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Simon Kinberg talks The Fantastic Four and X-Men: Apocalypse

05.09.2014

In a couple of recent interviews, producer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg was asked about THE FANTASTIC FOUR and the planned sequel, and talked a little about the upcoming X-MEN: APOCALYPSE.

We'll start with Simon Kinberg's conversation with Collider. Filming has begun on Josh Trank's new movie, and Collider asked Kinberg about the first few days of shooting.

“The energy on set is great.  Josh Trank is fantastic on set.  Really in command, really clear, and the thing that is most unique or defining about the new Fantastic Four is the tone.  We’re approaching it in a much more realistic, grounded, science rather than science-fiction way.  The playfulness or goofiness of those other movies is very, very different from what we’re trying to do, and that is true for the production design, the casting, the storytelling.  But you never know until you get on set how it’s all gonna start to feel, and just seeing those actors and seeing Josh, the way he’s articulating the tone and the way the actors are executing it gives me a lot of confidence that we’ll actually be able to make a cool Fantastic Four movie.”

Simon Kinberg goes on to say THE FANTASTIC FOUR will (of course) be converted to 3D.

"We’re definitely imagining the story in 3D as we’re making it, and it has powers that are well-suited to telling the story in 3D—not just Reed, but you have somebody that is on fire, and that’s something that can be immersive and scary.  The reason to use 3D in this Fantastic Four, I think, is to make the experience feel as immersive as possible, where you feel like you’re with the characters looking at themselves and looking at each other with these bizarre powers and feeling like they’re really interacting with you.”

A sequel to THE FANTASTIC FOUR has been announced even though the first film won't be in theaters until next summer, and Simon Kinberg talked a bit about the next movie.

“Well I think with a lot of these movies you have a sense that if it goes well you’re going to make another one.  If it’s a terrible disaster I don’t know that you ever get a shot no matter what the date is, but they have a lot of confidence in the movie and we have confidence in the movie.  And what I like about it is, as a writer you can start to think about, ‘Well what am I building toward?’

"That’s the thing that Marvel’s done so well, that’s what George Lucas did so brilliantly with Star Wars, the originals.  He started telling a story in Episode IV and he had a clear sense of what the backstories were and all of that.  You want to tell a coherent, complete story in each movie, but you can also start to think about and build toward how these characters evolve five years from now, ten years from now, and that’s just a cool way to tell a story.  It’s not that different as a sort of episodic storytelling than what comics do or what our favorite TV shows do.  You get to project beyond the two hours of the movie.”

Simon Kinberg also says already knowing there will be a sequel to THE FANTASTIC FOUR helps him as a writer.

“I think actually in some cases what it helps me do as a writer is it forces me to ask certain questions I may not do if I was just telling a one-off movie.  Meaning I have to ask questions of, ‘What is this gonna mean to them when they’re 30, 40, 50 years old?  Who are these characters going to become?’ because hopefully I’ll be writing them in three years, five years, seven years from now.  But those are not necessarily always questions you ask yourself when you’re telling a standalone movie, you sometimes are just like, ‘Who are they in the span of the three weeks this movie takes place?’ or ‘Who were they in the 30 years of their lives that preceded it?’ but you don’t really think past the confines of that film. I think there is an opportunity in this kind of storytelling when you can tell a bigger story, and you can actually even deepen each story by having it project across lots of episodes.”

Simon Kinberg doesn't talk too much about X-MEN: APOCALYPSE while speaking with SuperHeroHype, however Kinberg does say he is excited Apocalypse will be the main villain in the new movie.

"We want to tell the Apocalypse story and there's massive scale and scope to telling that story. There's going to be set pieces that I suspect are going to be bigger than anything we've ever done in an X-Men movie before and he's a great character. The biggest and funnest challenge of the Apocalypse movie to me is his character. How do you create a new villain for the X-Men world that is as good as any villain that's come before, is compelling philosophically as Magneto, not just in his physical powers, but in his philosophical depth. 'Apocalypse' is going to be a fun movie to write and make."

THE FANTASTIC FOUR will open on June 19th, 2015, and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE will be in theaters on May 27th, 2016.

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Extra Tidbit: Do I even have to ask which movie you are more excited for?

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7:28PM on 05/12/2014

An already planned sequel for FF ?

