Complicated plotlines, differentiations from the source material and bad writing are not to blame for the failure of “Fantastic Four.” Stan Lee joked that the reason the film didn’t succeed might be all his fault.
During an appearance on “Larry King Now,” Lee was asked about the film’s failure. Not only was it bashed critically, but “Fantastic Four,” which reportedly had a budget over $100 million, only opened to $25.6 million. “It was probably because I didn’t have a cameo in it,” Lee claimed.
“Fantastic Four” is one of the few movie adaptations of a Marvel comic without a brief appearance from the former Marvel Comics president. Lee appeared in the original “Fantastic Four” films in 2005 and 2007, as well as over 25 other films and TV shows.
The 92-year-old also revealed that no one at 20th Century Fox had consulted him about the movie’s storyline, and he hadn’t even watched it yet. “They didn’t discuss the story with me, but I haven’t seen it yet so I really can’t comment about it,” Lee admitted. He noted that he didn’t run to the theater for any of the Marvel films.
Watch Lee’s interview with Larry King below:
However, Lee isn’t necessarily involved in many movies beyond his usual cameo appearance. Even for 2012’s “The Avengers,” the comic book writer revealed that director Joss Whedon met him, but didn’t consult with him. “I’m a big fan of Joss, I met him on the set of course, but we didn’t have much time to talk,” Lee told Games Radar in 2013. “He was busy directing and I did my cameo and I took off because I had something else I had to do.”
Many of the people who have watched “Fantastic Four” haven’t been thrilled with it. Critics have slaughtered the movie in reviews. JoBlo called it “a generic TV pilot for a show you wouldn’t want to watch.” The Washington Post noted, “The special effects look cheap, the acting is wooden, and the shouted dialogue consists largely of throwaway action-movie clichés.” International Business Times also bashed the film: “Not enough harsh words will be heaped upon the film’s paper-thin plot, which goes from boring to laughably horrendous over the course of the movie.”
Even “Fantastic Four” director Josh Trank slammed the movie. “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet, Entertainment Weekly reports. “And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.”
Most superhero movies would get a sequel to where they could fit in anything left out the first time around (like Lee’s cameo), but it’s probably safe to say that there won’t be another “Fantastic Four” film for quite a while. Luckily, Lee still has plenty of upcoming cameo opportunities in Marvel Comics adaptations with “Captain America: Civil War,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Gambit” and “Doctor Strange” all set to come out in 2016.