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SCOOP: Stretching the end of FANTASTIC FOUR

We've been hearing stories about a last-minute change of plans that happened with the FANTASTIC FOUR movie...

By Patrick Sauriol     December 24, 2004
Source: Names withheld


Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic in FANTASTIC FOUR
© 20th Century Fox
As principal photography on 20th Century Fox's FANTASTIC FOUR winds down, we've been hearing stories about a last-minute change of plans that happened with the film -- and it's all due to another superhero movie called THE INCREDIBLES.

Two sources have now independently told us that the entire third act of FANTASTIC FOUR has undergone extensive changes as a result of Disney and Pixar's CGI family film THE INCREDIBLES. As it happens, we're told that once the creative FF team saw the stretching effects of the INCREDIBLES character Elastigirl, the final battle we're yet to see in FANTASTIC FOUR needed to be beefed up, especially what the character of Mister Fantastic was slated to do.

Here's what we're told: already burdened with a nine figure budget, and with five main characters all gifted with their own special powers (and thus their own expensive slate of special effects required to bring them to life), one of the ways to reduce the FANTASTIC FOUR expenses was to limit the time that Mister Fantastic would use his stretching abilities on the screen. However, once THE INCREDIBLES blasted on the scene, and audiences got a taste of what kind of things a human Mom could do with her super-stretching powers, the makers of FANTASTIC FOUR soon realized that they would have to push the envelope further. But how could they do that when the budget for FF was already well past $100 million dollars?

The answer turned out to be quite simple: 20th Century Fox stepped up to the plate and coughed up more dough. How much more is a matter of conjecture...but we've heard a check as big as $20 M may have been written by Fox just so FANTASTIC FOUR's Mister Fantastic could have more screen time to stretch across. Before you begin believinbg that FANTASTIC FOUR will be the mother of all stretching movies, that $20 M may not all go to just making Reed Richards stretch further than he was originally intended to do in the first place. After all, there's also the Human Torch, Invisible Woman, the Thing and Doctor Doom too...

It also turns out, in this post-INCREDIBLES landscape, that the third act of FANTASTIC FOUR had to undergo a major rewrite. We've heard stories of the writers and producers working overtime all through November and December as they thought about ways to ratchet up the film's final battles and the resolution. This has supposedly made for some frought moments as the script changed, almost daily -- and word has it, the changes made were to distance the FANTASTIC FOUR ending from that of THE INCREDIBLES.

Don't think just yet that all of this creative strife means the end result will be lacking; even while filming many productions undergo major changes to their storylines, sometimes requiring delays in filming as the script undergoes revisions. Entire sequences may be axed for any number of reasons while brand new scenes may be born as a result of adversity -- and if the film stands on its own, audiences will never know how many nights of sleep the cast, crew, director and producers lost. All final judgements on the merits of FANTASTIC FOUR will have to wait until opening day arrives.

[Special thanks to our sources working at the Baxter building for letting us know.]


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