The production of the blockbuster “Fantastic 4” was calamitous. A disastrous experience for director Josh Trank, unmanageable during filming and who then went through a bad patch.
Fantastic Four : Back to square one
Eight years after the release of Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer and while superhero films are more and more numerous in cinemas, Fox decides to offer a new start to the team of Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Benjamin Grimm in 2015. The studio entrusts the reins of the project to the promising Josh Trank (Chronicles), which calls on Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell to lead the project.
A feature film that takes the form of a origin story, in which scientists are developing the first machine to teleport to a parallel universe. A creation that will have consequences for the less unexpected, since they all find themselves decked out with different powers. They also see their former associate Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell) return from another planet with a terrifying appearance and devastating power.
After a setup that takes the time to introduce all the characters, even if some presentations are rushed, Fantastic Four switches into a mechanical sequence of expected situations, before opening onto a possible sequel in a disastrous way in the conclusion. A totally unbalanced show due to chaotic production. On August 7, 2015, the day of the film’s release in the United States, Josh Trank declared on Twitter in a message that he quickly deleted:
A year ago, I had a fantastic version of the film. And it would have had great reviews. You will probably never see it. It is however the reality.
Josh Trank completely overwhelmed
Intoxicated by the success of Chronicles, the director embarked on the production of the blockbuster when he was not yet 30 years old. In an article published by the American site polygonthe filmmaker remembers about his state of mind:
There are two emotions when you find yourself on top of something: fear or excitement. There’s not a lot of in-between, there’s so much at stake.
From the writing of the script, Josh Trank saw the pressure badly, for example not taking the trouble to send all the studio notes to his co-screenwriter Jeremy Slater, who ended up leaving the project after six months, after 2000 pages of work according to him. Then comes the shooting, calamitous. Josh Trank misses fight with Miles Teller, in particular because of the “sarcasm” of the latter. As they both challenge each other as to which one will dare to hit the other first, nothing happens.
A source also reports to Entertainment Weekly that the director would be particularly “cruel” with Kate Mara, who later evokes a “horrible” experience. Another source says HollywoodReporter thathe locks himself in his tent and doesn’t want to talk to anyone, failing to communicate his team. While the studio insists on Josh Trank’s lack of experience, he talks about latent tensions with the producers and the impossibility of making the film he wants.
Unmanageable, the director gradually loses his footing, which would have cost him his marriage. He tells :
I was so paranoid during this shoot. If someone had come into my house, I would have ended his fucking life.
“I wanted to die”
The filmmaker even goes so far as keep a loaded gun on his bedside table. The production hires editor Stephen Rivkin to try to limit the breakage. The latter becomes “the de facto director” according to Josh Trank, who sees his feature film completely escape him. A situation amplified by reshootwhich give him the feeling of “being castrated”. In parallel, he abandons a film Star Wars that he was supposed to stage, assuring on this subject:
I quit because I knew I was going to be fired if I didn’t quit.
Josh Trank hits rock bottom after the release of 4 Fantasticwhich the critics massacre and which brings in just $167.8 million in worldwide revenue :
I no longer had a reason to live because I no longer wanted anything. I no longer wanted to be a great filmmaker. That’s all I ever wanted.
At this time, the insomniac and depressive director just wants to “die”. A bad pass that he overcomes by embarking on the writing of Fonzowhich then becomes Capon with Tom Hardy.