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Fantastic Four, The (Development Hell / July 1st, 2005) [Last Updated: 04/10/04]
Director: Tim Story
Story By: Michael France
Screenwriter: Mark Frost
Producer: Avi Arad

See also:
Tim Story

You may also like:
Spider-Man 2, X-Men 3, Batman Begins

01/13/04 Fantastic Four Casting & Location Scouting
According to Cinescape, actress Christina Milian is one of the ladies being considered for the part of Susan Storm, a.k.a. The Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four. Milian is starring in Be Cool, was seen earlier this year in Torque and in last year's Love Don't Cost a Thing.

Latino Review, who's source informed them that Michael Chiklis was in considerations to play The Thing and that Tim Robbins is up for the role for Dr. Doom, reports that Paul Walker is in consideration for Johnny Strom.

Superhero Hype reports that during an interview during the heavyweight boxing match Klitschko vs. Brewster in Las Vegas Ralf Moeller, played the German warrior besides Russel Crowe in Gladiator, confirmed that he's preparing for the Fantastic Four shooting. He did not say which role.

Superhero Hype also caught a producer of The Punisher on TQS, a French TV channel, Monday saying that Fantastic Four will be shooting this summer in Montreal at the Mel's Cite du Cinema studios. Arad and director Tim Story have also been reported scouting locations in Vancouver.

01/10/04 Fantastic Four Finds Director... Tim Story
Apparently cookin` on the thread boards for a few weeks, Latino Review reports 20th Century Fox are going with "Barbershop" & "Taxi" director Tim Story to helm the superhero movie based on the comic "The Fantastic Four". Latino Review disputes the intent of the film being a comedy, and talks about Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis being discussed for the role of Ben Grimm and Oscar-winner Tim Robbins in the running for the armored role of Victor von Doom.

Variety talked with Tim Story and Avi Arad. "What attracted me was that they are a family," said Story, reached while scouting locations in Vancouver. "They might want to wring each others necks. They might storm out and disappear for three days, but you also know they'll be back. They don't always get along." "Many times, you need a star to define the movie," Arad said. "That's not the case here. We can focus on getting the actors that are totally right for the roles."

Additionally, UGO's Screenwriter's Voice has an interview with Michael France, who discusses his draft of "FF" as well as working on "Punisher" and "Hulk." "The Fantastic Four is completely different. It's a sunny, bright, four-color adventure with characters who are mostly very funny, as they fight and squabble the way real families do. Again, even though the science and events are pretty far out there, I tried to treat them as real people. I kept the family dynamic from the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comics, which are very funny and wildly imaginative, down the to smallest detail -- but I tried to keep the characters' problems resulting from their changes as accessible as possible. Ben Grimm is the best character -- he's the funniest one because he enjoys being a monster and scaring the hell out of people. That's his public face -- but when he's alone or in private, he's the most dramatically interesting character. He's miserable because he'll never be human again. I had a great time working with both sides of that character. It's very easy to get too silly with this stuff -- it's kind of a delicate balance -- and I hope they keep that balance when the movie is finally made."

[an error occurred while processing this directive]071202153857 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Fantastic Four Conceptual Designs [an error occurred while processing this directive]Bill Boes released some production sketches of work he did for the Fantastic Four movie. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]061302144443 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Fantastic Four Starting in March? [an error occurred while processing this directive]Superhero Hype! posted about a new interview with Marvel Studios' Avi Arad:

[T]here was an interview of Avi Arad (Head of Marvel Studios) in the national daily news "Le Monde" (kinda like the US "Herald Tribune") talking about Spiderman, why the movie was popular, marvel, and the upcoming movies, and Avi Arad says (I quote) "...filming for the Fantastic Four should start march 2003. In 2003, there will be five movies adapted from Marvel heroes.
Since Batman & Robin, DC Comics hasn't been able to get a single film off the ground. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]061102061102 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Arad Thinks Clooney is Mr. 'Fantastic' [an error occurred while processing this directive]Head of Marvel Studios, Avi Arad spoke which Variety about The Fantastic Four, as well as a possible lead actor.

"Clooney could be the dream casting as Mr. Fantastic," said Arad. A bankable star like Clooney may go a long way in getting the Fox Studio behind the film financially.

Arad also made comments that might suggest the tone of the upcoming film. Regarding the film's scope, Arad said "It's probably going to be one of the biggest action movies ever. It's going to be funny as hell, but also sad as hell." Currently, development is being proceeding with Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) writing, and Peyton Reed (Bring it On) directing. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]041502161207 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels [an error occurred while processing this directive]This from

Today's Hollywood Reporter reveals that "Stan Lee's Mutants, Monsters & Marvels," a DVD/VHS package produced by Creative Light Entertainment, has been acquired by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment just in time for release as a companion piece to the studio's upcoming "Spider-Man" theatrical release.

