Josh Trank And Simon Kinberg Talk Fantastic Four Trailer

The director and writer/producer add FFuel to the FFire

From the off, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four has been a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. And today’s enigmatic, elliptical teaser trailer continues that tradition, establishing the tone of Trank’s world, but giving very little away in terms of the larger plot. When Empire spoke to Trank and his writer/producer Simon Kinberg ahead of the teaser’s debut, they told us that’s exactly how they want it.

“We live in a time where there’s a required instant gratification from audiences,” says Trank, talking exclusively to Empire. “That’s a fun challenge in terms of putting together this teaser, picking and choosing how much you’re actually giving away.”

Kinberg nods in agreement. “What we’re doing is quite different, and we want people to get a sense of it. There is a mystery, and the slow immersion into that is part of the experience of what will ultimately be the movie. We wanted it to feel different and represent what’s unique about the film. It has a little more restraint, maybe, than some other trailers these days.”

Neither man would be drawn on rumours that the rebooted and resuited Fantastic Four won’t don costumes during this first film (a sequel is already being prepped for 2017), nor that we won’t hear the teams’s lurid codenames – Mr Fantastic! The Invisible Woman! The Human Torch! The Thing! – this time around, either. “We want some of that to be a surprise,” says Kinberg. “It is in many ways an origin story, but it’s also about how they react to this transformation, and the ways the world does or doesn’t react to them, which is different, I would say, than all other superhero films.”

In the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby iteration of the FF, the team gains their powers by travelling into space, where they’re bombarded with DNA-altering cosmic rays. But Trank’s film draws more heavily on the Ultimate Fantastic Four, which abandoned space flight in favour of inter-dimensional travel. It seems fairly clear from shots in the teaser that this is a journey that Reed Richards and his pals also make. “Well, I can say this – our characters go to another dimension,” confirms Kinberg. “It was something we discussed from our earliest conversations.”

This change in emphasis appears to tally with Trank’s determination to root the film, and its science, in a grounded world, and to present the travails of the FF as if they were really happening, to real people. “You can’t have the word ‘fantasy’ or ‘fantastical’ without a contrast,” explains Trank. “It has to stem from a grounded experience. You can’t have bad without good, you can’t have right without wrong, you can’t have fantastic without mundane. You need to experience all that to really earn the title of the film, ‘Fantastic Four’.”

With the film’s August release just six months away, there had been speculation that the lack of imagery from the movie was indicative of a troubled production, and a movie with an unclear direction. And while Kinberg and Trank spoke to Empire during a lunch break on additional shooting for the movie (par for the course on movies like this – Avengers: Age Of Ultron is also going back in front of the cameras around this time), they say that the delay has as much to do with Trank’s desire for secrecy as anything else.

Oh, and there is one other, fairly major reason. “We wanted the visual effects to be as complete as possible,” says Kinberg. “We know this movie is going to have a little more scrutiny than most, and we wanted to make sure the visuals represented what Josh really pictured for the film. Creating a fully CGI Thing is no easy task!”

Fantastic Four is out on August 6