There has been a lot of ink and blood spilled over who did what when it comes to Fantastic Four. The movie was a flop for 20th Century Fox, something everyone expected would happen well before it was released. Even director Josh Trank predicted it with an infamous Tweet he sent out on the eve of the film's premiere, blaming the studio for the bomb that was about to be detonated in theaters nationwide. Scenes had been cut, there were reshoots, and the reboot making its way onto the big screen was not the version Josh Trank had planned. What was his version, though? And would it have been better? Well, we now have reports of one big action scene involving The Thing (Jamie Bell) that was cut.
Who's ever side you pick in this war between the studio and its director, there is no doubt that Josh Trank had a much different movie planned. Bits and pieces of what could have been are slowly starting to fall into place as more crew members come forward to talk about the debacle. The latest report describes, what would have been, one of the movie's biggest action scenes. And we can still see remnants of it in some of the trailers that were released leading into the release earlier this August.
You may recall seeing Jamie Bell's The Thing dropping from an aircraft and landing at an unknown military base. There, he clashes with gunfire. EW has a full account of what the sequence entailed, and exactly who The Thing was supposed to be clobbering. Various sources who worked on the film were able to cobble the scene together. It comes just after the team's inter-dimensional trip, which bestowed all four members and Doctor Doom with their powers. Reed Richards, played by Miles Teller, makes his escape from the government facility using his new elastic abilities. In the movie we see now, this segues into a time jump that takes the audience a full year into the future.
The final cut of the movie, which is still screening in theaters but probably won't be for long, shows Tim Blake Nelson's Dr. Allen explaining to government officials that Ben Grimm has been carrying out covert missions under the cloak of night. We do get to see him taking out tanks with his unique rock-shaped physique. However, sources say that The Thing was supposed to get his big solo action scene right after Reed's escape and before the time jump.
What did we miss? Terrorist would have been seen loading their weapons onto trucks at a Chechen rebel bade. Sirens erupt, and the army looks to the sky to see a big orange bolder falling towards them. The Thing has jumped from a stealth bomber. He hits the ground, causing a small tornado of debris. The soldiers move in, having recovered from the impact. The big orange rock blocking their path slowly extends arms, legs, a torso. Finally, we see The Thing's head. He moves in on his enemy target as they shower him with bullets. The gunfire ricochets off his granite hide. The soldiers are quick to realize he can't be harmed and retreat from the scene. But their escape is short lives as Navy SEALS spring up from the surrounding forest to take the terrorists down.
From here, we get a bird's-eye view of the scene, and watch as American soldiers over take the terrorist stronghold. When some of the soldiers reach The Thing, it appears as though a fight might ensue. Instead, Ben Grimm gives them a knowing nod, with the soldiers clearing his path. He makes his exit on a giant helicopter.
There are varying reports as to way the scene was cut. And it isn't clear if the deletion of this scene is to be blamed on Josh Trank or 20th Century Fox. Some claim that the director was indecisive about the scene. Others claim it was cut as a casualty of the dwindling budget. We probably won't know exactly what happened until someone makes a thorough documentary about the whole ordeal. But as anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the film certainly could have used more action. You can see some of the deleted scenes in this trailer, the second one released. The excised footage comes towards the end. Do you think it would have made a better movie?