The trailer for the new, rebooted version of Fantastic Four was released yesterday. That’s it up there. The production’s been a whipping boy for the geek press for months with persistent rumors it was in massive trouble. Even now, it’s going back for reshoots that are either exactly the sort of pickup material most movies do or a horrifying descent into the kind of last minute third-act do over that the paint’s still drying on when you see the movie.
Everyone’s thrown some doubt this thing’s way. Me included and I’m normally Mr ‘…Cool, I’ll give it a shot.’ with stuff like this. So when the trailer was released yesterday it got a lot of attention, mostly very good attention. It’s an interesting take on the characters and, stylistically, as pointed out by io9’s always great Meredith Woerner, it plays a lot like Interstellar. I really liked Interstellar and I really like the look of this. Especially as some of it’s familiar.
Take this still for example, which contains plenty to unpack. Firstly, we see that Reed and Ben’s friendship is set up from an early time in their lives. I like the dynamic here; Reed’s the slightly erratic clever one, Ben’s his right hand man, ready to put himself between his friend and harm. After all, it’s Reed’s experiment, but Ben’s closer to it than he is in the shot.
Then there’s the look on Reed’s face. He’s concerned, even frightened. But he’s looking straight ahead, off camera, at their experiment. This is a kid hanging onto his brain by the fingernails and he’s already learned that the only way to get more comfortable with his intelligence is to let it loose. He looks resolved there and it’s a nice visual bookend to the last shot in the trailer of older Reed. In both cases, he’s frightened but he’s doing it anyway.
Then there’s the fact I had those glasses, that build and possibly even that shirt. Seeing Reed presented like this was an odd combination of brand new and familiar for me. Yes he grows up into Miles Teller, yes his powers apparently come with a sudden ability to use hair product. That’s the destination. The journey starts here, with an overweight, clever, curious kid who’s decided that being outsiders just means he and his best friend can go their own way. It’s a brand new take on the characters for me, but emotionally its home turf. This Reed Richards looks like I did and I keep thinking about how the child version of me would react to this trailer. Then I realize he already has. We carry every past version of ourselves with us, Matrioshka dolls collapsing down along our memories until we get to the fragmented, exciting snapshots of early toddlerdom. Some days that’s a curse. Other days you can feel your past self smile because just for once they’re not the comedy overweight sidekick or the bad guy. They’re the hero. Those days, you’re them and they’re you.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Go get ’em, kid.