Speaking about the casting backlash with Polygon, Trank said, “I was getting threats on IMDb message boards saying they were going to shoot me. I was so fucking paranoid during that shoot. If someone came into my house, I would have ended their f*****g life.” Things escalated after the director read a series of threats on an IMDb message board. “When you’re in a head space where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself,'” he added.
Trank’s Fantastic Four focused on a younger version of the team and rewrote the idea of the heroes’ origin. Instead of Sue and Johnny Storm being biological siblings, Trank had Kate Mara’s Invisible Woman adopted into the family and cast Reg E. Cathey as Dr. Franklin Storm. Although this offered a more diverse cast, some corners of fandom couldn’ get on board with the idea of Johnny Storm being played by a person of color.
While 20th Century Fox had mixed success with two Fantastic Four movies in 2005 and 2007, the box office disappointment of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer led to plans of a third movie being scrapped and the studio moving ahead with a gritty reboot. Instead of being in the vein of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Trank’s Fantastic Four was panned by critics and even the director himself.
Trank went on the offensive before Fantastic Four even came out and said the studio didn’t allow him to make his movie. These days, he’s even removed it from his filmography and credited editor Stephen Rivkin as the “de facto director.”Similar to Tim Story’s Fantastic Four movies, Trank’s vision was to set up a sequel. However, rewrites, reshoots and a massive fallout with Fox led to the franchise’s abrupt end and Marvel’s First Family remaining in limbo since 2015.
Despite all the negativity, the cast was originally scheduled to reprise their roles. However, everyone involved has since moved onto other projects. As well as Jordan’s continued stream of acting work, Trank directed the upcoming Capone, with Tom Hardy playing the lead of the crime biopic.
Josh Trank has opened up about 2015's Fantastic Four and how he slept with a gun by his bed due to backlash against Michael B. Jordan's casting.