20th Century Fox have been planning to reboot the Fantastic Four franchise for a while but the only development of note was the hiring of Michael Green (co-exec producer of Heroes and Green Lantern co-writer) in late 2009 to write the script.
The success of X-Men: First Class showed audiences are happy to accept different takes on well known superhero properties if they are taken seriously and well made. Fox are now hoping to replicate that success with the Fantastic Four reboot, and Chronicle director Josh Trank may be the one to help them do that.
In a major sign of confidence in his upcoming supervillain pic “Chronicle,” helmer Josh Trank has emerged as the frontrunner to direct 20th Century Fox’s reboot of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” franchise.
Trank has had several meetings regarding the project, but with his debut feature still three weeks away, insiders tell Variety that Fox is expected to wait to see how “Chronicle” opens over Super Bowl weekend before extending an official offer. That said, Fox is high on “Chronicle” and would like to keep Trank in business with the studio, which has displayed confidence in the pic, offering exclusive footage during the NFL’s wild-card weekend after the pic’s trailer generated massive traffic online.
Internally, studio execs expect Trank to land the coveted helming gig.
Chronicle, shot in a handheld, documentary style ala Cloverfield, focuses on the lives of three Portland teenagers that become exposed to a mysterious substance in the woods, and, as a result, begin to develop incredible powers (remind you of anything?). They work together to hone their skills for fun, until personal and family problems begin to turn them against one another.
As the movie hasn’t been released yet we can’t tell how good Josh Trank is as a director, but Chronicle is an ambition for a first feature film so we’ll give him that. If Chronicle turns out to be a welcomed addition to the superhero genre it’ll be interesting to see what he can do in a similar setting but with 10x the budget. The original Fantastic Four films were a bit light and fluffy in comparison to other superhero entries, so a new take with the gift of hindsight may be worth a watch.