Death threats from Marvel fans forced Fantastic Four director Josh Trank to sleep with gun: ‘I would’ve ended their life’

Updated on May 06, 2020 11:03 AM IST

Fantastic Four director Josh Trank recalled the messy experience of working on the film, and said that he slept with a gun during production because of the death threats he was receiving from Marvel fans.

Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell played the Fantastic Four.
Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell played the Fantastic Four.
Hindustan Times | Byhindustantimes.com

Director Josh Trank, whose new film Capone is gearing up for release, has spoken candidly about past career controversies -- his ‘castration’ on Fantastic Four, and removal from Star Wars -- in a new profile on Polygon. Trank famously disowned the theatrical cut of his Fantastic Four movie after control was wrenched from his hands by the studio. The flare-up essentially caused him to lose out on a Star Wars job.

He said that after receiving death threats from Marvel fans over the casting of African American actor Michael B Jordan as the historically white Johnny Storm, he was forced to sleep with a gun. “I was so f**king paranoid during that shoot,” said Trank, “If someone came into my house, I would have ended their f**king life. When you’re in a head space where people want to get you, you think, ‘I’m going to defend myself.’”

Starring Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, 2015’s Fantastic Four was a critical and commercial disaster.

Also read: When Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man co-star Terrence Howard blamed him for Marvel ouster: ‘He took money that was supposed to go to me’

Trank said that they began shooting the movie without a firm script in place, and no ending. His first cut of the film caught 20th Century Fox off guard, and prompted the studio to organise reshoots for which Trank was present on the set, but was only given a very superficial feeling of having control. “It was like being castrated,” he said. “You’re standing there, and you’re basically watching producers blocking out scenes, five minutes ahead of when you get there, having [editors hired] by the studio deciding the sequence of shots that are going to construct whatever is going on, and what it is that they need. And then, because they know you’re being nice, they’ll sort of be nice to you by saying, ‘Well, does that sound good?’ You can say yes or no.” Trank said ‘yes’, because he didn’t want to be fired.

Also read: Capone trailer: Tom Hardy’s gangster drama is going straight to streaming amid coronavirus lockdown

The filmmaker did, however, realise that there was no way he was going to save his job directing a Star Wars movie for Disney. “I quit because I knew I was going to be fired if I didn’t quit,” Trank said about dropping out of that film.

Trank’s new film Capone, which tells the story of gangster Al Capone’s final days, will be released directly on streaming. The film stars Tom Hardy as Capone, and in his tweet releasing the trailer, Trank made it clear that it was ‘my cut’.

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