Fantastic Four’s New Origin and Attempts to be Different

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Non-Disney Marvel movies have been going through the dance of the reboot lately. Not wanting the rights to return to Marvel, they have been attempting to restart entire franchises. The classic case of this is Spiderman, although the Fantastic Four is about to do the same.

This inevitably leads to the movies drastically altering parts of the story in order to be notably different from the previous movies. For example, the use of Gwen Stacy as Spiderman’s love interest, or the scene where Uncle Ben attempts to not say the words, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

True to form, we have new news on The Fantastic Four and one of the attempts to make the movie different from the first attempt by Fox.

In the 60’s, when the Fantastic Four first debuted, they were “created” by exposure to a electromagnetic cloud in space, which altered their DNA. The 2005 movie followed this same formula. New intel has surfaced, however, that the origin may be changed to another version of their origins.

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In 2001, Marvel rebooted their Universe with a new comic line, the Ultimates. Giving new origin stories to everyone, they tried to give everyone a new attempt to jump in. It worked pretty well, with varying degrees of success throughout the long run. The Ultimates are where most of the movies derive from, actually. The idea that Tony was captured by Middle-easterners instead of Viet Cong, Nick Fury being black, SHEILD aiding in the formation of the Avengers, etc. One of those changes was to the Fantastic Four origin. It’s this approach that is being adopted by the movie, if this intel proves true.

Supposedly, the would-be-fantastic four are in a science experiment gone wrong. It opens a portal to another dimension, thereby granting powers and altering DNA.

Personally, I am a fan of this new origin story for the film. I think it’s a good way of being different while still remaining true to some comic lore.

I understand that it is difficult to make notable differences with the movie while still remaining true to the nature of the comic books. I also understand the necessity of those differences. As for me, I also have a couple different routes the movie could take in order to be explicitly different from what we’ve seen on screen.

Debut Latveria

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In the comics, Doctor Doom was the supreme ruler of the fictional nation of Latveria. It was mentioned only briefly in the first Fantastic Four movie. Most of the time, when Doctor Doom is featured, it is as the ruler of Latveria. This is a characteristic that no other movie really shares, and it could be explored more fully in a movie.

Explore the Stars

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The Fantastic Four are not really superheroes. If the definition of Superhero is someone with powers, they qualify, but if it’s someone who fights crime, they don’t. They’re more seen as explorers than crime-fighters. They have explored the far reaches of space in the name of science, even going to hell and back… literally. This could be an interesting way of providing a different take on the characters than most viewers are used to.

Connect to the X-men

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Fox owns both X-men and the FF. The opportunity for a reboot is also the opportunity to introduce the team into the larger, more familiar universe of the X-men. Most studios seem to be attempting to replicate the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Introducing the FF to the X-verse could be a way to establish that connection and enlarge the Fox Cinematic Universe.

Also, there is comic precident. The FF have been some of the most integrated characters in Marvel, showing up in numerous different story arcs.

These are three different ways I can think of to have a notable distinction between the first attempt at Fantastic Four movies and these, without sacrificing comic accuracy. I am a fan of the new origin story, if it turns out to be true. As usual, only time will tell.

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One response to “Fantastic Four’s New Origin and Attempts to be Different

  1. I also don’t think that they have to change much of the story, but they should change the tone. This is why the new Spider-man franchise mostly works for me (in: I really liked the first movie, but the second one was a hot mess), it feels like someone sat down and considered: Which kind of guy would feel comfortable swinging through town? Hey, let’s give him a skateboard. And lets spend some time on him actually exploring his newfound abilities. What else were the previous movies lacking? Oh, yes, the love interest was bland. So let’s ensure that the two main leads have meaningful dialogue which sounds like a teenager romance and not like something from a bad pulp fiction novel. And since we are on it, how about casting actors based on their abilities, and not based on how close they look to their comic book counterparts?

    The last fantastic four origin movie was just a mess. Not sure how much was based on the comic, but the whole love triangle and “oh, we all hate out abilities” nonsense really put a drag on it (I get it for the thing, but all the others should be excited to have something new to explore). But to be honest…I don’t have high hopes for it. Like I said before, I had hoped for a middle-aged casting and they went again for too young actors. In general I get the impression that the people responsible for it are all “different must be better”, but that’s an approach which rarely works out.

    To be honest, I wish that they would skip most of the lead up and start out with them in Space and the actual change. The faster they get that one out of the way, the better.

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