I have always loved superhero stuff, capeshit, some would say. Idk why, i guess because its kind of an offspring of the fantasy genre. Anyways, mid-2023 i picked off a brand new hyperfixation, The Fantastic Four. I really like their simple designs. In a way, they paved the road for future superheroes, their personalities kinda became the cornerstone superhero archetypes, and its pretty neat to see them evolve with time.
I like the emphasis in the fact that they are a family and not mainly superheroes, but explorers of the unkown. Their character dynamics, albeit simple, work pretty well between each member of the team.
Im writing this on July 2023, so i dont know what awesome stuff has come out ever since, but Across the Spiderverse and Arcane revolutionized the animation industry recently, and, while im not a big fan of animation as a proffession for myself, i still spinned some concepts in my head for what i would do for a Fantastic Four animated film. In the future id love to see it made, but i dont think that will ever happen haha.. unless?
Hand painted textures are a must, having an illustration background myself, the visible brushstrokes and sharp edges are a pretty big deal for me.
Originally i had planned a trilogy, but when i started writing i found out i got what i wanted down in just two films since the narrative structure was not a gigantic plot that takes three individual acts (the films) to be completed. The narrative is actually two self contained tales fit for one film each. While the second film is definitely a sequel to the first one, lets say i just use the plot of the first one as a device to get things going on the second one.
I can only write shit when i now what my end goal is. I know i want to tell a dope ass Fantastic Four story, but that story needs essence, and to me, finding the essence is the same as finding what the message of the movie will be. If you have your message, the rest becomes easier.
So, first of all, i know i want to emphazise:
Knowing this made the rest easier. I decided focusing on the family aspect would give me a nice story. So for the first film i wanted a story revolving around learning to understand your family, their flaws and how to work around that to love them. Obviously i mean this in a "your family is still worth loving" way, not in a "forgive your abusive father" way.
For the second film the F4 have worked through their differences and are very happy, yay! But now i want a story that tears them apart completely. Why? Because the message for the second film is emphasizing the importance for a loving family to stick together, no matter the difficulties, because it is when the difficulties arise that each member of a family needs to look out for each other.
With that decided i just needed to pick a villain. I wanted to have a different main villain for each film, and, while the F4 have a wonderful plethora of villains, i just couldnt resist the coolness of Galactus and Doctor Doom.
Finally, some narrative inspirations were The Mitchess vs The Machines, Everything Everywhere All at Once and Encanto (a mid film, but hey, it touches similar themes, so it works). I also used some personal experiences as reference.
The film begins with an old 60s tv, we see an infomercial/documentary about the F4. The documentary narrates their origin. First we see the Baxter Building, we see them as bold astronauts and we get a glimpse of the cosmic ray accident (perhaps with a cool glitch-like sequence of cuts showing the actual event mixed with the tv documentary). The documentary starts praising them when suddenly the signal is interrupted while the TV glitches and picks up another signal. This time we pick up Latverian propaganda speaking ill of our heroes, showing footage about destroyed cities after their interventions, funerals of collateral victims and critizicing Reed's secrecy, Ben and Johnny's impertinence and just showing them as enemies of peace. The original signal gets picked up again and the documentary ends on a happy note, praising the heroes. Cut to cool ass intro.
The film begins with the birth of Franklin Richards. All of the protagonists are introduced to us. The F4 await in the hospital, a nurse calls them in and Sue introduces the baby to her family. Alicia asks how does he look like, Johnny says he looks like he's gonna get a lot of ladies when he grows up and brags about the baby getting that from his uncle, Ben says he looks so soft and little, he will definitely be a good lad, Reed can barely hold tears, but he is infinitely curious, he inspects the baby, mentally taking notes, he tries picking the baby up, but kinda sucks at it, Sue tells him he doesnt know how to pick up a baby, he never succeeds at describing the baby, he just asks Sue if the baby is fine. Sue hugs him, looks him with love, and answers "He is fine, Reed. He is perfect, and i will always love him." Why so much emphasis in this? Well, thats because this scene presents us with the characters, we gotta use every possible resource to show the audience who they are.