Maybe last year's Fantastic Four wouldn't have been such a big disappointment if 20th Century Fox had stuck to what was originally in the script. Jeremy Slater, who is one of three screenwriters credited for the movie, has revealed his original epic plans for the reboot in a recent interview with Screen Crush.
The scribe claims that he had written the first "10-15 drafts" of Fantastic Four, but just one line of his dialogue made it into the final script, which was penned by director Josh Trank and producer Simon Kinberg.
According to Slater, Trank wanted to make the movie "grounded, gritty, and as realistic as possible". Slater preferred it to be a film with "lots of humor, lots of heart, lots of spectacle". And the way he describes his script also suggests that we could have seen an entirely different movie on August 7, 2015.
While Jeremy Slater's screenplay opened just like it did in the movie with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm as children, it envisioned the Baxter Foundation as a school filled with "young geniuses zipping around on prototype hoverboards and experimenting with anti-gravity and teleportation and artificial lifeforms".
There, Reed was supposed to meet and become friends with Victor von Doom, a "damaged young Latverian scientist". Victor was going to "slowly seduce Reed into bending the rules", damaging his friendship with Ben.
According to Slater, the portal device that he originally had in his script would have sent the team to the Negative Zone, where they would have encountered Annihilus. The scribe describes his version of the iconic Fantastic Four nemesis as "a pissed-off cybernetic T-Rex".
In that script, the team had gotten their powers by getting zapped with radiation on their way home from the Negative Zone. Victor was still left behind, as it appeared that he had been killed by Annihilus. However, Victor actually killed the other supervillain and "reshaped his Control Rod into a sort of living body armor".
What was supposed to happen next is where things got more exciting. Jeremy Slater adds:
In addition to Annihilus and the Negative Zone, we had Doctor Doom declaring war against the civilized world, the Mole Man unleashing a 60 foot genetically-engineered monster in downtown Manhattan, a commando raid on the Baxter Foundation, a Saving Private Ryan-style finale pitting our heroes against an army of Doombots in war-torn Latveria, and a post-credit teaser featuring Galactus and the Silver Surfer destroying an entire planet. We had monsters and aliens and Fantasticars and a cute spherical H.E.R.B.I.E. robot that was basically BB-8 two years before BB-8 ever existed.
The contrast in vision with director Josh Trank wasn't the only hindrance for Slater's original Fantastic Four script; there was an even bigger obstacle. According to the scribe, the issue was that it would have been "massively, MASSIVELY expensive".
With Tim Story's Fantastic Four movies not living up to expectations, 20th Century Fox was never going to spend something around $300 million on the reboot. So, Slater doesn't blame the studio for scrapping his original plans.