Josh Trank, the director of the ill-feted 2015 reboot of Fantastic Four, has described the studio stepping in to reshoot the movie as 'like being castrated'.
Trank had only made the low-budget sci-fi Chronicle before being promoted to the big leagues to make Fantastic Four for Fox.
But things went horribly wrong.
The studio intervened, objecting to the serious tone in the wake of the knockabout comicbook fun seen in the Avengers reboot from Marvel Studios, with reshoots then overseen by producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker.
“It was like being castrated,” Trank told Polygon in a lengthy profile ahead of Trank's new movie Capone, with Tom Hardy.
“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.”
Also speaking in the piece, writer Jeremy Slater, who collaborated on the movie, said that Trank 'just did not give a s**t' about the comicbook origins of the movie, forcing through his own darker vision instead.
Speaking to Yahoo Movies UK last year, around the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Kinberg said: “I think that the thing that [Fantastic Four] suffered from was... it was a sort of disconnect between the approach to the material and the actual material itself.
“I think the Fantastic Four is a fun, playful, more comedic, lighter comic. And I think the approach was a darker, more serious, sombre movie. And while that seemed very radical, and revolutionary, I think those two things just didn't necessarily mesh.”
Trank also divulges that fans had threatened to shoot him for casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm in the movie (alongside Miles Teller, Toby Kebbell, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell), and he began sleeping with a gun as a result.
“I was so f**king paranoid during that shoot,” he said. “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.’”
Read more: Tom Hardy scarred in new Capone poster
As a result of the movie's failure, Trank also had to step away from a planned Boba Fett movie for the Star Wars series, that Kinberg was set to produce and Trank was to direct, because word of the disastrous nature of the Fantastic Four shoot had got back to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
“I quit because I knew I was going to be fired if I didn’t quit,” he added.
The movie tanked at the box office, and having cost a reported $155 million to make, brought in only $168 million, resulting in a likely loss of around $100 million.