For a while now, it seemed like that long-awaited Fantastic Four reboot was really starting to gain steam, especially with Chronicle director Josh Trank getting behind the camera. But now the production may have hit a roadblock that even the Thing himself might not be able to dislodge.
The success of last February's found-footage superhero film, Chronicle, automatically put its director, young first-timer Josh Trank, at the top of the list for a number of different projects. One of those, a reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise, made immediate sense because a) it was at Fox, the same studio as Chronicle, and b) Trank showed with that film that he could pull off both human drama and true spectacle, neither of which was present in the two Fantastic Four films we've gotten so far this century.
The problem is this, according to Latino Review: Trank's name started getting thrown around by other studios for their projects too, with Sony hinting that he could direct a Venom film or Shadow of the Colossus for them, Warner Bros. linking him to The Red Star, and even Fox hoping to also lock him down for a Chronicle sequel.
Well, most of those projects are in various stages of limbo except for one: The Red Star. Warner Bros. would like to get that movie—based on a graphic novel in which the USSR is still alive and well thanks to magic and high-tech warfare—out by 2014. Trank is officially signed to direct, and there is a script in hand from writer Jason Rothenberg.
What this all means is that The Red Star has to go into production in 2013—which is also when Fox reportedly needs to start making a new Fantastic Four movie. Otherwise the rights could revert back to Marvel if said flick isn't also in theaters by 2014.
If the timing does not work out and Trank's obligations to The Red Star force him to drop off the Fantastic Four reboot, then that project will almost surely be delayed again unless Fox can find a replacement director faster than Sue Richards can make herself disappear.
Now, of course, if Fantastic Four is delayed too long and Fox loses the rights, then Marvel gets the franchise back under its own roof—and things could get very interesting over there. But we have a feeling Fox will sign the janitor to direct if it has to, if only to avoid that scenario.
This could make a comic book saga all on its own ...