"Mutants" presents an intimate conversation between comic book great and Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and comic fan/cult fave director Kevin Smith ("Clerks"). During the course of a nearly two-hour interview, Lee answers Smith's questions about the creation of Spider-Man, the history of Marvel Comics and the experiences that helped Lee create his legion of iconic comic book characters, ranging from the Incredible Hulk to the X-Men.

The video will be released May 14, just 11 days after Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man" hits theaters. The price of the DVD will be $24.95 and the VHS will be $19.95.

"There were a couple of obvious reasons for us to get involved in distributing this video," Columbia vp DVD programming and content Michael Stratford said. "This project is primarily about Spider-Man and Marvel Comics, which presents natural promotional opportunities with our 'Spider-Man' movie, especially since Stan and Kevin are excited to do press and publicity for this. But we also feel that this is a good opportunity to try something different -- it is a very different kind of program than anything we have released before. There is a lot of content there not just for die-hard fans but even for people who may be more interested in the movie than the comics."

The company behind the idea for "Mutants" is Creative Light Entertainment, an independent production and distribution company best known for such DVD/video productions as "The Sid Caesar Collection" and "Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime."

"Stan and I are very excited to close this deal with Columbia TriStar and be able to use their distribution machine to get this unique product out to the public," Creative Light CEO Scott Zakarin said. "From the project's inception, we've always felt as if that is where it belonged."

A large portion of the "Mutants" DVD centers on Spider-Man, but it is not the only aspect of Lee's career covered. In the segment "Here Come the Heroes," Lee traces his personal history and the stories behind some of his most noteworthy creations, including the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil and Silver Surfer -- characters also heading to the big screen. The DVD features cast and crew bios, a behind-the-scenes featurette, an exclusive interview with Lee's wife, rare home movies from Lee's personal archive and a poem written and read by Lee.

"Comics are definitely getting more respect now and that is mostly because of the movies," Lee said. "Hollywood has started to realize that what you have to do is make all of the characters relevant and believable. The characters in these superhero movies, when you strip away the superpowers, they have to be characters you feel could really exist. I think people have started to realize that they may be comic characters, but you can't treat them in a silly way."

For Smith, the opportunity to discuss comics and movies with a living legend like Lee proved too good to pass up.

"I had done an interview with Stan a couple of years ago for Rolling Stone, and it was fantastic, but most of it did not make it into the story because of limited space," Smith said. "It was great to be able to do it again, learn new things and have it all be made available for people to see."

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]032402223351 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Fantastic Four Update [an error occurred while processing this directive]Starlog magazine reports Dr. Doom will still be the villain in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie at 20th Century Fox. Apparently Dr. Doom is still part of Doug Petrie's ("Buffy: The Vampire Slayer") new script for director Peyton Reed. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]021002163128 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Spider-Man & Superheros [an error occurred while processing this directive]Hollywood Reporter published an article about new actors needed for the action-arena.
Look no further than the casting of Tobey Maguire as "Spider-Man" for proof of just how much the action hero paradigm has changed. His role as the web-slinging crime fighter is a far cry from his earlier work in such character-driven dramas as "The Cider House Rules" and "Wonder Boys," but it is that dramatic background that convinced Sony to offer him the role.

"Tobey was the perfect Peter Parker because he's such a fine actor," Columbia Pictures president of production Peter Schlessel said. "He was able to play the nerdy-looking high school kid before the spider bite just as well as he was able to play Peter after the bite."

Heroes who are larger than life, whose powers seem over the top, no longer seem to be in vogue.

"Movies like 'Iron Fist' are not about a dominant super-powerful hero but rather about a guy people can relate to with special skills," said Patrick Gunn, executive vp at Artisan. "Action movies have become as much about watching someone become a hero as they are about what happens once they are a hero."

That transformation of a "regular" person becoming a hero is one that studio execs believe might especially resonate now in the wake of recent events.

"It's a new world now," said Emmerich, referring to the evolution of th e image of heroes. "On Sept. 11, we saw thousands of civilians go to work one morning and suddenly be caught in the center of a war."

These changes in the concept of heroism have led some industry veterans to believe that the traditional Stallone/Schwarzenegger-type action film might fade out of the Hollywood landscape much the same way that Westerns have.

"We might see someone emerge as the next action hero, but it's also possible that we will not see those same kind of characters any more," Gunn said. "Those guys had their time, but now it's a different time."

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]020502215001 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Buffy Takes On the Fantastic 4 [an error occurred while processing this directive]The BBCi's Buffy website reports that Buffy staff writer Doug Petrie has been hired to write the latest draft of the Fantastic Four movie. According to the interactive Beeb, Petrie found his new job through the show's composer, Christophe Beck. Beck is friends with the movie's director, Peyton Reed. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

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