Jul 12, 2012

Fox Takes A Director, Leaves A Director: Fantastic Four and Daredevil News

In light of the phenomenal success of The Avengers, it's hardly a surprise that studios like Fox and Sony are hard at work to get their various Marvel properties up to snuff.  For those who are unaware, Marvel licensed out a handful of characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men to other studios years ago, before they gathered the capital to start their own independent production house.  The catch is that these studios must continue to develop their franchises or else the rights revert back to Marvel.  (That's primarily why we just got a reboot of Spider-Man that was half-cooked at best.)

Thusly, the floors of Comic Con will surely be abuzz today with the news that Fox has officially hired Chronicle director Josh Trank to take the reins on their Fantastic Four reboot.  Trank's name was bandied about almost immediately after his first feature turned out to be a surprise box office hit and I think he's actually a great choice.  Trank not only has a smart visual style, but he has a great understanding of how to build a film around strong characters, not just flashy effects and big set pieces.  Fantastic Four is considered by most to be comic book royalty and neither of the previous films ever really did the characters justice.  Most attribute that to serious missteps in casting, (other than Chris Evans, who has moved on to greater success as Captain America) so I'll be very curious to see who Trank can lure to the table this time around.

Meanwhile, Fox has lost a director for their Daredevil reboot in the form of Twilgiht: Eclipse helmer David Slade.  I wouldn't go so far as to say Daredevil fans have dodged a bullet, but I'm sure nobody is all that broken up about Slade's departure.  He's a perfectly adequate director, but he's not exactly a name that generates a whole lot of excitement.  No word yet on who might replace Slade, but I expect Fox to name a successor fairly soon.  They've got a script in place based on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's Born Again run (which means we'll be seeing the Kingpin once again) and a fall start date that's looming ever closer.  The interesting element is that they're actually running up against the aforementioned rights deadline with Marvel, so Fox literally can't afford to delay production any further.

While studios are obviously intent on maintaining control of their various Marvel properties, they also have to be looking at The Avengers $1.5 billion worldwide haul and trying to figure out a way to get a piece of that action without giving up sovereignty over their franchises.  At some point soon, I think we're going to see either Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man or perhaps Hugh Jackman's Wolverine make an Avengers cameo.  Otherwise they're basically leaving money on the table.

EDIT: That Deadline article also mentions that Attack The Block director Joe Cornish is attached to direct Rust as his next project.  It's based on a graphic novel about a farm boy who stumbles upon a kid with a jetpack fighting a giant robot in his fields.  If that doesn't sound AMAZING to you, go put Attack The Block at your Netflix queue IMMEDIATELY and then talk to me...

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