THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER
The Fantastic Four face their greatest challenge in THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER, where they have to contend with the mysterious intergalactic herald Silver Surfer, who arrives on Earth with the intention of destroying her. As he travels the planet causing chaos, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must shed light on his mystery before all hope is lost. THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER is the second episode of the live action series based on what fans around the world know as the "best comic in the universe".
THE FANTASTIC 4, directed by Tim Story and released in the summer of 2005, has a worldwide gross of $ 330 million and has become one of the most successful home video titles in Twentieth Century Fox history.
In FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER, an inspiring element is added to the character roster of the hit 2005 film: The Silver Surfer. Academy Award-winning special effects company Weta (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) partnered with the film's special effects supervisor Scott Squires (three times Academy Award nominated and who also worked in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace), giving life to a spectacular computer-generated creature, Silver Surfer, who is absolutely faithful to the Marvel Comics character loved by fans around the world. Weta has developed very advanced CGI technology to add extra depth to the character. Doug Jones provided references for the character's movements, which were then used by Weta's digital wizards.
Silver Surfer joins the Marvel Comics universe superhero family that we know well and that includes Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, able to stretch and bend his body into every conceivable shape and who, in the role of leader of the group, known as Mister Fantastic; Jessica Alba, who plays Sue Storm, a character who can make herself invisible and project powerful force fields, known as The Invisible Woman; Chris Evans as Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch, able to unleash full-body flames and fly; finally Michael Chiklis in the role of Ben Grimm, who, after a shocking transformation, has become a mighty superhuman rock creature, thus earning the nickname of The Thing. Julian McMahon reprises the role he played in FANTASTIC 4 as the steel-eyed, iron-fisted nemesis Doctor Doom. Kerry Washington returns alongside Ben as the blind sculptor Alicia Masters.
Recent Emmy winner Andre Braugher joins the cast as General Hager, a stern army officer who requires the help of the four superheroes to fight a global threat, alongside Beau Garrett, who appeared in the first Fox Atomic Turistas film and which plays the general's assistant, Captain Raye. Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne, who has worked on films such as The Matrix and Mystic River, lends her voice to the Silver Surfer (in the original version). FANTASTIC 4 director Tim Story also returns in this second chapter, along with producers Ralph Winter, Avi Arad and Bernd Eichinger. The screenplay is the work of four-time Emmy Award winner Don Payne, executive co-producer of The Simpsons, and acclaimed author and screenwriter Mark Frost, formerly among the writers of THE FANTASTIC 4.
Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Scott Squires worked closely with Weta to create the Silver Surfer and also oversaw many of the film's many cutting-edge effects, including the additional powers of the Four, the perfectly craters. regular and several kilometers wide, the work on the Silver Surfer and the creation of Galactus (also known as the 'Eater of Worlds'), another character well known to comic fans for his incredible power and enormous size. "It was about finding a subtle balance between needing to meet fans' expectations of Galactus's image and making him cinematically spectacular even for audiences who aren't familiar with the character," says Squires. In 2005, audiences around the world became acquainted with this fabulous group of superheroes, who have captivated comic readers since their debut in 1961, in the first issue of Fantastic Four, created by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. With their headquarters located in the famous Baxter Building in New York, the Fantastic Four are committed to improving the world situation through their scientific discoveries and defending the planet from evil. With THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER, the filmmakers were able to broaden the horizons of the first film and propose new characters and adventures for the most important superhero team in the world. As director Tim Story explains: "We have a new character coming onto the scene, Silver Surfer, who is one of the most fascinating in all of comic book history. So, we definitely raised the bar with better, more stunt scenes. action, more characters in CGI and many other engaging situations ".
