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Jeremy Slater

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THR 7/13/2012:

'Fantastic Four' Reboot Ramps Up with Writer Jeremy Slater (HEAT VISION Exclusive)

Borys Kit said:
Fox is really hustling with its Fantastic Four reboot.

Just days after putting Chronicle director Josh Trank on the project, the studio is finalizing a deal to have Jeremy Slater write the script.

Hiring Trank and now Slater, who are steeped in the genre world, indicates that Fox is hoping to capture the geeks’ hearts this time around.


Slater is an up-and-coming writer who has the horror spec Tape 4, centering around the mythology of writer H.P. Lovecraft, set up at Lionsgate with Primal Pictures producing.


He also wrote My Spy, a teen spy comedy spec that initially was set up at CBS Films but this week jumped to Universal with Jake Kasdan attached to direct and Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing.


From io9:
2012’s List of Best Unproduced Screenplays Is Full of Amazing Science Fiction Ideas
Meredith Woerner said:
Man of Tomorrow

By Jeremy Slater

In an alternate 1940s reality, the US Government makes a deal with an indestructible gangster to kill Hilter in exchange for the city of Chicago, which he will build into his own utopia. Unfortunately his model city never comes to fruition and both he and his Bureau liaison get much of the slack for destroying one of America's greatest cities and now the government wants him dead.
 
Well, it looks like Fox chose their new F4 writer well.
 
What Was FANTASTIC FOUR Like Before Simon Kinberg?
A look at an early draft of the movie.
DEVIN FARACI said:
In 2014 Simon Kinberg delivered a rewrite of the script Jeremy Slater had turned in; Slater and director Josh Trank had been hired together by Fox in 2012 and Slater has a final credit on the film. The movie that is in theaters now resembles Slater’s draft only in the broadest strokes, and most of the elements that the two versions share are from Slater’s first act - which is stretched out in the final film to create about 2/3rds of the movie.

Slater’s script is closer in tone and action to a Marvel movie, with big action and lots of character interplay. It’s maybe a little overstuffed, featuring the origin of the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Mole Man, Herbie the Robot and even the FantastiCar, and containing a central action set piece in the streets of New York City against a gigantic Moloid that eats Ben Grimm.

Before Simon Kinberg came on as producer and to rewrite the film, Fantastic Four was a totally different beast. It took its early cues from the Ultimate Fantastic Four, but by the end of the script the movie was all about big, brash Stan Lee and Jack Kirby action. It’s the kind of script that you could imagine Marvel Studios making.

What happens to Slater now?
 
Still hoping this gets leaked somewhere. :p
 
It will. I've come to realize that this film shares a great deal in common with Super Mario Bros. The Movie (which was also a highly troubled production). SMB inexplicably gained a diehard small fanbase that tracked down a great deal of the early material, including a few versions of the script. Give it a couple of decades. We'll know more about this film than we do about friggin' Casablanca.
 
‘Fantastic Four’ Screenwriter Jeremy Slater Reveals Details about His Original Draft
If the studio had followed Slater’s script, we would have gotten a very different ‘Fantastic Four’.
MATT GOLDBERG said:
Slater says he liked the stuff with “lots of humor, lots of heart, lots of spectacle,” while Trank preferred something “grounded, gritty, and as realistic as possible.” And while these events basically take up the entirety of Trank’s movie with a rushed third act climax, Slater’s draft had a lot more material that was far more faithful to the comics:
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. And if you think all of that sounds great…well, yeah, we did, too. The problem was, it would have also been massively, MASSIVELY expensive.
For his part, Slater doesn’t hold any ill will towards Trank or the studio, and he understands the studio economics at play:

“Would you spend $300 million on a Fantastic Four film?” he asked. “Particularly after the previous two films left a fairly bad taste in audiences’ mouths? … It’s understandable that everyone involved would take steps to minimize their risk as much as possible. Unfortunately, those steps probably compromised the film to a fatal degree.”
 
‘Fantastic Four’ Screenwriter Jeremy Slater Reveals Details about His Original Draft
If the studio had followed Slater’s script, we would have gotten a very different ‘Fantastic Four’.

