There were a lot of questions about the Fantastic Four movie, both before and after it hit theaters August 7. And now screenwriter/executive producer Simon Kinberg is beginning to speak about the negative reports from the set, reaction from fans, and the film itself in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"I was there every day on set of Fantastic Four, as I am on anything that I'm the writer and the producer of. Some movies work out and some don't," said Kinberg, who's also working on the X-Men and Star Wars movies. "In my experience, there's not a direct correlation between the process and the product, meaning, I've been on some really hard movies, like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where we shot a lot of reshoots that were very difficult days, as extensively reported — and in some places, accurately reported. So, I read stories about troubled movies and then I go see the movies and I'm like, 'Wow, that movie turned out to be a great movie.'"
"There's a lot of crazy-talented writers, directors, actors who are difficult, and their films turn out great," Kinberg continued. "And then there's some people who are lovely, wonderful human beings and the process is a joy, and the movie is flat. I don't subscribe to the idea that a happy process makes a happy product or an unhappy process makes a broken product."
While the writer/producer said he hasn't fully figured out what went wrong with Fantastic Four, he did admit it was a "hard movie to make" and when problems occur, it's difficult to rebound.
"I haven't really done a full diagnosis. It was a hard movie to make, but I've made a lot of hard movies," said Kinberg, who's currently working on X-Men: Apocalypse. "I do think that there is a great Fantastic Four movie with that cast. But there's so many different elements that need to come together perfectly. It's like a collaboration between all these strangers. And if there's a few things that don't go right, it's hard to recover from. I went straight from that into X-Men: Apocalypse. I haven't had a lot of time to decompress. I'm obviously disappointed with the way it turned out."
On the eve of the movie's release, director Josh Trank's public tweeted out a dismissal of the movie due to studio interference. Kinberg said he doesn't know how much that affected the box office receipts.
"Honestly, I have no idea. I've had other movies not work before," the writer/producer admitted. "For whatever reason, that movie not working became very public — and that was hard because you put a lot of time and effort and love into everything you do, and I really love a lot of people on that film and felt really close to the actors. Those are the guys whose faces are on the poster and are the most exposed. I hope we get to make more movies with them. But it was disappointing."
When asked if he would ever work with Trank again, Kinberg said it wasn't entirely out of the question.
"In the right context? Sure."
Given the recent deal between Sony and Marvel for a Spider-Man reboot after the disappointing box office of Amazing Spider-Man 2, THR asked Kinberg if there'd been any talks for 20th Century Fox to make the same kind of deal with Fantastic Four. Kinberg said that there'd been no talks that he was aware of.