After bringing the group's origin story to life, FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER screenwriter Don Payne, a longtime comic book enthusiast of the group, worked to take the next step in the series. "I wanted this movie to be one of those rare sequels better than the original, with more emotion, drama, humor and action," says Payne. "I also wanted to explore in depth where the characters are in their lives. They are certainly in better money, but they also have to live with the downside of stardom. Sue and Reed are making progress and trying to get married. Ben and Alicia are getting married. they enjoy being a happy couple, while Johnny has his personal problems. So, important things are happening to these characters and in their relationships. But I am especially thrilled by the depth that is added to the story thanks to Silver Surfer ". THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER draws on a mix of different stories from the Fantastic Four comics, but also features new characters and narrative developments. "The film is inspired by the Silver Surfer's first appearance in Fantastic Four 48-50," reveals Payne. "But we also use narrative elements from Fantastic Four 57-60, in which the Silver Surfer meets Doctor Doom. Plus, there are a couple of moments inspired by the recent Ultimate Extinction series." But the highlight of the film, from which the whole story begins, is the fantastic 'Wedding of the century'. Known for several generations of comic book fans, the wedding between Reed Richards and Sue Storm, first shown in 1965 in the third Fantastic Four King Size Annual, is the comic equivalent of the historic marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. But preparations for the event are ruined by the arrival of the Silver Surfer, when mysterious anomalies begin to occur on Earth, causing considerable destruction, and the Fantastic Four are called to action. Silver Surfer, the "Galactic Surfer", made his debut in 1966 on the pages of the Fantastic Four in issue 48. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the start of the counterculture explosion in the 4s, Silver Surfer quickly became a fundamental element of Marvel Comics, often appearing on the pages of the Fantastic Four and even coming to have its own regular series. Silver Surfer, who is actually called Norrin Radd, is considered one of the most noble and tormented space beings in the Marvel universe. Its table can absorb and process the cosmic energy present in the universe. "I think the charm of the Silver Surfer lies in the fact that he is a complex and tragic character," says Don Payne. "He has an almost Zen detachment from the material world, but is still able to feel compassion. He is a hero, having practically sacrificed his life by deciding to serve Galactus, in order to save his planet and the woman he loves. However, by doing so, he also causes the destruction of other worlds and living species. So, he is definitely a very ambiguous being, who looks at the world and humanity through the point of view of an outcast, an element that people find fascinating " . "We tried to stay as close as possible to the Silver Surfer of the comic pages," adds Tim Story. "Technically, the great thing about this experience with the Silver Surfer is that, considering he is a CGI character, we were able to create him from scratch and then have the opportunity to model him exactly identical to the character in the comic. Our Silver Surfer is that that we all know and love. So, I think fans and anyone familiar with the character will appreciate the fact that he lives and moves exactly as we've always seen him do. " THE FANTASTIC XNUMX had shown the apparent demise of the archenemy of the Four, the tyrannical Victor Von Doom, who was locked in a container and taken to Latveria. "It's a fictional movie, so the characters can go in and out, die and rise again," explains Ralph Winter about the return of Doom. "He's found a way back. So, he's interacting with everyone, continuing to make Sue sweet eyes, still trying to denigrate Reed and thinking he's better than the Silver Surfer. He's trying to get everything he can and to fulfill its purposes ". "For the first time ever, Victor and the Fantastic Four must work together to achieve a certain goal," says Tim Story. "In the end, we discover that Victor Von Doom can never be trusted, because he always has ulterior motives."
The storyline and background of FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER also reflect the global horizons of the Fantastic Four. While the first film was entirely set in the group's hometown of New York, the sequel takes place on an international stage. Explains screenwriter Don Payne: "It's important, because the Fantastic Four are facing a global threat, not just to them or to New York, but to the entire planet. This time, we're painting our picture on a very bigger ". "A lot of recently released comic book movies are set in one city and one place," notes Tim Story. "The important thing about this series is that the Fantastic Four travel a lot. They almost look like explorers and travelers, rather than superheroes. They go to Shanghai and then all over Europe. It is one of the most fascinating elements of the comic, which we wanted to fully exploit it, because I think that's what will allow us to stand out from the competition. "It's always very exciting to revisit a character, after having had the opportunity to play him in the past," says Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd about his portrayal of the leader of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards, unanimously recognized as the smartest man in the world. "I have matured a little over the last two years and got older, so Reed Richards has evolved , has greater self-confidence and greater control of the situation. On this occasion, he shows himself more as a leader, because he is happy to fill this role within the Fantastic Four. "
For Jessica Alba, who reprises the character of Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, working on this film was more satisfying than the original film. "In the first film, I tried to understand what was going on and stay as faithful as possible to the comic", reveals the actress. "Now I already know the character and have a lot more freedom. Ioan, Chris, Chikie (Michael Chiklis) and I have all played these roles before, so we are really comfortable, and that gives us the opportunity. to discover new things about the characters played by others and about ourselves ". Chris Evans, who plays Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, was thrilled to be returning as his character with a greater understanding of what lies behind his actions. “It's a real pleasure for an actor, because you feel that you have not only spent time as this person, but you have also been lucky enough to see what works and is effective,” says Evans. Even though Johnny is an adventurous daredevil and the group's major exhibitionist, the filmmakers decided to add some romance to his character in this film. "They want Johnny to be more prepared for a romance this time around," Evans explains. "Because of Reed and Sue's marriage and the relationship between Ben and Alicia, it's a good narrative choice to show how Johnny suddenly feels lonely at first. However, he finds the important thing is to understand that the people they are. present in his life, that he is lucky enough to love and who love him, are really important and that this should not be taken for granted ". Michael Chiklis, winner of an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his work on the television series The Shield, returns as Ben Grimm, The Thing, whose body has been transformed into orange rock by the bombardment of cosmic rays, as we saw during the first movie.
