New details are emerging/leaking about Josh Trank and the production on Fantastic Four, pointing to what went wrong. It seems that much of the blame still rests on not only Josh Trank’s shoulders, but on the studio for not doing something about Trank earlier on in the process when it was clear that he wouldn’t be able to pull the movie together. Fox, however, didn’t want to be perceived as a studio that micro-managed its director, and they ultimately let the situation get away from them.
Here are the highlights from the piece from The Hollywood Reporter:
— Despite sending, and then deleting, a tweet suggesting that he’d made a “fantastic version” that we’d probably never see, Trank sent an email to the cast and crew only days before the release of the film saying the finished movie we saw in theaters was “”better than 99 percent of the comic-book movies ever made.”
One unnamed castmember said, “I don’t think so.”
— Who was that castmember? Was it notoriously dick-ish Miles Teller? Or could it have been Kate Mara, who was badly “mistreated” by Trank, according to several reports?
— It honestly could’ve been any of the castmembers because, according to the THR piece, Trank frequently berated them. “During takes, he would be telling [castmembers] when to blink and when to breathe,” one person says. “He kept pushing them to make the performance as flat as possible.”
That would explain Kate Mara’s performance. To her credit, but to the film’s detriment, she apparently got Trank’s memo.
— As previously reported, Trank’s dogs caused over $100,000 of damage but after the landlord “moved to evict Trank, photographs of the landlord’s family that were in the house were defaced.”
Not cool, dude.
— Trank apparently didn’t produce anything that was suitable for the film, and he was “withdrawn” on set. “He built a black tent around his monitor,” says a crewmember. Between setups, “he would go to his trailer and he wouldn’t interact with anybody.”
— Drew Goddard and a “dream team” were pulled together in the end in an attempt to salvage the film, using body doubles (because several castmembers weren’t available) and shooting Miles Teller on green screen.
— The article also notes that the studio share in the blame, as well, mostly for not stepping in or firing Trank earlier, as it appeared he was in over his head from the very beginning.
In either respect, Trank has hired an attorney in an attempt to advocate on his behalf, but the damage is probably already done — mostly by Trank himself — and it may be a very long time before the once promising director can resurrect his career.