Of all the superheroes that’ve hit the big screen, four in particular have never seen their cinematic representations be especially fantastic. The Fantastic Four — Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic; Johnny Storm, aka Human Torch; Sue Storm, aka Invisible Woman; and Ben Grimm, aka The Thing — have suffered from attempts too early and too mishandled to do their foundational superhero team justice.
But never fear: It turns out that at least one veteran superhero film helmer has pitched non-origin ideas for the team — and even if they never happen, the ambitious approach should at least hopefully push the next inevitable reboot further out of the box.
This offbeat version of these foundational heroes comes from one of the MCU’s most comedic voices, Ant-Man and the Wasp director Peyton Reed. Reed had worked on developing the first Fantastic Four film back in 2003, but one that would have been very, very different than the one released in 2005. The film would’ve used the Beatles’ romp A Hard Day’s Night as a tonal influence, where his heroes were entirely without secret identities and living in their heyday. In an interview with Collider, Reed opened up further about his version.
"I developed it for about a year and we went through some different permutations and some different writers,” Reed said, “but yes, one of the big ideas was a set-in-the-’60s thing that at the time was structurally gonna be basically like A Hard Day’s Night, where we were not going to even deal with the origin story, it was just going to be like you’re in downtown Manhattan and they’re there. It was a pretty exciting idea.”
A swinging ‘60s version of some all-star superheroes sounds like an incredible storyline to work with. Early on, however, Fox wasn’t seeing this grand vision. In fact, Reed explained, the studio was aiming to make the first family’s debut into “a B movie,” which led to his departing the project. He just couldn’t see that done to the legendary team.
But now, with the Fantastic Four finally coming under Marvel’s cinematic control, will Reed’s grand vision ever see the light of day? "All those years ago, Kevin [Feige] was at Marvel at the time, he was a junior executive under Avi Arad. So Kevin knows of my love and passion for Fantastic Four." With 2019 releases Captain Marvel and Endgame, Marvel is understandably busy at the moment. But the near future a bit down the line certainly has the potential to be fantastic.