Comic-book movies can go one of two ways: dark and moody; light and funny. The two big smashes of the last year or so both fell firmly in the former category, with The Dark Knight being the darkest comic-book movie ever made (alongside Watchmen), and Iron Man being serious and moody with just enough flashes of fun to make it more of a family film.
Further proof that The Dark Knight has changed everything – Fox is looking to reboot The Fantastic Four just two years after the last film was released. Both Fantastic Four movies were light, cheery, family-oriented affairs. In fact, IESB described them as “bubble gum.”
Having seen how huge comic-book movies can be if all the elements are present and correct, 20th Century Fox is looking to restart the franchise from scratch with the big numbers in mind. That’s not to say The fantastic Four or Rise Of The Silver Surfer were box-office failures. They both made money, just not enough to please studio bosses.
So out goes the cheesy, family, feel good fun with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and all, and in comes something completely different. Expect an origin movie to kick the whole thing off once again before we get to see each character struggling with their new powers. That’s all guesswork on my part but it’s not exactly rocket science.
This could work. Certainly the first two films were a little inoffensive and young to really capture the mood of the comics. But as Dark Horizons points out, the last quick turnaround rebooting of a franchise saw The Incredible Hulk take only $18 million more than Hulk back in 2003. So it doesn’t always work as spectacularly as Batman has.