You mean like Green Lantern, right ?
Now THAT'S comforting !
Hehehe
You mean like Green Lantern, right ?
Now THAT'S comforting !
Hehehe
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6:59AM on 05/10/2014
Wolverine is in Xmen Apocalypse (Of course.) So i`m guessing non of the 1st class cast or Wolverine die in Days of future past.
[link]
Wolverine is in Xmen Apocalypse (Of course.) So i`m guessing non of the 1st class cast or Wolverine die in Days of future past.
[link]
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6:09AM on 05/10/2014

Blah, blah, blah:

GARBAGE!!!
GARBAGE!!!
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2:16AM on 05/10/2014
Still don't like the casting choice for johnny
Still don't like the casting choice for johnny
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1:12AM on 05/10/2014
All I really read in this article was: blah, blah,blah, grounded in reality, blah,blah....
All I really read in this article was: blah, blah,blah, grounded in reality, blah,blah....
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3:52PM on 05/09/2014
Well if it's so realistic, then why are there interracial siblings?
Well if it's so realistic, then why are there interracial siblings?
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5:56AM on 05/10/2014
Step siblings? Half Siblings? There are possibilities within family dynamics beyond white and black.
Step siblings? Half Siblings? There are possibilities within family dynamics beyond white and black.
3:10PM on 05/09/2014

Too many commenters suffering from PMS?

Lots of complainers don't want it dark and brooding. He didn't say either dark nor brooding. He said grounded and realistic. As in making their powers believable and have some dramatic worth. This jumping to conclusions and bitching is ridiculous. Marvel basically is doing the grounded thing too, they are not going the brooding serious way of Nolan but they are trying to make the fantastic elements believable.
Lots of complainers don't want it dark and brooding. He didn't say either dark nor brooding. He said grounded and realistic. As in making their powers believable and have some dramatic worth. This jumping to conclusions and bitching is ridiculous. Marvel basically is doing the grounded thing too, they are not going the brooding serious way of Nolan but they are trying to make the fantastic elements believable.
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1:27PM on 05/09/2014

Sequel?

I'm curious on how a sequel to this ''grounded in reality'' fantastic 4 movie will work, since they'll now all die in the accident....
I'm curious on how a sequel to this ''grounded in reality'' fantastic 4 movie will work, since they'll now all die in the accident....
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12:45PM on 05/09/2014
The Fantastic Clusterfuck.
The Fantastic Clusterfuck.
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12:16PM on 05/09/2014

Grounded in reality

A guy made of rock, a guy who can stretch extremely far, a woman who can turn invisible and project force fields, and a guy who c an burst into flames at will. That just screams lets ground it in reality to me!!!! LOL
A guy made of rock, a guy who can stretch extremely far, a woman who can turn invisible and project force fields, and a guy who c an burst into flames at will. That just screams lets ground it in reality to me!!!! LOL
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11:51AM on 05/09/2014
Having the material be a little more grounded doesn't mean that the character's powers will all be bastardized to the point where they're unrecognizable from the comics. I'm pretty sure the changes they're making won't be as drastic as everyone thinks they will be. When a film goes this route everyone always cries out, "why do they have to make every comic like Nolan's Batman in terms of tone?" Well, other than Nolans Batman films, Man of Steel, and this film where do you see that choice
Having the material be a little more grounded doesn't mean that the character's powers will all be bastardized to the point where they're unrecognizable from the comics. I'm pretty sure the changes they're making won't be as drastic as everyone thinks they will be. When a film goes this route everyone always cries out, "why do they have to make every comic like Nolan's Batman in terms of tone?" Well, other than Nolans Batman films, Man of Steel, and this film where do you see that choice dominating the market of comic adaptations? Marvel currently dominates the market, and their films are really nowhere near that type of tone or approach.
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1:44PM on 05/09/2014
I share the same sentiment. I'm keeping an open mind since Josh Trank did great on Chronicle. They're saying all this stuff, but we still have no idea how this will turn out.
I share the same sentiment. I'm keeping an open mind since Josh Trank did great on Chronicle. They're saying all this stuff, but we still have no idea how this will turn out.
10:34AM on 05/10/2014
Yeah, I was a huge fan of Chronicle, so i have hope for this.
Yeah, I was a huge fan of Chronicle, so i have hope for this.
10:47AM on 05/09/2014
The Fantastic Four is a family sitcom. Has been, should be. It can be enjoyable and fun without being silly and it certainly shouldn't be "grounded and realistic".
The Fantastic Four is a family sitcom. Has been, should be. It can be enjoyable and fun without being silly and it certainly shouldn't be "grounded and realistic".
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10:08AM on 05/09/2014
Definitely Apocalypse, I highly doubt Singer will end up directing though.
Definitely Apocalypse, I highly doubt Singer will end up directing though.
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10:15AM on 05/09/2014
Why? All indications are that he will be the director.
Why? All indications are that he will be the director.
11:19AM on 05/09/2014
I think the accusations brought against him whether true or false will garner too much negative publicity.
I think the accusations brought against him whether true or false will garner too much negative publicity.
7:26PM on 05/12/2014
I'm afraid you're right
A Shame though, because he did a great job in DoFP !
I'm afraid you're right
A Shame though, because he did a great job in DoFP !
-1
10:02AM on 05/09/2014
I usually dont like knocking a film before I've seen at least a trailer but I'm not a fan of the realistic/darker tone for a F4 film. While F4 has had its dark moments its mostly been on the lighter side. Out of all of the Marvel properties that Marvel studio dont have I think F4 is the one I'd like to see the most revert back to them. F4 is a perfect fit for the Marvel cinematic universe with the balance between comedy and action and sci-fi.

