strange when Fox skipped Comic-Con - not even a mention of the movie was made - and every week where we haven't gotten a single official image has only been stranger.
Of course all of this was waaay stranger when the movie was still being released in June. Fox quietly moved the picture to August recently, so we're not as close to release as we once were. But even still - most major blockbusters share something with fans in advance. Especiially movies like this, which are the start of a new franchise and are battling against confused public perception.
You always get those people who are happy when nothing is released in advance, because I guess these people can't control themselves and simply skip the trailers and images and shit. They're like alcoholics who demand prohibition because they don't want booze to exist at all anymore. There has been some speculation that the witholding is all part of a larger Mystery Box technique, building interest in the film. Maybe the radio silence is on purpose.
Turns out that's not the case. Simon Kinberg, who is the godfather of Fox's comic book properties, talked to Comic Book.com and explained the delay in any kind of promotion whatsoever:
“We’re putting it together now, and one of the important things, because this Fantastic Four is a reboot, and is such a different tonality and vibe from those other films, we want to make sure that the first thing we put out really expresses the voice of the movie, and isn’t compromised by not having visual effects ready, or anything like that."
“I don’t actually know when it’s coming out, but I’ve seen all the footage from the movie. I was there for pretty much the whole shoot. It is a very different film from the others, and one that I think is very different from other superhero movies. It’s a very emotional, character-driven, more grounded film than I think people are anticipating.”
On the one hand you understand that with a CGI character in the film they want to wait until the CG is ready to show that character. At the same time you have to think they realized this before shooting, so why weren't they getting some sort of Ben Grimm publicity still ready in advance? This isn't a new problem when it comes to marketing blocksbusters.
Even still, it doesn't answer the basic question of why we've seen NOTHING AT ALL. You can have the team assembled as a group pre-powers if this movie is so grounded and about character. You can have a shot of Miles Teller in his Fantastic Four containment suit .You could have Doctor Doom's glove. I don't know, you could have like anything at all.
I'm hopeful for this movie - I really trust Josh Trank - but everything makes me think this is a film Fox is stymied by on some level. And that could actually be the best news yet, as it could mean Fantastic Four is so unique that Fox can't figure it out. Remember, the studio wasn't sure what kind of movie they had on their hands with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and that turned out pretty damn well.