After a slightly cheesy but successful pair of Fantastic Four films rocked the box office in the early 2000s (and after The Amazing Spider-Man proved that it's never too soon to reboot a promising superhero franchise for a new generation), a fresh round of films featuring the Human Torch, Invisible Woman, and Mr. Fantastic seemed like just (ahem) the Thing for an up-and-coming director.
Josh Trank, who'd done great things with the found-footage thriller Chronicle, was tapped to helm the new Fantastic Four, with a cast that included Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell—serious stars, all. Producers were counting on the foursome to become the next big thing in superhero ensembles, alongside the X-Men and the Avengers. What they weren't counting on, unfortunately, was for Trank to clash with the studio and (reportedly) behave so erratically on set that Fox felt compelled to reshoot huge portions of the movie after the fact. The release was overshadowed by scandal, and the finished product was ghastly by all accounts… which makes it unsurprising that the film took in only $26.2 million on its opening weekend and $167 million worldwide, against an estimated $200 million production and marketing budget.