Now saying that I'm still curious on how this
I usually dont like knocking a film before I've seen at least a trailer but I'm not a fan of the realistic/darker tone for a F4 film. While F4 has had its dark moments its mostly been on the lighter side. Out of all of the Marvel properties that Marvel studio dont have I think F4 is the one I'd like to see the most revert back to them. F4 is a perfect fit for the Marvel cinematic universe with the balance between comedy and action and sci-fi.

Now saying that I'm still curious on how this will turn out.
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9:31AM on 05/09/2014
X:Men Apocalypse Now!
X:Men Apocalypse Now!
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9:09AM on 05/09/2014
Isn't anyone involved in this new FF movie reading anything on the internet? I mean I know fans bitch and complain and studios shouldn't always listen to it all, but come on, I don't see much love for this new FF movie.
There is still time to fix this shit.
Isn't anyone involved in this new FF movie reading anything on the internet? I mean I know fans bitch and complain and studios shouldn't always listen to it all, but come on, I don't see much love for this new FF movie.
There is still time to fix this shit.
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9:48AM on 05/09/2014
Unfortunately, there is no time. Fox needs to produce a new Fantastic Four movie quick to retain the rights to the franchise. They can't change the cast or the tone, and it's too late to make major changes to the script. They can only move full-speed ahead on a disjointed idea. However, if the fans don't care, they can avoid the film and watch it bomb. Fox may choose to let go of the rights if it doesn't seem profitable.

Though, that probably won't happen.
Unfortunately, there is no time. Fox needs to produce a new Fantastic Four movie quick to retain the rights to the franchise. They can't change the cast or the tone, and it's too late to make major changes to the script. They can only move full-speed ahead on a disjointed idea. However, if the fans don't care, they can avoid the film and watch it bomb. Fox may choose to let go of the rights if it doesn't seem profitable.

Though, that probably won't happen.
9:50AM on 05/09/2014
Fox will never let it go man. They will keep making shit FF movies for life.
Disney needs to use some of that Avengers money and buy it back!
Fox will never let it go man. They will keep making shit FF movies for life.
Disney needs to use some of that Avengers money and buy it back!
11:17AM on 05/09/2014
I believe the movie has to make 20% of its budget back on opening weekend for Fox to be able to keep the rights. That's how Marvel got Ghost Rider and The Punisher rights back.
I believe the movie has to make 20% of its budget back on opening weekend for Fox to be able to keep the rights. That's how Marvel got Ghost Rider and The Punisher rights back.
8:49AM on 05/09/2014
How much I care about this Fantastic Four reboot... skipped the entire article to read about Apocalypse.
How much I care about this Fantastic Four reboot... skipped the entire article to read about Apocalypse.
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10:24AM on 05/09/2014
Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap!!!! Wow, I did the same thing.
Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap!!!! Wow, I did the same thing.
8:45AM on 05/09/2014
So by having the movie grounded in reality, the Torch wouldn't be able to breathe when he's on fire, Sue Storm wouldn't be able to see when she's invisible, and I'm sure unstable molecules will be a bit problematic for clothing. This movie is DOA for me.
So by having the movie grounded in reality, the Torch wouldn't be able to breathe when he's on fire, Sue Storm wouldn't be able to see when she's invisible, and I'm sure unstable molecules will be a bit problematic for clothing. This movie is DOA for me.
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8:43AM on 05/09/2014
"it gives me a lot of confidence that we’ll actually be able to make a cool Fantastic Four movie" - Yeah right.
"it gives me a lot of confidence that we’ll actually be able to make a cool Fantastic Four movie" - Yeah right.
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9:34AM on 05/09/2014
And he hopes to be still doing them in seven years..... Gulp...
And he hopes to be still doing them in seven years..... Gulp...
8:29AM on 05/09/2014
"We’re approaching it in a much more realistic, grounded, science rather than science-fiction way."

