Much like the titular group’s Invisible Woman, the 2005 and 2007 film versions of Fantastic Four are disappearing from view—in streaming form, anyway. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has pulled Fantastic Four and the sequel Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer from iTunes and Amazon. They are still available for rental or purchase as DVDs or Blu-rays via Netflix and Amazon, and AMC will be airing both films this coming weekend, but they are off streaming services for now. And before we give the “official” reason, let’s just go ahead and agree the real reason is because they are horrible.
According to sources, the films were pulled from digital availability in advance of the upcoming reboot directed by Josh Trank and starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. This was ostensibly done so as “not to distract from promotion of the rebooted franchise, which is seeking to establish a different tone than the previous releases.” Keeping them out there digitally “might cause confusion in the marketplace,” in the sense that it might confuse people into thinking the upcoming movie is also terrible.
That same source points out pulling earlier titles while attempting to launch a new iteration of a franchise is not uncommon. However, they don’t point to the Tobey Maguire-starring Spider-Man movies as an example, likely because that didn’t happen when the new Andrew Garfield ones came out—because those earlier Spider-Man movies are (mostly) great. But the source is right: it’s not uncommon for studios to hope no one sees the awful films they made before, if they want to make new versions. So look forward to all editions of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides disappearing in advance of the next round of Captain Jack mugging for the cameras.