20th Century Fox has released an official synopsis for its 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, revealing that Josh Trank’s upcoming film will change at least a few things about the heroic team:
The Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
The “alternate universe” origins for the group’s powers are a clear reference to the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic series, launched by Marvel back before it realized that every dollar spent making its beloved, iconic superteam relevant to new generations was essentially free marketing for a rival film studio. The altered origin was presumably necessary now that we know spaceflight turns people into senators and History Channel talking heads, not fire-flinging superheroes or blue-eyed rock men. The characterization of the team as “young outsiders” is an interesting change, though, laying an S. E. Hinton vibe atop Fox’s attempt at a grittier, more youthful FF. “Stay orange and rocky, Pony Boy,” Michael B. Jordan might whisper to the kid from Billy Elliot, while Miles Teller’s Reed Richards ties his wrist to Doctor Doom’s for the film’s climactic knife fight. (Or whoever that mysterious “former friend turned enemy” will be, although noted Internet troll Doctor Doom is the most likely candidate.)
The synopsis actually hews remarkably close to Fantastic Four’s past, though, especially in light of cast member Kate Mara’s indication that the film’s plot wouldn’t be based on any previously published stories. Which is a shame, since we were looking forward to Fantastic Four being a tense legal drama about a quartet of high-powered attorneys, or maybe a family comedy about friends with superpowers running a pizza joint. But no, it sounds like the film will still be about people with superpowers punching each other, and so the dream of the Fantastic Four Cheese Pizza must remain, sadly, only a dream.