Max Landis Weighs In On Josh Trank's FANTASTIC FOUR Quandry

Director Josh Trank's Chronicles screenwriter, Max Landis, weighs in on the bashing of Fox's Fantastic Four by fans and critics alike and the remark from Trank that studio interference resulted in a bad movie.

Yesterday,  Josh Trank may have committed a serious, industry no-no, when he cited studio interferrence for the reason why the Fantastic Four reboot is not very well-recieved by fans.  Trank implied that his original vision for Marvel's First Family was actually a very good film. Will we ever learn what Trank's initial concept entailed before producers and Fox execs made adjustments? That remains to be seen.  It will be interesting to see what his comment does to career moving forward. It also doesn't help that the critic bashing and Trank's comments come on the heels of rumors that swirled around the entire production that Trank was in over his head and unprofessional.  

Weighing in on this subject is Max Landis, screenwriter of Trank's first, smash-hit sci-fi film, Chronicles. In a series of tweets, Landis comes to Trank's support but doesn't completely excuse him of the public mess that has become of the Fox tentpole that has undeniable talents such as Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller and Kate Mara. Said Landis----


"HEY, it’s 1 AM. You know what, [frick] it. Let’s be real here.  Chronicle was an incredibly rare and easy ride. I loved writing the script. I enjoyed our producer, John Davis, and our exec, Steve. I also loved collaborating with Josh, who I think is brilliant, and whose ideas inspired my script. I fought hard for him to direct. But Chronicle was a complete fluke. We had so much control because the movie was, in relation to other movies that year, TINY. Some holes opened up in Fox’s slate and Chronicle was cheap and unique, so they were kind enough to make it. Only took six months.  At the time, I was like ‘THIS IS F**KING INCREDIBLE I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING.’ I’d sold scripts, but it was my first greenlight. Josh, who’d been for-hire editor and whose only experience behind the camera had been a web series, was a smart, fun collaborator.  During the shooting of the film, I had almost no input, but I was lucky in that the studio and Josh stuck astonishingly tight to my script. But again, even this is a fluke. It was an original idea, a dark character movie with a first time director. Fluke. Freak of nature. But I didn’t know that and I’m sure Josh didn’t know that either. In the five years since I sold Chronicle, I’ve learned the hard way.  You take huge hits in this industry, creatively, but that’s only after you’ve been given the opportunity to take huge swings, which is rare. A movie like Fantastic Four, an assignment with a lot riding on it, was always going to have a tremendous amount of cooks in the kitchen. People always ask me when I’m gonna write a superhero movie. I have. I’ve gotten those jobs. They’re very intense and stressful.  As a writer, I’ve been lucky to work on many, many projects – and seen how different and how hard each road can be – for five and a half years. Josh didn’t get that chance, and his second major project, after one with total freedom, was one with intense oversight. So I don’t think anyone’s wrong or right, necessarily, and I don’t imagine anyone cares about my opinion. But I do think it’s important to say that if you’re not prepared going in to not FIGHT like hell, but WORK like hell, it’s gonna get ugly.  No one is trying to make a bad movie. This job is only very occasionally romantic. Don’t let it own you, try not to let it hurt you. Because sometimes it’s so much f**king fun. But it’s still a job."


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