By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
Back in 2012 when Josh Trank was hired to direct the Fantastic Four reboot for Fox, he had been hired along with screenwriter Jeremy Slater to pen the story. In 2014, producer Simon Kinberg delivered a rewrite of that screenplay, which is what eventually ended up in theaters but Birth.Movies.Death. revealed that Trank and Slater had originally pitched a far more ambitious film.
According to the site, both films start off in a similar way before diverging. I thought that the version we got in theaters took far too long to get to the point, and it seems that wasn’t the original plan. According to the site, the first act of Stater’s draft had been stretched to 2/3rds of the Kinberg rewrite, which would have gotten us to the Fantastic Four being, well, the Fantastic Four far sooner.
From that point on, there are far more differences, such as Victor Von Doom feeding Reed’s research to his home country of Latveria, while Johnny and Sue’s father is nowhere in the screenplay at all.
The barren planet on the other side of the teleporter (in this screenplay, called the Quantum Gate which is a space-time rip) is an alien city filled with the skeletons of dead aliens who suffered a cataclysmic apocalypse. Very quickly, we find out what caused the death of the entire planet: Galactus. Yes, they had Galactus in this screenplay, and he wasn’t a giant cloud-thing.
Galactus fires dark matter out of his hands, (seemingly) killing Victor Von Doom, but Ben Grimm and Reed barely escape (Sue and Johnny stayed on the other side of the portal in this). When Galactus’ dark matter strikes the Quantum Gate just as Reed and Grimm escape, the mixing of both energies unleashes some weird cosmic rays that give our heroes their powers.
There’s still a weird time jump in this version, but four years later, Latveria has built its own Quantum Gate. When the module they send through comes back, it’s covered in blood and the only person in it is Doctor Doom, now made entirely of dark matter. He immediately kills off the country’s ruling elite with his shapeshifting powers, and electrified razor wire he fires from his hands, and takes control of the country.
Meanwhile, Dr. Elder (who was previously introduced) gets some Moloid juice, who turns into the Mole Man when some Shock Troopers inject a Moloid with dark matter, creating a giant creature that the Fantastic Four have to fight. The final battle takes place in Latveria, where it’s revealed that Doctor Doom is actually a “tendril,” and the real Victor has been fused with the dead planet. Doom had been turned into a herald for Galactus, who is now heading for Earth, but was going to double-cross him by building a dark matter canon on Earth, which he intended to use to destroy the world eater.
Birth.Movies.Death. goes into more detail, but this would have been lightyears better than what we ended up with. I’ve heard that the film was cut down due to budgetary reasons, and just reading this synopsis I can see why it would have had such a huge budget — but at least it would have had a better story. The sad part is that Trank has taken the bulk of the blame for this film, and it seems like he almost delivered an incredibly satisfying Fantastic Four film.