Long a shady chapter of comic book movie lore, and only available on videotapes in the back allies of comic cons, the legend of the original Fantastic Four movie has grown over the last quarter century. Perhaps overshadowed by three middling to terrible adaptations of Marvel’s First Family, it’s easy to forget way back when, at the dawn of the 90s, there was a Fantastic Four movie so terrible, that it was never released for mass consumption. So in the spirit of comic book movies that never happened, another film crew has taken it upon themselves to preserve for posterity that, which was never meant to be seen. Coming this fall, Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four.
According to lore, German producer Bernd Eichinger secured the film rights for Fantastic Four for the bargain basement price of $250,000 in the mid-80s. Unable to get a big budget FF movie into production, and with the option on the rights about to expire, Eichinger decided to make a low budget Fantastic Four and recruited the master of low-budget fare, Roger Corman, to produce one for $1 million. Although the film was completed and marketed for a 1993/94 release, it was never shown in a single theater. Many believed it was a gambit on the part of Eichinger to hold on to the rights longer, a theory confirmed 10 years later by the man who would know. “The movie was never supposed to be shown to anybody,” said Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee.
Still, it has been seen, sold as bootlegs at comic cons ever since it was supposedly buried in the mid-90s, and it’s still available as torrents in dark corners of the internet. For fans, it’s been a curiosity, and curious too for Marty Langford who seems to have gone to the tremendous trouble of tracing down the various members of the cast and crew to talk about the Fantastic Four movie never meant to be talked about in the documentary Doomed!
“Doomed! is such a compelling documentary — and not just for comic book movies but anyone intrigued by the ins and outs of Hollywood and business,” said Keith Leopard, president of Uncork’d Entertainment, which picked up the doc for distribution. “In short, it’s a Fantastic movie.”
Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four will be available on VOD on October 11 and on DVD and Blu-ray December 20.
Source: Entertainment Weekly