Sounds more interesting, but I'd have to read the script to determine if it was really good. There are a lot things in that description that still bother me and it still feels like he was trying to 'reinvent' the Fantastic Four. Sounds like that version just threw a whole bunch of stuff on the screen and may have made completely different mistakes than Trank while still not being a great film.

We didn't need Dr. Doom and Moleman and Annihilus all in one film to start. We just needed a good story, and that many villains plus an origin story sounds like it might have been a complete mess.
 
We didn't need Dr. Doom and Moleman and Annihilus all in one film to start. We just needed a good story, and that many villains plus an origin story sounds like it might have been a complete mess.

Actually... every great origin movie needs three villains:
The main: This is the main bad guy, you can only have one.
The lieutenant: Someone (or something) who extends the main villain's power/influence.
The early victory: Some early challenge won, either slaying a "monster", or winning over a "friend". Several of these can replace the need for a Lt. and if the faceless goons or superweapon have enough autonomy, they can play this role as well.

Batman Begins: Ra's, Scarcrow, Carmine Falcone
Iron Man: Stane, Raja, Air Force
The First Avenger: Red Skull, Arnim Zola, Chester Phillips
Thor: Loki, Frost Giants/Destroyer, SHIELD
Incredible Hulk: Ross, Sterns, Blonsky (though he switches back and forth with Sterns)
Deadpool: Ajax, Angel Dust, Colossus
X-Men First Class: Sebastian Shaw, Azazel, White Queen
X-Men 2000: Magneto, The Brotherhood, Senator Kelly
Spider-Man: Green Goblin, No Lt., Bonesaw McGraw/Carjacker/Flash Thompson
Ant-Man: Yellowjacket, No Lt., Step-dad/Falcon/Pym
The Incredibles: Syndrome, Omnidroid, Bomb Voyage/Early Omnidroids
Guardians of the Galaxy: Ronan, Nebula, Korath
The Matrix: Agent Smith, Other Agents, Morpheus
Star Wars: Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, The Empire/Death Star/Stormtroopers

You can see that films can tweak the ideas a bit, switching a few things around and still work, and the classic films do get creative with this formula, but if this draft of FF used them as such: Doom as the main villain, Annihilus as his lietennant, in the sense that he fights the heroes early on and the main villain utilizes his power for the climax, with Moleman as an early victory, which is precisely what he described, then Slater's FF would be in line with a classic orign story film.

Films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn't use "too many villains" it just didn't know who was the climactic villain, and trying to build to two climaxes creates a disjointed divided and/or confused movie. The Dark Knight handled this brilliantly by understanding that Maroni, The Banker and Scarecrow were early victories, removed from the playing field before Act II ended. Even better, Two Face was a denouement villain. The climax was done, and his fall was intended to be thematic and inevitable, not spectacular, and it worked. Spider-Man 3 didn't even have the decency to make one of its three villains a denouement villain like TASM 2 did with Rhino.

I'd be much less inclined to put faith in a screenplay idea that only had Moleman as supposedly taking on the whole of the FF, and though my take would be more Annihilus/Blastar/Moleman than Doom/Annihilus/Moleman that Slater suggests, I can't say it would be a bad film, and it would also put the FF on track to going to the stars for the sequel with maybe Galactus/Terrax/Silver Surfer, which, imho, is long overdue. Of course, then you kind of wonder where to go for a threequel to such a film series. I suppose it depends on who has the Skrulls or the Super Skrull doesn't it, because you could do Veranke/Kl'rt/Lyja Lightfist. And honestly, the FF deserves to be a Quadrilogy, both thematically and otherwise, so perhaps The Frightful Four? Hyperstorm? Mad Thinker? Or, you get the idea, all of the above.
 
A budget requiring a REAL FF Films like what Mr Slater (Or even Dr Cosmic) was imagining would never get greenlit so.......
 
^True... but then again... I like to tell myself I could even have used the assets we saw in Fant4stic much better.
 

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