This is one of the very many aspects that convinces me they have no idea what they are doing. With comic book heroes like this, EMBRACE the Sci Fi and the powers that come along with each character and villain. Doesn't need to be realistic and grounded science to make it seem like a Nolan verse film. Embrace these characters powers and make the film fun and not so dark and brooding. That's not
"We’re approaching it in a much more realistic, grounded, science rather than science-fiction way."

This is one of the very many aspects that convinces me they have no idea what they are doing. With comic book heroes like this, EMBRACE the Sci Fi and the powers that come along with each character and villain. Doesn't need to be realistic and grounded science to make it seem like a Nolan verse film. Embrace these characters powers and make the film fun and not so dark and brooding. That's not the Fantastic Four's tone. It's more lightheartedness then anything and about teamwork.
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9:07AM on 05/09/2014
You know this whole Nolan stuff is getting OUT OF HAND. It was ok for Batman who has NO POWERS - yet everyone thinks it suits every superhero now.

if FF is not science fiction then what the fuck is it!

This movie seems like a FAIL.
You know this whole Nolan stuff is getting OUT OF HAND. It was ok for Batman who has NO POWERS - yet everyone thinks it suits every superhero now.

if FF is not science fiction then what the fuck is it!

This movie seems like a FAIL.
9:16AM on 05/09/2014
Like I've been saying many times, how can it be realistic when your heroes are elastic, invisible, stone and burst into flame most of the time??
Like I've been saying many times, how can it be realistic when your heroes are elastic, invisible, stone and burst into flame most of the time??
9:42AM on 05/09/2014
There certainly needs to be a balance between grounded and fun. The first Fantastic Four movies leaned entirely on the over-the-top "fun" end of the spectrum, which led to cheesy humor. The center of this type of film should be the characters and that is what should set the tone. The original Fantastic Four films failed to develop compelling leads, with the exception of maybe Johnny Storm, who worked because his personality matched the silliness that defined those movies. Dark and grounded
There certainly needs to be a balance between grounded and fun. The first Fantastic Four movies leaned entirely on the over-the-top "fun" end of the spectrum, which led to cheesy humor. The center of this type of film should be the characters and that is what should set the tone. The original Fantastic Four films failed to develop compelling leads, with the exception of maybe Johnny Storm, who worked because his personality matched the silliness that defined those movies. Dark and grounded works with Batman because that fits his character. We as the audience should feel somewhat invested in the stories of these heroes; the tone revolves around them.

From the trailer alone, I believe Guardians of the Galaxy demonstrates tone matching characters. A film featuring a talking raccoon and walking tree should not be taken seriously, so James Gunn's humor fits this movie perfectly. The cheesy sci-fi look to this film works because of the characters. I like what The_Soloist is arguing, but I'll take it a step further: don't just embrace a genre; embrace the characters represented in your story. Don't shoehorn a tone around characters. Allow the tone to be determined by your heroes.
9:49AM on 05/09/2014
Broken - yes that is a very good point. I would like to point out that I thought Ben Grimm was good too.
Broken - yes that is a very good point. I would like to point out that I thought Ben Grimm was good too.
10:12AM on 05/09/2014
J-man: I actually was going to mention Ben Grimm as well, but decided against it. I now see that was a mistake. They fleshed out his character well and gave us a reason to care for him. He was a tragic character, affected by his transformation, and the inclusion of a love story with the blind girl provided heart to the narrative, further proving my point. His scenes worked because we were invested in his plight and Michael Chiklis gave a sympathetic performance. In spite of the childish
J-man: I actually was going to mention Ben Grimm as well, but decided against it. I now see that was a mistake. They fleshed out his character well and gave us a reason to care for him. He was a tragic character, affected by his transformation, and the inclusion of a love story with the blind girl provided heart to the narrative, further proving my point. His scenes worked because we were invested in his plight and Michael Chiklis gave a sympathetic performance. In spite of the childish movie surrounding him, his scenes were effective because of his character's dilemma.

So, again: tone should be secondary to character.
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