Simon Kinberg On The FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot’s Tone And X-MEN: THE LAST STAND Mistakes


fantastic four and x-menThis weekend has seen a few pieces of news coming out of WonderCon in Anaheim, California about everything from comic books to movies. Fox held a panel last night showing off some footage from the Secret Service as well as X-Men: Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer was supposed to be on hand to speak to the press, but due to his legal troubles involving the possible rape of a teenager, he was understandably absent. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg represented the film during the Q&A. Speaking with both The Hollywood Reporter and Crave Online, Kinberg opened up about the Fantastic Four reboot’s tone. The writer also made an apology for how the Phoenix Saga was handled in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Speaking with Crave Online in a rather lengthy chat, Kinberg was asked about the tone of the Fantastic Four reboot. The writer says it’s a more grounded and realistic take on the team compared to the more comedic approach of the original two films:

It’s a much more grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies. If I had to say, the tone of it would be somewhere on the spectrum between Spider-Man and Chronicle. The other movies were even further on the spectrum of being goofy and fun than Spider-Man.
Raimi Spider-Man, yeah, not Amazing Spider-Man. Josh Trank’s instincts are to be as realistic and grounded and real with this stuff as possible. In many ways I would say it’s definitely more of a drama than comedy. It’s still in the direction of Spider-Man. It’s not like Dark Knight. And even Chronicle has a lot of fun in it. We’re treating this as the origin of the Fantastic Four so in future movies you’d have them on sort of splashier adventures to some extent but in this one we tried to ground the science as much as possible and make it feel like it could take place in our world before it cantilevers into other worlds.

phoenixWhile the writer stayed pretty tight-lipped about Days of Future Past, he was willing to talk about some of the mistakes he wants to fix. Most of those mistakes just happen to have taken place in The Last Stand. When asked what he thought about that particularly divisive film and what his original idea on how the fan-favorite Dark Phoenix saga would have been handled, Kinberg had a few things to say:

I have plenty of residual guilt from The Last Stand and this movie in many ways was like my chance to tell a better X-Men story. Though I’m very proud of what we did with X-Men: First Class but the two biggest stories for me growing up were Dark Phoenix and Days of Future Past. Those were the ones that I loved, so what I wanted to do with Dark Phoenix is different [than] what the movie ended up being. That’s a whole other interview and conversation, but on this one we had a lot more creative freedom and more encouragement to be loyal to the original books.
It was just much more the Dark Phoenix story. What happened when we were developing X3 was it began as the Dark Phoenix story and then it evolved into combining also the cure plot. At a certain point in the development process or pre-production process, the cure plot took precedence over the Dark Phoenix plot. So what should have been Dark Phoenix A story, cure plot B story started to invert, I think partly because the other actors like Ian and Patrick were more related to that other story.
And, I think maybe there was a little bit of fear around, and this was an earlier time, but a little bit of fear around doing such a dark story. For me, Dark Phoenix was like how do you let go of someone in your life that you loved who was your lover or the woman you always loved or your daughter or your sister? How do you let go of them at a certain point? Dark Phoenix just seemed like such a great version of telling that emotional story, and that’s just not the story we ended up being able to tell.

The scribe expanded on those regrets slightly when he told The Hollywood Reporter that Days of Future Past gave him the chance to start setting things right. He said, “This and the Dark Phoenix are two most famous stories. We could have done better with the Dark Phoenix. This is our attempt to right the wrongs [of] the past.” Fans should be happy to hear that, considering how the majority opinion on The Last Stand is pretty negative. We’ll just have to see how Kinberg ‘set things right’ with all the time traveling in Days of Future Past. What do you think about the writer’s comments?

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