Fantastic Four Reboot To Tap “Deep Into The Comics Mythology” With Dark Shadows’ Seth Grahame-Smith

With Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith lit the touchpaper on the literary mash-up trend. It’s still the style he’s best known for, thanks to the subsequent novels Unholy Night and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the latter of which he then adapted into a screenplay.

Nonetheless, that’s not all he does. Grahame-Smith also wrote Dark Shadows, co-created The Hard Times of RJ Berger, is working on a possible sequel to Beetlejuice and dreamt up Night of the Living, an animated film with Tim Burton attached.

Okay, that makes it look like all he does is mash-ups and Burton, with Berger as an anomaly. Maybe. If so, there’s now one more anomaly.

The Hollywood Reporter have it that Grahame-Smith has done a draft of the new Fantastic Four movie for director Josh Trank and producer Matthew Vaughn. It’s a polish, not a page-one do-over, so Jeremy Slater‘s previous draft should still be largely visible under the varnish.

In cases like this, a writer is hired to rework, or boost, particular elements. With Grahame-Smith you’d assume this was something to do with comedy… I guess. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t called in to weave through some literary references.

But this might not be the most revealing part of the THR story. There’s also this:

The new reboot is taking a grounded superhero and sci-fi approach to the heroes and will tap deep into the comics mythology, which featured not just the better-known villains such as Doctor Doom and Galactus but also alien races the Kree and the Skrull, and the anti-matter universe known as the Negative Zone.

The first half of that – grounded, sci-fi – seems to be in tension with a mention of Galactus, perhaps even the Negative Zone.

I’m finding it hard to put a finger on this project or predict where it’s headed. I guess that’s a good thing, because I was pretty sure about the last Fantastic Four film. It looked like it was taking a dive into the toilet bowl, and it pretty much was.

Philip Glenister

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