Man, it must be nice to be Josh Trank. OK, so you’ve only ever directed two feature films before. Fine, Fantastic Four was such a bust that it caused studio executives to publicly attack you in the media. And yeah, your short tenure as a Star Wars director ended with you walking away from the franchise in favor of more personal projects. For many filmmakers, any of those three things would be enough to cross your name off the financing shortlist for future projects. But Josh Trank just takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.
In Cinemautopsy, we look back at a recent, high-profile failure and ask a simple question: What the hell happened? In this installment... the comic that launched Marvel Comics. A cast of beloved up-and-comers. One of the hottest young directors in Hollywood. A bold attempt to reinvent the superhero genre. What could possibly go wrong?
Steven Spielberg has a long history with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and her husband, producer Frank Marshall. It’s a relationship that dates way back to the formation of Amblin, and continues today as the three friends have helped each other on various projects, including Jurassic World and the upcoming Indiana Jones 5. It was Kennedy who found Colin Trevorrow for the Jurassic Park sequel, having recently worked with another young up-and-coming director on a potential Star Wars anthology project. That director was Josh Trank, and if you mention that name to Spielberg, he’ll do a great Mean Girls impression.
A lot of people were disappointed by last summer’s Fantastic Four. The reboot, directed by Josh Trank, was supposed to relaunch one of the most popular comic-book series in history, and erase the memory of two previous, unpopular Fantastic Four movies in the process. It had a great cast, including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan. It had Trank, coming off his acclaimed superhero film Chronicle. It should have been the start of something huge.