Filmmaking can be a fickle business. One moment you are on top with a hit film, and the next, you have hit rock bottom due to the failure of your next project. Few understand this better than filmmaker Josh Trank, who was riding high with the success of his maiden venture Chronicle when he was brought on to direct the 2015 Fantastic Four movie. The film was critically and commercially lambasted, and Trank had to bear the majority of the blame for it. In an interview with Variety, Trank explained why the full responsibility for how the movie turned out should not have been assigned to him alone:
"I felt that there was a deep level of mischaracterization in the media about what was going on with the film. But as far as my own level of responsibility in the film turning out to be a disaster and not working, I was absolutely responsible. But so was everybody else. When I was in the middle of the situation, it was very clear that everybody was doing the wrong thing. When the stories started to come out, I was the designated fall guy."
For months while the movie was being shot, the media reported that Josh Trank was making things difficult for the cast and crew, by isolating himself during production, appearing disinterested in making the movie, and almost coming to blows with lead actor Miles Teller over an argument. The general consensus was that the young filmmaker was in over his head. Trank points out that he was just one of the many cogs that the studio had put in place to make the film:
"For me, it was unfair because the perception publicly was that there was one person responsible for this not going the way it should have gone, which is an easy thing to believe. You've got all of these professional adults who worked on a lot of movies and all these well-established industry insiders who have been making these types of movies for a long time, and here's this young, relatively inexperienced filmmaker being described as in over his head."
It was difficult for Trank to read about all the accusations the media was hurling against him, because his own experience on the project was often the exact opposite of what was being said about him in the papers:
They said I wasn't communicating with people and didn't want to play by the rules. I was described as working against everybody else's wishes in a way that was destructive. When I read that, I thought, 'OK, well I would believe that story if I didn't know me because it sounds plausible.' But that's not what I remembered. What I remembered was I was being overly communicative. I have no problem communicating, and I've never had a problem communicating. That's why I got 'Chronicle' greenlit when I didn't have much work to my name. The problem was I was communicating ideas that didn't mesh well with everybody else's. That's not their fault and it's not my fault. It was the wrong combination of people to get together and make something creative.
As bad as things got in the aftermath of the release of Fantastic Four, Trank has learned his lessons, made his peace with the experience and is now looking forward to the next chapter of his professional career, as he promotes his new film Capone, with Tom Hardy in the role, exploring the last days of the feared gangster Al Capone. This news comes from Variety.