Chiklis claims his character still remained a grouch. "I think anyone who was in his shoes would be a little cranky," reveals the actor. "But I think he overcame the initial shock and made some progress. Currently, he is engaged in the daily activity of saving the world ". Human relationships are very important for the Fantastic Four in this film and also involve a giant made of rock. In fact, Ben Grimm continues his relationship with the sculptress Alicia Masters, played by Kerry Washington, which began in the first FANTASTIC 4. "I see Ben Grimm as the true soul and heart of the Fantastic Four," says Chiklis. "He is the strongest character, but he is a gentle giant. And inside it is very sentimental. The idea that he has a loving relationship with Alicia really makes the role more satisfying. It's not just the grumpy grouch who always has a joke ready. He has a heart and a soul and that's exactly what the public loves about him. " Julian McMahon, who is currently the star of the FX channel series Nip / Tuck, reprises the role of the archenemy of the Fantastic Four, Victor Von Doom, aka Doctor Doom. Initially ally and patron of the Fantastic Four, due to his evil obsession that leads him to desire the power and control of the world, he becomes their main opponent. At the end of the first THE FANTASTICS 4, Doctor Doom was locked up and sent back to his homeland of Latveria. "He's been stuck in a grave for a long time and is now very angry," explains McMahon of Destiny's inevitable return. "He's full of grudge, determined to take revenge on the Fantastic Four, enough to prepare his plan from the beginning of the film." Reprising the role of Alicia Masters, already covered in the first episode, is Kerry Washington, who recently joined Forest Whitaker in the acclaimed film The Last King of Scotland. Alicia Masters is a blind sculptor who, thanks to her handicap, is able to see Ben Grimm for the man who is inside, without paying attention to the imposing rock creature as the rest of the world does. "Alicia is very intuitive and insightful, she is endowed with a wisdom that goes well beyond her young age, thanks to her blindness and the way this has affected her life," explains Washington. A new addition to the cast of actors is recent Emmy winner Andre Braugher, who plays General Hager, a stiff career soldier who was tasked by the United States government to locate and capture the Silver Surfer. Braugher, a longtime fan of the Fantastic Four comics, was happy to be part of this cinematic universe. "I remember well when the first Fantastic Four comic came out and discovered all these characters, as well as the Silver Surfer and Galactus. For this reason, it is truly a great satisfaction for me to find myself in this film. The ability to jump off a helicopter, work in a tank full of water and be engaged in space launches is really fun.
The legend of Marvel Comics and the creator of the Fantastic Four, Stan Lee, also this time appears in THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER, during the 'Wedding of the century' between Reed & Sue. In a tribute to the final table of the 3 Fantastic Four Special King Size Annual issue 1965, the one in which the wedding between Sue and Reed takes place, Lee appears as himself as a postman at the wedding. However, he is not on the list and is invited to leave. In the first Fantastic Four, Lee was engaged in a cameo as the postman of the Baxter Building. With such well-defined characters and a global horizon at their disposal, the filmmakers hope that fans of the genre and ordinary viewers will welcome the film. "I think the film is important because our four heroes are facing a global threat," says screenwriter Don Payne. "But the film definitely deals with eternal issues, such as family and sacrifice. You have to be a noble individual to commit and make sacrifices for the good of humanity. There is also more action, emotion and attention to relationships between characters. The idea is to make it remain a family film, but never make it too trivial. It has to be a large-scale adventure, with the right mix of action, drama, humor and fabulous special effects. " According to producer Ralph Winter, the identification made the Fantastic Four popular with fans around the world for nearly fifty years. "They have a little lighter tone," says Winter. "You can see the kind of natural bonding and fights that happen in a normal family. They have real problems, the same as we do. They can't hide their powers the way the mutants in the X-Men movies can. do or even change what they are. They cannot do it, because their powers are visible to all. This makes everything a little more stimulating for each of them. " SILVER SURFER Created by screenwriter Stan Lee and designer / co-writer Jack Kirby, Silver Surfer first appeared in March 1966, in issue 48 of the Fantastic Four. Silver Surfer is an adventurer from distant galaxies who visits space on his cosmic energy table as the herald of Galactus, the 'Eater of Worlds', in search of new planets to satisfy his master. According to the official Marvel story, the Silver Surfer has a 'cosmic power', which allows him to absorb and rework the cosmic energy of the universe. It can increase its strength to untold levels and is virtually indestructible.
