True believers already know why Fantastic Four was one of this year's biggest bombs. And it all has to do with the magical, mystical powers of Marvel mascot Stan Lee, the man responsible for creating a huge portion of this universe. As it was being released, 20th Century Fox and director Josh Trank did a lot of finger pointing, placing the failure on a great number of things, including each other. Everyone involved took a beating in the press the weeks following Fantastic Four's release this past August. And it's believed that something dubious happened behind-the-scenes that wrecked any chances of franchise glory. But Stan 'The Man' Lee has a much simpler reason why the movie failed.
Larry King recently caught up with Stan Lee on Ora.TV. There, they discussed a great many things related to the MCU. But it was when Larry King asked the Comic Book Legend why he felt the 2015 Fantastic Four remake tanked at the box office that the ground shook, and the skies opened up, and everyone involved went, 'Yeah, that's it.' Let's face it. Stan Lee offers some pretty sound logic when looking back at the history of Marvel movies. He simply stated the following.
"Well, it was probably because I didn't have a cameo in it, and they didn't discuss the story with me."
Of course this is why Fantastic Four failed. No other explanation needed. Josh Trank and 20th Century Fox were so busy fighting amongst themselves, they forgot to bring in the one most important element. The omission of a Stan Lee cameo in Fantastic Four is quite blasphemous, and doesn't make any sense. It's not because the movie is housed at Fox either. Stan Lee had cameos in the previous X-Men movies, and showed up in the 2005 Fantastic Four and it's sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Not having a Stan Lee cameo in your Marvel movie is akin to Mickey Mouse taking a day off from Disneyland. But perhaps even more puzzling is that the studio and the director didn't bother to reach out to Stan Lee at all regarding the movie in any way, shape or form. Stan Lee is the number one expert in the world when it comes to Marvel's first family. Though, it should be noted, the comic book creator isn't always consulted when a film based on one of his creations goes into production. And they haven't always been bombs either. But as this latest incarnation proves, Fantastic Four is a story that's very hard to get right for the big screen. Perhaps Stan Lee could have brought in a little bit of his knowledge and shared it with the crew.
Stan Lee created the Fantastic Four team alongside Jack Kirby. But that didn't seem to matter to Josh Trank. After having directed Chronicle, he felt he had his own unique take on these characters, and didn't really want any insight from those outside his inner circle. And from the sounds of it, his inner circle only consisted of himself.
During the Larry King interview, Stan Lee admitted that he had yet to see the new Fantastic Four. He didn't believe he could further comment on its success or failure as a movie. This means that Fox didn't invite him to the premiere, or even send him a copy of the movie to view. Which is strange, since he participated in Fox's Comic-Con presentation this past July, taking a selfie with all of the superheroes under their roof. What do you think of all this? Did Fantastic Four do a big summer belly flop at theaters partially because Stan Lee wasn't involved? Or do you feel there was nothing that could have saved this movie?