All’s been relatively quiet on the Fantastic Four front lately, with precious little news surrounding the impending reboot of the 20th Century Fox film franchise featuring Marvel’s superhero family. This week saw one significant update, however, in the form of an official plot synopsis for the film.
According to the studio, the upcoming film directed by Chronicle filmmaker Josh Trank is described as follows:
The Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
While it certainly holds true to the sort of adventures the characters are known for in Marvel’s comic book universe, it’s interesting to note that the synopsis doesn’t mention the word “family” anywhere in the description of the film.
Ever since their debut in November 1961’s The Fantastic Four #1 (written by Stan Lee and illustrated by the great Jack Kirby), the team of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm have always been presented as a close-knit, but occasionally dysfunctional family of super-powered individuals who must overcome the same issues that plague real-world families in order to save the day. Widely regarded as “the first family of superheroes,” the Fantastic Four members’ relationship to each other has often been the element that sets them apart from other superhero teams, and has played a significant role in many of the team’s most memorable comic-book arcs.
The upcoming Fantastic Four reboot has been surrounded by speculation (and skepticism) regarding its departure from the source material for quite a while now, so this first synopsis may offer yet another indication of which comic book elements have been prioritized for the film.
While it’s expected that Sue (Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) will retain their sibling relationship — albeit adoptive siblings in the reboot — it’s uncertain how much the family bond between them, Reed Richards (Sue’s husband in the comics), and Ben Grimm (Reed’s childhood friend who’s essentially a big brother to Reed) will play into the film. And it’s downright surprising that such a strong thematic element from the comics isn’t addressed at all in the reboot’s plot synopsis.
Scheduled to hit theaters August 7, 2015, The Fantastic Four stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, and Tim Blake Nelson.