Two days after Fantastic Four director Josh Trank distanced himself from his own movie by suggesting that the finished product was not his vision (a notion that seems to be borne out in the schizophrenic third act), the other side is now speaking out.
According to “high level sources close to Fantastic Four,” the problems between the studio and Trank were not creative, but about the “combative behavior Trank demonstrated toward the crew, producers, studio and even the stars.”
It’s partly linked to Trank’s personal disputes - involving accusations of deliberate damage done to the house he was renting - which sources say eventually manifested on set as hostility and frustration from Trank.
This seems to confirm message board rumblings out of Louisiana after the film wrapped last year, including these gems from a LSU online forum (via Uproxx):
After the crap Trank pulled in Baton Rouge, i doubt he ever directs a studio picture again. He will certainly never work for Fox. At this point that F4 reboot might never get released.
A buddy of mine was on the crew. Trank showed up to set late or so high he couldn’t speak almost everyday. Some days he didn’t show up at all. He treated crew terribly. He trashed the house the production company rented for him. From what I’m told he did a couple hundred grand worth of damage.
Trank did so much damage to the house that [Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman and CEO] Jim Gianopulos came to Baton Rouge and personally apologized to the owners. Trust me, Trank’s career is done. There will be no major study sequels or spin offs for him. He’ll be lucky to get the sequel to a Stabbing at Leia’s 21st Birthday.
Another forum message also suggested that Trank was fired after the film wrapped, and not allowed to do any of the post-production work on it.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Max Landis — who wrote the screenplay for Chronicle, which was directed by Trank — came out in defense of Trank. Sort of.
“Being honest in this business is incredibly hard. There’s a lot of illusion, there’s a lot of politics. There’s also a lot of frustration … Chronicle was an incredibly rare and easy ride … I also loved collaborating with Josh, who I think is brilliant, and whose ideas inspired my script. I fought hard for him to direct. But Chronicle was a complete fluke. We had so much control because the movie was, in relation to other movies that year, TINY. … But I didn’t know that and I’m sure Josh didn’t know that either. In the five years since I sold Chronicle, I’ve learned the hard way. Josh didn’t get that chance, and his second major project, after one with total freedom, was one with intense oversight. … But I do think it’s important to say that if you’re not prepared going in to not FIGHT like hell, but WORK like hell, it’s gonna get ugly.”
Whatever the cause of the rift, and whatever the reason for the film that ended up on screen, one thing is for certain: It looks like — among moviegoers — Fantastic Four is the worst superhero movie of all time.