He is able to navigate in space, in hyperspace and through dimensional barriers, to fly at unimaginable speeds on his table, also entering hyperspace when it exceeds the speed of light. Moreover, on some occasions he has even been able to travel through time. Silver Surfer does not need food, water, air or sleep, because it goes on thanks to the conversion of matter into energy. It is immune to extreme temperatures and most radiation, even managing to survive in desolate environments such as outer space or hyperspace. The table, the source of its power, is made of the same impenetrable silver material and composed of the cosmic energy of which the skin of its master is formed, which is mentally connected to it. In fact, the board moves in response to his thoughts, even when there is no physical contact between them. The board is almost completely indestructible, but on those rare occasions when it has been damaged or destroyed, the Silver Surfer has managed to repair or even recreate it. Actor Doug Jones, who recently garnered great acclaim for his portrayal of the mysterious villain 'The Pale Man' in Guillermo del Toro's three-time Oscar-winning The Faun's Labyrinth, has joined the project to provide a physical reference of the character of Silver Surfer and his movements to the digital wizards of Weta. Laurence Fishburne instead lends his voice to the character. For several weeks prior to production, and also during production, Jones, an expert mime and contortionist, and his stunt double, Dorian Kingi, worked closely with movement instructor Terry Notary, using a variety of equipment. for cameras and harnesses specially designed to recreate the character's surfing inspired movements.
Notary started out as a gymnast and circus performer (he was in fact part of the original cast of the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere), before working in the film business and helped Doug Jones recreate many of the classic Silver Surfer movements and positions. While the Silver Surfer occasionally interacts with all the Fantastic Four, the closest relationship is with Sue, who is the first to discover that she may not be the evil planet destroyer she initially seemed. "The Silver Surfer is a physically extraordinary individual," says Alba. "Not only does he have this particular silver skin, he's strong and muscular, but he's also innocent. It's definitely interesting, because he's totally misunderstood, and I really like my character to bond with him, even being maternal.
The boys are so rigid, ready to fight without thinking when they feel that something is threatening the universe, while Sue tries to go beyond the current situation and to look beyond appearances. I think it's something really fascinating for this film and for my character. "" I look forward to seeing the Silver Surfer in the film, "reveals Michael Chiklis." He's a magnificent character, one of Marvel's most loved and charismatic, and his look in the movie is incredible. "" The Silver Surfer is simply a very sexy character. I think I'm envious of him, "Ioan Gruffudd jokes." Even his name alone is absolutely fascinating. And, visually, it will be exciting to follow this character in the film. "THE FANTASTICAR Within the mythology of the Fantastic Four, the Baxter Building is as important as the Fantasticar, the aircraft that originally debuted in issue 3 of the Fantastic Four in 1962, where it earned the nickname of "flying bathtub". However, with the technological changes that have occurred in over forty years of history, the Fantasticar has also evolved in many different versions, reaching its current sleek and aerodynamic physiognomy . Fantasticar makes her theatrical debut in FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER. After Reed Richards reveals his latest invention to the rest of the team in the Baxter Building's high-tech lab, they use it in an attempt to prevent Galactus from destroying Earth. Thus, he becomes a fundamental element in the battle of the skies involving the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Doom and Galactus.
The Fantasticar we see in the film was created by celebrated artist / illustrator / vehicle designer Tim Flattery (who worked on Mission: Impossible III, Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End and Transformers, among others), in collaboration with Trevor Creed of the Chrysler Group design department, with the director of THE FANTASTIC 4 AND SILVER SURFER Tim Story and with the production designer of the film, Kirk Petruccelli. Able to satisfy the most particular needs of the Fantastic Four, the Fantasticar is an aircraft more than 6 meters long and 4 meters wide, capable of taking off and landing vertically, equipped with propellers powered by electricity and turbines typical of a jet, which allows for maximum efficiency in fuel consumption. Conceived by Reed Richards, built with a wide range of elements brought to high temperatures and using recent industrial techniques supported by computers, the aircraft is decidedly anomalous, but capable of flying. The maximum speed attainable by the Fantasticar, with all members of the Fantastic Four on board, is nearly 900 kilometers per hour. The maximum height that can be reached is 9.000 meters. The Fantasticar is able to split into three separate aircraft, each self-maneuverable and equipped with its own power source, with opening wings. Each section can maintain the speed and performance of the entire aircraft. Most of the footage with the Fantasticar was shot on a green screen set in Vancouver, where the aircraft itself was located on a platform that had great freedom of movement, with the fans running and the machine running. it rocked mounted on a pin. All of this provided the actors with a realistic backdrop to represent the effect of flight. "The Fantasticar is fabulous," says Jessica Alba. "They took this car to an incredible level, with an absolutely futuristic and fascinating look. For me, one of the best moments will be when I can see all these scenes put together."
