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MARVEL COMICS IN THE MEDIA

Malice

Fantastic Four #350 Malice

FANTASTIC FOUR IN THE MEDIA

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WHAT WE KNOW:[]

Michael Chabon is an interesting writer. 

He manages to create well-defined characters while exploring topics like divorce, marriage masculinity, nostaliga, parenthood, and questioning of identity.

Like other writers, Chabon has been involved with Hollywood in the recent years. His novel Wonder Boys was adapted for the big screen, starring Michael Douglas (Ant-Man), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man). He also wrote a draft of Spider-Man 2 (2004) and received a story credit alongside Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. However, he has had another connection to superheroes. 

On his website, Chabon revealed he pitched his vision of the Fantastic Four to Chris Columbus' 1492 Productions in 1995. At the time, 20th Century Fox was preparing to adapt the World's Greatest Comics' Magazine, and Columbus was attached to direct the film. Chabon pitched the story as a retro-influenced period piece with elements from the early 1960s. Ultimatley, the studio chose to go in a different direction. Although he was not hired to write Fantastic Four, Chabon did make another pitch to Fox regarding the X-Men. (Curiously, it was rumored that director Peyton Reed was planning to set Fantastic Four in the 1960s, but research has shown it would have been a modern-day story. However, Reed did use the period setting in his 2003 romantic-comedy Down With Love, and he will use the 1960s as part of Hank Pym's backstory in Ant-Man).

Chabon's pitch begins with a simple statement: that the "Fantastic Four are not about Darkness." The name 'Fantastic Four' itself implies a sense of wonder and excitement. He reasons, "They were conceived in another era; they have silly powers; their name says it all"; thus, they should be light in tone. In this proposed film, the setting is "a timeless, more innocent world"- in which the influence of the early 1960s and Kennedy Administration are still felt. As Chabon writes, the setting of the story is "a world where Evil lives behind an Iron Curtain on the Dark side of the planet, a world, where, even in 1995, it is still November 21, 1963. He describes New York City as "A Technicolor, bossa nova, Douglas Sirk world."  

On the subject of the Fantastic Four's beginnings, Chabon decides against showing the fateful rocket ride into space, calling it "a pretty goofy origin story." Instead, he opens on a tour guide taking a group of tourists into the Baxter Building. Described as a cross between the "News on the March" newsreel from Citizen Kane and the DNA short film in Jurassic Park, the film introduces the individual members of the Fantastic Four and their powers. Suddenly, a loud boom rocks the building and frightening the tourists, but the tour guide explains that is a regular occurence. As the camera pans up alongside the building, we are introduced to the Thing and the Human Torch in the middle of an argument to kick off the story.

The main plot involves Doctor Doom deciding to travel through time and assassinate a key individual whose actions have led to the current flow of time. Exactly who this person could be is not known, but Chabon hints that it could be Reed Richards or someone else. He suggests the key figure could even be one of the tourists seen at the beginning of the movie. By elimininating this person, Doom will have rearranged history and created a grim alternate reality where chaos runs amok. Naturally, the Fantastic Four have to go back in time and stop Doom.

SCRIPT:[]

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