Joshua Trank's Fantastic Four seems to be taking a different path in promotion that other superhero movies of the age, but now the director is opening up about the August 7 film. In the hours surrounding teaser trailer, Trank and screenwriter Simon Kinberg talked with Collider, Empire Online and Yahoo! Movies about their frame of mind for the film and setting it apart from what they see as the commodified superhero action genre.
Along with that, a detailed look at the first FF costume - Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch, alonside Trank. Take a look:
"I would say that the science fiction of it is a big thing that sets it apart from most of the other superhero genre films," Trank says. "I’m a huge David Cronenberg fan, and I always viewed Fantastic Four and the kind of weirdness that happens to these characters and how they’re transformed to really fall in line more with a Cronenberg-ian science fiction tale of something horrible happening to your body and [it] transforming out of control. And the potential for a hard sci-fi take on that material makes me really excited."
The director goes on to say that none of the other superhero movies are tackling this "potential," saying that all of the upcoming superhero movies are insular to the superhero genre.
"Superhero movies have become a genre unto themselves and I didn’t really grow up on superhero movies," added Trank. "I grew up on genre movies before superhero was a genre."
Kinberg, who wrote and produced Fantastic Four as well as many of the recent X-Men movies, says that what makes this film unique is its emphasis on family as opposed to just a team, or a solo star.
"Most comic book superhero movies are about a superhero protagonist or a superhero group. But they’re ever really exploring what it is to be family. And when I first read the comic that’s what was so compelling about it," said Kinberg. "I think the reason it’s endured this long, the powers are great, but the defining thing is the surrogate family. That’s something we really spent a long time talking about and putting into the film. I think that will differentiate us as well from all of the different superheroes and superhero groups out there."
When asked which Fantastic Four comics the two looked to for inspiration for the live-action film, Kinberg points to the early issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four by Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar and Adam Kubert and the original Fantastic Four stoires by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. In fact, one of the scenes in the trailer -- of a young Reed experimenting with a toy car -- is pulled directly from the inaugural Ultimate Fantastic Four arc, where in it he transports it to the N-Zone, the Ultimate universe's equivalent of the Negative Zone.
When asked about the relatively different buzz surrounding Fantastic Four and the recent rumors of re-shoots, Trank and Kinberg said that thier conscious decision to hold back on teaser images, advance publicity and viral campaigns could have caused some of it.
“We live in a time where there’s a required instant gratification from audiences,” Trank tells Empire. “That’s a fun challenge in terms of putting together this teaser, picking and choosing how much you’re actually giving away.”
“What we’re doing is quite different, Kingberg adds," and we want people to get a sense of it. There is a mystery, and the slow immersion into that is part of the experience of what will ultimately be the movie. We wanted it to feel different and represent what’s unique about the film. It has a little more restraint, maybe, than some other trailers these days.”
Fantastic Four is set to debut on August 7, 2015.