While out doing press for the period piece Amazing Grace, Mr Fantastic (also known as Ioan Gruffudd) provided just a peek into what fans can expect of the second Fantastic Four movie: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Although Gruffudd began the discussion by saying he wasn’t really allowed to talk about FF2 very much, he did a great job of talking the film up without giving away a ton of information.
Are you allowed to tell us any information about Fantastic Four 2?
“Well, I had a phone call this morning from Fox saying, ‘Will you stop talking about the movie so much and stop ruining it for everyone.’ So, what I can tell you, as the title suggests, it’s the rise of the Silver Surfer and that’s it (laughing). At the beginning of the movie we are embracing our powers, sort of coping with living in the public eye, so that’s an exciting element of it. There’s an aspect of the movie where we sort of toy with the idea of not being superheroes anymore because it’s such a responsibility. Then, of course, the Silver Surfer arrives and the world is looking to us to help save it again.
As far as a movie, I think it’s a much better movie than the first one because that was sort of an origin movie. We were trying to sell it to a wider audience and not just cater to the fans. So, I think the fans were slightly disgruntled with the first movie because it took so long to get into it. And we were working out the difficulty of presenting four or five different effects together working simultaneously. This one, we start the movie with a bang and it doesn’t relent till the end. It’s a real roller coaster of a ride.”
Did you take it personally that there were ‘disgruntled fans’ after the first film?
“No, you can never do that. I don’t listen to that. You’re never going to please everyone. As an actor I’ve always said, ‘Half the audience is going to love you, half is going to hate you, so just live with it.’ It’s easier that way. “
Were you ever worried with the four central characters and Dr Doom, that adding Silver Surfer and Galactus would be too many characters?
“I don’t know. We’ve established Dr. Doom and the four of us so that’s fine. I think the Silver Surfer is such a great character. You need somebody of that nature to come and steal our thunder.”
Did you watch the trailer yet?
What’s your opinion of the fact the studio’s pushing the action sequences?
“I think it’s very smart of them. It just proves how far our franchise has come from that origin movie. Now, this movie is full of those sequences. They know best how to market these things and get bums on seats.”
How has director Tim Story changed since the first Fantastic Four movie?
“He’s a lot more confident now, as we all are. We’re sitting comfortably in the skin of our characters. We know each other. Because we are friends, it has made it easier to work together. When we did the first movie, we were just figuring each other out and Tim also, but now we’re a family. It gives us a lot of confidence to do this movie.”
Was there ever any doubt in your mind that there would be a sequel?
“Certainly, there was doubt. You don’t know. You sign up for three movies and, of course, you wish to do the three. But it is a business and it is all dependent on the box office . Thanks to the fans and general movie-going public, the movie was a success.”
Is the second Fantastic Four of a bigger scale?
“Absolutely, on every level. There are so many more effects shots in this movie compared to the first one.”
Was it a more difficult shoot?
“It was harder because of the weather in Vancouver. It was slightly harder this time around. There are a lot of exteriors. But, it was more fun of a shoot because we were all so much more comfortable with one another.”
Has the studio shown Fantastic Four more love after the box office success of Ghost Rider?
“I haven’t heard a word from them until this morning when they said, ‘Stop talking about the movie.’ I think no news is good news because the last time around, they were on the phone almost immediately. ‘Reshoots, we’ve gotta fix this. Gotta fix that.’ So this time I guess they’re sitting on something really special. I don’t know.”
You aren’t kidding? The studio asked told you to stop talking about the movie?
“Yes. What was happening is my mind was on this [Amazing Grace] and somebody asked me about it. I go, ‘Oh yes. Blah, blah, blah…’ and then thought, ‘S**t, I shouldn’t have said that. That’s spoiling the whole movie and then nobody needs to come and see it.’”
Was there one straw that broke their back?
“What I’m saying is there is a presence of Galactus. That’s all I’m allowed to say.”
But that would have gotten out anyway.
“I know, I know. Like they told me, ‘Don’t talk about Doug Jones as the Silver Surfer.’ I’m like, ‘But he’s credited as The Silver Surfer.’”
And Doug Jones has talked about it.
“I know. I think it’s to the detriment of the movie. They should be celebrating Doug Jones as the Silver Surfer. He’s brought this great character to life.”
What was it like working with Doug Jones?
“I thought he was under-appreciated because they say, ‘Don’t mention Doug.’ No, no, Doug has brought this character to life and they’re just manipulating what he did on set; putting that sheen on him. I thought it was wonderful, so majestic. When you meet him, he’s like a beanstalk of a guy, isn’t he? But his movement is fantastic, breathtaking. When I saw Pan’s Labyrinth I was like, ‘That’s you?’ It’s beautiful. I just want him to have his credit where credit’s due.”