THE PRODUCTION With the script and cast well defined, the producers have established their offices at Vancouver Film Studios, east of the city center. Many of the filmmakers who participated in Fantastic Four and the X-Men films, all shot in Vancouver, have returned to offer their contribution to the impressive production of I FANTASTICI 4 E SILVER SURFER. To capture some of the world's most famous landmarks and attractions, the second unit crew traveled far and wide to shoot some exterior shots in cities like London, New York and Shanghai. Assistant director and co-producer Lee Cleary, who worked on all the X-Men films and the first I FANTASTICI 4, explains the pre-production process: "the key element for preparing a film is the locations. In this film, we cover several continents. We are in New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and London, just to name a few. And when the base of operations is a city like Vancouver, which has to represent so many continents and nations, there is a need for very in-depth research for locations. " The exterior of the Baxter Building was filmed again at the Marine Building in Vancouver, one of the world's leading examples of art deco architecture, located near the waterfront in the heart of Vancouver's financial district. The roof of the Metro Parkade, a large seven-story parking lot in downtown Vancouver, was used for 'The Wedding of the Century' between Reed Richards and Sue Storm. It is a long awaited ceremony, disturbed by the appearance of the Silver Surfer, who, chased by Johnny, created one of the most memorable action scenes in the film. For a week of filming, the cast and crew moved to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve in northern Vancouver, which is used to represent the Black Forest, where the Fantastic Four thanks to Reed's sensors find Silver Surfer. The 5.668 hectare reserve contains spectacular and varied territories, and includes alpine ponds, forest slopes and plains crossed by rivers, which provide the filmmakers of I FANTASTICI 4 AND SILVER SURFER a perfect background for the sequences in the Black Forest. In addition to several weeks of filming on the locations, the crew was engaged in the studios of the Vancouver Film Studios and those of Mammoth Studios, on the outskirts of Burnaby, the same structures used for FANTASTIC 4, X2 and X-Men: Conflict. the final. At Mammoth Studios (an appropriate name for this Burnaby facility, as it is the size of an immense warehouse), production designer Kirk Petruccelli and his team of art directors, interior designers and designers, together with the rest of the crew, conceived and built the ultra-technological laboratory. by Reed Richard, as well as the interiors of the military base in the Arctic Circle where the Silver Surfer is imprisoned. Reed's laboratory, built at Mammoth Studios Theater 1, is a 576 square meter set consisting of numerous spaces, in which the brilliant scientist can conduct his work. Among these, there is a room used to house the Cosmic Sensor and study the biological sciences and technology linked to space rockets, a room with the Supercomputer, another that houses the Fantasticar, a conference room, and the large circular room with the control panel, equipped with a high definition liquid crystal screen, 14 meters wide and 4 meters high.
This unit handled much of the chase sequence between the Silver Surfer and Johnny Storm. Precisely for this scene, additional shots took place all over the world: capturing the classic monuments of Washington, the profile of New York that you see arriving by ship and the Holland Tunnel, ending in London and China. In the two years since The Thing's last appearance, obviously in THE FANTASTIC 4, Spectral Motion Inc., a leading fantasy creature effects company based in Glendale, California, and owned by Award-winning special effects manager Mike Elizalde made significant improvements and changes in the look and technology used in the prosthetics and costume of La Cosa, worn by actor Michael Chiklis. Thanks to the on-set prosthetic artist Bart Mixon who worked closely with Chiklis in the first film, the daily time to apply the facial prosthesis and his body suit to the Thing has been reduced to ninety minutes in this second episode. , a much shorter period than in the original film. The La Cosa prosthesis now has more pronounced eyebrows, a detail requested out loud by fans of the Fantastic Four, while there are more applications and rocky joints in the complete costume, to give greater credibility to this creature made of rock. .
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
|Action / Sci-Fi
|Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Andre Braugher, Moneca Delain, Ulla Friis, Beau Garrett, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington
|Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Enterprises, Dune Entertainment, Thinkfilm
|20th Century Fox
|June 15, 2007 (cinema)