Don’t believe the hype: Superpowers can be a bummer. That’s the conceit of Fantastic Four, this summer’s reboot of Marvel’s classic about four friends—Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan), and Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell)—transformed by an interdimensional accident. Director Josh Trank touched on the idea in Chronicle, his 2012 big-screen debut about three teens (including one played by Jordan) who gain unique abilities. “Chronicle was all about the discovery and evolution of those powers,” Trank says. “This is like, ‘What if it’s a couple years later and it sucks?’ ”
Eventually the Four harness their talents to combat superskilled villain Victor von Doom (Toby Kebbell) in the film, due in theaters Aug. 7. “The audience should expect an epic, massive, huge, multipower slugfest,” Trank says. “This movie is big. A lot of stakes.”
Even more so given the franchise’s not-so-sterling reputation. “I get the skepticism going into it because the previous movies weren’t very good,” says co-screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg of the 2005 and 2007 versions. “It’s a very hard title to crack.”
Maybe superpowers could help?