Many films are total disasters behind the scenes, but few of them have been as public as that of Fantastic Four. This is a production that began with rumors of its director getting fired. This is a production that was still enduring reshoots as of last month. This is a production whose press tour saw its stars getting defensive in advance of the reviews because they knew that the critical reaction would be negative. And it turns that everyone disappointed that Fantastic Four stinks have a noteworthy ally in director Josh Trank himself.

In an astonishing example of biting the hand that feeds you, the Chronicle director took to Twitter last night, wrote a tweet disparaging his new movie, and then quickly deleted it. However, this is the internet and everything is forever on the internet:


Critics and audiences alike have noted that Fantastic Four feels chopped to the bone and that it seemingly becomes a completely different movie on a scene-by-scene basis. Those are the last-minute rewrites and reshoots talking, neither of which seem to have been the choice of Trank. The film currently in theaters is not the film he set out to make and he’s angry enough about it to burn this particular bridge to the ground.

Trank’s Chronicle writer Max Landis had this to say on what Trank went through on Fantastic Four:

As a writer, I’ve been lucky to work on many, many projects, and seen how different and how hard each road can be, for five and a half years. Josh didn’t get that chance, and his second major project, after one with total freedom, was one with intense oversight. So I don’t think anyone’s wrong or right, necessarily.

It’s easy to empathize with Trank, the young filmmaker who was handed a major franchise and found himself facing opposition at every turn. Still, this is only one half of the story. For all we know, the studio salvaged an even worse film. If you want to dip a toe in the grimy pool of rumor-mongering, many of the on-set problems with Fantastic Four have been attributed directly to Trank.

It’s safe to say that no one is happy. Fox wanted a movie that would reinvigorate their superhero brand, giving everyone a reason to get excited about these new heroes crossover with the X-Men. Trank wanted to make a movie that the studio obviously didn’t want to see, and he lost the chance to make a Star Wars movie in the chaos. No one is emerging from this looking or feeling great.

Trank is an undeniably talented guy — he’ll work again — but this experience has seemingly cut him deep. Fox will keep on making comic book movies – although the box office will decide the fate of the new Fantastic Four at this point. It’s only appropriate that one of the most notoriously troubled productions of recent years reached its grand finale on opening day.

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