Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Voice Of The Clouds

Variety have announced that Larry Fishburne's voice will be going to the Silver Surfer, not Galactus, in the second Fantastic Four film. More interestingly, they note that "the studio hasn't decided whether Galactus will even speak".

At this late stage? With the film in the can and much of post production completed? That's craziness.

I assumed that any dialogue given to Galactus in the film would have some kind of impact or relevance - indeed, any dialogue given to any character. And that would mean that it can't just be slotted in or removed. A well structured film is a house of cards, everybody knows that. Just remove all of the lines of dialogue given to one character.... either your house of cards falls down or, frankly, you're dealing with a film that hasn't been so well structured in the first place.

Obviously, in the case of Fantastic Four films and their sequels, we're dealing with the second option: a film that hasn't been so well structured in the first place.

So argue all you like about Galactus being a cloud, but don't overlook the bigger point - this is already revealing itself to be a film just bundled together, where something as potentially purposeful as all of the dialogue given to one lead character can hang in the balance so late in the film's post production.

As a footnote, I think David Hyde Pierce did a great job as Abe Sapien in Hellboy and am very doubtful as to Doug Jones' chances of turning in a comparable performance in the sequel.


Mark, at work said...

I'm not arguing. The Silver Surfer is one of Marvel's most iconic characters, and to fudge his introduction and back story so badly means it'll be damned hard to do anything with the bugger again. And that back story depends on Galactus, dammit!

Brendon said...

They'll simply have to reboot Silver Surfer in a decade or two. And not have a team like this one behind the film.

Anonymous said...

Again, the decision to make Galactus a cloud is ridiculous. The fact that this cloud may talk is even more ridic and ludicrous. The fans are going to go apeshit and AICN is already leading the way, with Quint ripping the film for its cirius decision about Galactus. The next thing we know, we'll be arguing over what type of cloud Galactus will be and whether it will be purple. The bad buzz on this film is starting to build. Somebody needs to use a Doppler 5000 out in Hollywood, stat!

Brendon said...

Can somebody tell me why the cloud idea is more ridiculous, not less, than a giant armoured giant with a funny helmet?

Mark said...

Well, the one thing the cloud has going for it is a certain Old Testamenty (that's a real word) quality that Jack and Stan might have appreciated. But I gotta keep saying it, in the history of fantastic (with a small "f") cinema, gigantic threats have a long and glorious tradition, from King Kong, through Japan's "man in suit" era, through to the trolls and balrogs of Jackson's Ring trilogy. So yeah, I want an alien the size of a skyscraper!

And there's plenty of great pre-viz and comic book artists who could design up a modern take on Galactus that wouldn't neccessarily look un-Kirbyish, yet not like a really dude in lycra tights. But this point is moot, 'cus I'm sure it's beyond the weak and feeble brains of Story and his crew.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but a huge ass dude overtaking the skyline is a lot scarier than some clouds...even a cloud in the shape of a puppy...

Tom Dougherty said...

Well, Brendon, if you're going to make a movie of comic book characters, wouldn't it make sense to retain as much of what has made them appealing and successful over the last 40 years? Fantastic Four fans love the Galactus character, and there is every reason to believe that film goers paying money to see a Fantastic Four film would enjoy that character as well. It's also an enduring comic book icon and a famous Jack Kirby icon as well, so why wouldn't you make him a giant humanoid alien in fancy armor? That's a better question.

I agree with the posted story, though. This late in the game and one of the lead characters/ plot points is still up in the air- ridiculous. All I could expect from the team that made the first movie one of the decade's worst.

Brendon said...

Why not make him a giant humanoid in daft armour? For the obvious reason that any such thing - at a Galactus scale - just looks silly. It plays games with our senses of reality in a and way - our sense of gravity and scale are compromised.

A King Kong sized Galactus? Well, okay... wouldn't be a failing in the same way... but then... he wouldn't make sense on so many other terms that he needs to be bigger for.

He's some kind of god figure, right? The clouds do that. They do that fine.

One of my favourite things about the Spider-Man films, at a general level, is that they played fast and loose with comics lore so that they could sidestep the silliness. Oh... and I love the biological web shooters. I wouldn't have had it any other way.