10 July 2005

The (Not-So-)Fantastic Four

So far the reviews of the new Fantastic Four movie are less than stellar. But how does it compare to the never-released 1994 version, which was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Vidal Sassoon's son?

According to an interview that Fantastic Four creator Stan Lee did with director/comics geek Kevin Smith, the film wasn't ever intended for release:

Kevin Smith: Now a couple years ago, they made a Fantastic Four movie, very low budget, that never really saw the light of day.

Stan Lee: It wasn't supposed to. That movie was made just so that somebody wouldn't lose the rights to make the real movie later.

Smith: They had an option on the property.

Lee: Yeah, he would have lost his option if he didn't begin principal photography by a certain date. So for a budget of like $1.98, he did that movie. Which was really pathetic, because the people who did the movie didn't know it was never intended to be shown. They acted and directed and photographed their hearts out. They did the best they could.

Roger Corman disputes this version of events, saying basically that the financing for the film didn't work out until AFTER the film started production, so he'd figured out how to cut the budget from $40 million to $1.4 million (!), the most Corman had spent on a film at the time. (All of this info from "bad movie site" AgonyBooth.com's review of the film.)

Bootlegs of this Fantastic Four movie have apparently been available for years at comics conventions, and can be found for sale online. Even though I'm not a huge Fantastic Four fan in the first place, I'm actually more curious to see this low-budget version than I am the new one, mostly because Roger Corman was involved.


Anonymous timv said...

I saw the new one, and it was alright. A bit too talky, and they could have shortened the origin details quite a bit. A second villain with his or her own plotline and not associated with Doctor Doom in any way would have helped the plotline immensely.

9:44 AM, July 15, 2005  

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