When I think of the Fantastic 4, I think of a family first and foremost. I also think of 4 strong willed individuals who can still operate independently yet fight and think as one unit. They have a lot of great stories and moments to take advantage of if they were to be done right on screen. Thus far we’ve had 3 movies (4 if you count the old one from the 90’s) but as of now NONE of them have captured the feel of what the Fantastic 4 should feel like. I have some ideas that would maybe help if Marvel were to explore using them in the MCU.
The first thing I always thought was whoever is cast needs to gel as a family. The dynamic, the chemistry between them must be undeniable. They must sell the fact that they are a family to audiences not just a group of people per se. I’ve felt that group dynamics are one of the most important things for a Fantastic 4 production and it just hasn’t felt right with these movies. Maybe some aspects might have worked depending on your perspective but to me if anything is weak the entire dynamic is weak. I was okay with some of the cast in the last movie which was not good at all. Michael B. Jordan caught a lot of flack along racial lines because he was the sole African American of the 4 which surprised many as he and Sue are siblings. They were still siblings in the movie with her being adopted. The change didn’t bother me much honestly and I considered his performance one of the only bright spots in the film. I also liked Kate Mara over Jessica Alba for the role of Sue Storm. The other cast members I wasn’t too keen on and again I believe the movies themselves suffered.
The next thing that can be done with the Fantastic 4 property is to maybe change the format of what we’re getting. Instead of a movie, why not a series of some kind? A movie COULD work too but I would like a lot of time spent towards them finding new dimensions, universes, maybe other life-forms and whatnot. I want them to be involved in an adventure of some sort as the self-contained worlds of comics are quite vast. There is plenty for them to get into and I feel that spirit of adventure being properly captured would give the viewer a true sense of what the Fantastic 4 are capable of and what they stand for. Personally I just don’t think they work in an action heavy type movie. I want to see more science, exploration as I mentioned earlier, crazy tech, things like that. I think once they know what they’re actually aiming for with the team it wouldn’t be hard to capture the feeling of them working toward whatever the mission is at the time.
Another thing that can be done better are the villains. In the older series Dr Doom, their arch nemesis, was the main villain in the first movie and had a part in the second. At first, I thought that was fine but after thinking on it longer, I think that was a missed chance to really show what Doom can do. If the crew were to be in another movie, I would like another villain starting things off maybe Mole Man or something like that and during or toward the end, we see Doom making moves and concocting yet another scheme to get over them. In a series they can have Doom be the villain for a season. I think an entire season would be needed to see his strength in planning, intelligence, and his cunning. Even his backstory I consider interesting enough to be explored. Then lastly, we could finish up with another swing at Silver Surfer and Galactus. In Rise of the Silver Surfer, they disrespected both characters on levels I can’t even properly explain here. If we show the type of threat Galactus is especially with his heralds as well, that would be quite the spectacle on either the big or the small screen.
I don’t think these recommendations are too crazy at all. With the right cast, chemistry, and vision Marvel could do great things with the Fantastic 4. Considering their prior standing within the Marvel community it’s a shame they haven’t had a proper movie yet showcasing what they can do. I guess it’s not completely Marvel’s fault though they did actually sell the rights leading to these garbage movies we’ve been given. They’re doing quite well right now with the release of Two-In-One and I hope their momentum continues leading to an adaption worthy of our praise.