On Episode 80 of the Capes and Tights Podcast, Paul Eaton joins the crew to discuss the unreleased The Fantastic Four movie.
The Fantastic Four is an unreleased 1994 film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. The film features the team’s origin, and their first battle with Doctor Doom. Executive produced by low-budget specialists Roger Corman and Bernd Eichinger, it was made in order for Eichinger to keep the Fantastic Four film rights. It was not released officially, although pirated copies have circulated.
In 1983, Eichinger met with Stan Lee to explore obtaining an option for a movie based on the Fantastic Four. The option was not available until three years later, when Eichinger’s production company Constantin Film obtained it for a price the producer called “not enormous” and which has been estimated to be $250,000.
The 1994 film starred Alex Hyde-White as Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic, Rebecca Staab as Susan Storm / Invisible Woman, Jay Underwood as Johnny Storm / Human Torch, Michael Bailey Smith as Ben Grimm, Joseph Culp as Victor Von Doom / Dr. Doom, Kat Green as Alicia Masters, Mercedes McNab as Young Susan Storm, Phillip Van Dyke as Young Johnny Storm, and Carl Ciarfalio as The Thing.
Future Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad, at this point, in 1993, a Marvel executive said, “Listen, I think what you did was great, it shows your enthusiasm for the movie and the property, and … I understand that you have invested so-and-much, and Roger has invested so-and-much. Let’s do a deal.” Because he really didn’t like the idea that a small movie was coming out and maybe ruining the franchise… So he says to me that he wants to give back the money that was spent on the movie and that it should not be released.
Paul and Justin discuss the film, the other Fantastic Four movies and the future of the franchise on this episode of the podcast.