When Fox launched the first trailer back in the spring, the superhero reboot movie was billed as a 3D affair. But more recent marketing removed any mention of the third dimension. And after getting in touch with Fox for a response, we heard back that the original Fantastic Four 3D post-conversion plans have indeed been cancelled, and the film will only be released in 2D.
The response from Fox came back with a quote from director Josh Trank himself, citing his desire to keep the experience as pure as possible for audiences.
“I want the viewing experience of Fantastic Four to remain as pure as possible for the audience, which means in 2D, just as we shot the movie.”
Unfortunately for Trank and Fox, this is sure to serve as fuel for the rumour mill. The film has been the subject of much negativity in recent months already. And those expecting the worst are bound to see this as evidence that the project is doomed (no pun intended), likely believing that the film wasn’t ready in time for a 3D post-conversion, that the rumoured troubles from the set may have upped the cost of the shoot enough to dissuade Fox from converting it into 3D, that Trank didn’t know what he was doing, and/or a mixture of the above.
Back in May, Superhero News reported that ‘multiple sources’ (unnamed, as ever) had told them that the money originally budgeted for the 3D conversion was instead being used on reshoots. And, taking things one step further, they said that Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) was directing said reshoots. Trank took to Twitter to outright deny the rumours, saying he’d never met Vaughn in person, and we’d not heard anything concrete either way on the Fantastic Four 3D matter since.
In reality, none of the people spreading so much negativity have seen the end result, so hopefully people have still got an open mind about this reboot. As someone who’s not a big fan of the 3D format, scrapping the Fantastic Four 3D post-conversion plans is good news in my books.
When blockbusters are given both 2D and 3D releases, the latter tend to get more screenings each day and occupy the bigger screens, regardless of how good the 3D post-conversion quality is. As the technology has improved, there is a better argument to have more of these films in 3D, when they can take advantage of those improvements. But you can’t help but feel the decision for most of those lies with the studios, rather than the filmmakers, and that the studios are doing it to up the ticket price rather than deliver a better viewing experience for the audiences.
Working against Trank in this regard is the fact that there is only a handful of filmmakers with the clout to avoid the studios’ preference for the 3D format, Christopher Nolan being chief among them, as evidenced by The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar. But, in the case of a Fantastic Four 3D conversion, if the 3D just wasn’t working or adding anything to the experience, why ask audiences to pay more when it’s not worth the extra price of admission?
Only having Fantastic Four in 2D is a win for me. Sure, it might have been cool to see Sue and Johnny Storm pop out towards the screen in the scene from the trailer in which they’re both flying. But if it turned out to be little more than a brief gimmick, then I’m totally fine with seeing the film only getting a 2D release.
Whatever you believe about the reasoning behind the decision, it’s definitely an uncommon occurrence. I can’t think of another example of a big-budget movie that was marketed as being released in 3D, but then switched to just being released in 2D. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was originally announced as Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D. But by the time the posters and trailers started rolling around, Fox had scrapped the 3D plans on that and were instead calling it by the Chipwrecked subtitle. Fantastic Four came much closer to release being pitched as a 3D film before plans were scrapped.
Personally, I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the negative camp of thinking that seems to be plaguing this film. It’s the same kind of negativity that almost caused Edge of Tomorrow to bomb at the box office last summer, and that turned out to be an awesome film. It was only when people saw how good the movie was that bad word-of-mouth managed to be turned around in the days leading up to its release, saving it from failure.
I’m hoping Fantastic Four will be just as awesome, and get that same kind of bounce. Part of me wonders if the general public, the one that doesn’t delve into the rumour mill that abounds online, is even aware of the negative perception on this one. I hope not, because having Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell lead this reboot with Toby Kebbell as the antagonist has had me excited from day one. I can’t wait to see what comes out of it next month. Fox already has a release date in place for Fantastic Four 2, so I’m rooting for a world-building franchise-starter of epic proportions.
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.
Fantastic Four will now be released exclusively in 2D on August 6th in the UK and August 7th in the US.