It appears that the long-discussed Fantastic Four reboot project is still on deck over at Twentieth Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Seth Grahame-Smith has been brought on board for what is being referred to as some "polish screenwriting." (And that's "polish," the verb, rather than a setup for a potential ethnic joke.)
There was plenty of movement on this project last summer when Josh Trank of Chronicle was brought on board to occupy the director's chair. However, half a year later, we find that very little has progressed with the project, which has been in the works since early 2009 in the more immediate aftermath of the last Fantastic Four film franchise which starred, among others, Jessica Alba and future Captain America, Chris Evans. -- That was, until the recent news that Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class director, Matthew Vaughn was brought on board the film as producer.
Now, it seems that the inertia may have been attributed to issues with the script which was picked up from a relatively unknown commodity in scribe, Jeremy Slater. As a result, the novelist/satirist/screenwriter, Grahame-Smith of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows fame has been brought in to perform a bit of literary feng shui to the existing script by Slater. It does now appear that the studio is providing experienced guidance for the new creative team.
What could this mean for the live action revival of Marvel Comics' radiation-riddled warriors of right?
It's difficult to say what impact Grahame-Smith's contributions will have on the storyline, but it has been widely-believed that Fox's aim with this project (throughout its various creative personnel changes,) was to learn from the mistakes of the more Hollywood-conventional previous franchise. What seems to be on order is a film that more effectively captures the spirit of the comic book source, and, perhaps, comic book fandom in general. According to the report, the reboot film will be doing just that:
"Sources say that the new reboot is taking a grounded superhero and sci-fi approach to the heroes and will tap deep into the comics mythology, which featured not just the better-known villains such as Doctor Doom and Galactus but also alien races the Kree and the Skrull, and the anti-matter universe known as the Negative Zone."
It's a goal that Fox has successfully accomplished (albeit sporadically,) in the past with another Marvel Comics property in the X-Men films. With Fantastic Four, however, it may be a tougher sell to mainstream audiences and it will need to rely on some extremely sharp character dynamics to complement what will surely be some eye-popping visuals.
Fantastic Four has penciled-in a rescheduling for clobbering time at theaters on March 6, 2015.