Though the films actually did pretty well at the box office, the mid-2000s Fantastic Four films were not exactly what most people would call good. So, what does director Tim Story have to say about it?
Story, who directed both 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, talked with the Directors Guild of America about what he learned during the big-budget blockbuster process.
It’s a fascinating peek into how movies that big get made, and it sounds like Story took a lot of lumps and lessons from his tenure at the helm of Marvel’s First Family. The big one: Keep tight control over every aspect of the film, and make sure you know exactly what everyone is working on at all times. If you don't, it can go off the rails very, very quickly.
Here’s an excerpt:
“With those types of big movies, you’re directing three movies. There’s the movie you’re shooting, there’s the second-unit action stuff, and there’s the visual effects movie. You’ve got to learn how to deal with all of them.
The other thing I learned from those two Fantastic Four movies, is that sometimes you can be too lax on how much control you give to the visual effects team, or the production design team, or whoever. If you end up in situations and you’re not happy with certain things, it’s because you didn’t stay on top of them.
Doing the big movies with the special effects—that’s not 100 percent what I set out to do,” said Story. “I wanted to get back to what I knew was in my heart. I think as a filmmaker, there’s the bigness of Hollywood, but if you come from small, personal pieces, you want to get back to that at some point.”
Story makes some good points, and you can see how something that big can get too big quickly if you don’t keep it under wraps. Do you think that was the problem with Fantastic Four?