Simon Kinberg is one of the guiding figures of the ‘X-Men’ movie franchise at 20th Century Fox. He also wrote the screenplay for ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and produced ‘The Martian’, the latter earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He also serves as a producer on the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ television series.
While promoting the upcoming ‘X-Men Apocalypse’, Kinberg sat down with Flickering Myth’s Oli Davis to discuss his current projects. He also talks about the 2015 ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot, which proved to be a box office flop.
‘I actually think part of the problem on the last ‘Fantastic Four” is that we tried to make it maybe a little bit more like an ‘X-Men’ movie, make it a little bit darker, when, in fact, I think the ‘Fantastic Four’ comic traditionally is a lighter, brighter, more hopeful book that’s interested in very different things to other comics,” Kinberg says. “So the challenge this time is to get it right tonally and to find what is special about the ‘Fantastic Four’ as a story.”
Despite the last film’s disappointing reception, Kinberg is keen on reviving the ‘Fantastic Four’ franchise. “We’re working really hard on figuring that out,” he says. “Nothing would make me happier than the world embracing a ‘Fantastic Four‘ movie.”
On the subject of crossovers, Kinberg admits Fox never had the idea of having the X-Men characters interact with Marvel’s First Family. “There wasn’t a conversation back then about it,” he recalls. “I think Marvel as a studio was just starting out, and this notion of crossing over and telling larger stories that are like a larger tapestry taking place over different movies hadn’t really come into its fruition yet. So none of us were thinking in those terms, and Marvel blazed a way for us. We should’ve been thinking in those terms because that’s obviously the way the comics have always done it, but we weren’t.”
He is quick to praise Marvel Studios and Disney for their interconnected universe. “I just think it’s a radical way to make movies. And I think that usually movie studios are – let’s just say – they’re a little short-sighted. They’re not long-term thinkers. They just want to bang out one movie at a time. And then Marvel showed up and changed the way we all look at movies.”
Kinberg is interested in well as bringing back cast members Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Miles Teller. “The ‘Fantastic Four’ comic is as enduring and as powerful as the X-Men comic,” he says. “It’s an older generation comic, but it’s been really important – and it’s one that I loved growing up – and I continue to love. The characters are great characters. And I think the actors we have in that franchise are amazing actors. If you look at Michael B. Jordan, he is, like, the most in-demand actor right now. And Miles Teller, and Jamie, and Katie are great actors. So I think there’s an opportunity to tell it, and tell it correctly.”