After weathering a year of terrible press, Fantastic Four director Josh Trank briefly spoke on Twitter late Thursday about the abysmal reviews his gritty reboot of the Marvel superhero franchise has been receiving all week. (The film has a 26 score on Metacritic and just a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)
The director, who won wide acclaim for his 2012 directorial debut Chronicle, tweeted that his original vision for Fantastic Four was "fantastic" — and that audiences will likely never see it.
Trank quickly deleted the tweet. But it serves as a sad coda to what has been a relentlessly unpleasant year for the filmmaker, starting with news in January that his film was undergoing major reshoots, which reportedly continued through April.
Trank's tweet suggests that those reshoots are the cause of the film's robustly negative critical response. And that assertion is supported by a series of tweets from one of the film's other screenwriters, Jeremy Slater, who is credited for writing the movie along with Trank and producer Simon Kinberg. (Representatives for studio 20th Century Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
But those reshoots were not the only source of bad buzz for the film. In May, another report alleged that Trank's indecisive behavior on set had so concerned Kinberg that it caused Trank's departure from directing one of the Star Wars anthology films, which Kinberg was also producing. (In a recent Los Angeles Times interview, both Trank and Kinberg strongly denied any dispute between them.)
For the last few years, there has also been a great deal of chatter that the rebooted Fantastic Four cast — including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell — could show up in the X-Men franchise, the other Marvel property that lives under the 20th Century Fox banner. In July, longtime X-Men director Bryan Singer finally acknowledged that possibility, but he also set a clear bar of expectations for Fantastic Four's reception in order for that to happen. "We have to see … how Fantastic Four plays, to really understand what kind of desire [audiences have for it], and how that would really work," Singer told Yahoo Movies.
According to Trank, his original version of the movie would have fared better with critics than the one that is opening in theaters this weekend. All that is left for him to do is wait to see whether the film's box office reception will buck the movie's trend of unhappy news.