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‘Fantastic Four’ Grabs Scribe; Simon Beaufoy and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein Get Polishing Work

Written by on July 13, 2012 

Fox is wasting no time on Fantastic Four. Less than two days after Josh Trank (Chronicle) signed to helm the (admittedly questionable) franchise reboot, THR has learned that writer Jeremy Slater — who some might know for his acerbic Twitter account — is on board to handle scripting duties. If his week was somewhat affected by Jake Kasdan taking control of My Spy, this should help balance things out just fine.

If something feels slightly left-of-center about this choice in writer and director, THR thinks there might be a reason: Fox is trying to atone for the last time out and, in turn, “capture the geeks’ hearts this time around.” That intent is all well and good — plus, something I can only hope shapes up as planned — though we won’t see Fantastic Four until 2014 at the earliest. For the time being, I’ll have to remain the tiniest bit skeptical.

As he waits for Sharp Teeth, The Raw Shark Texts, or some unannounced project to fall in place, Simon Beaufoy is taking a little side job. According to Variety, the Academy Award winner is coming in to do rewrites on New Line’s tornado film, once known as Category Six and originally scripted by John Swetnam; unsurprisingly, it revolves around high school kids who document a category six tornado via their cell phones.

This isn’t the kind of project I’d expect the seemingly more sedate Beaufoy to take up for himself, but whatever pays the bills and delivers a better end result is fine for this writer. Steve Quale (Final Destination 5) will direct the film, which stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta, Nathan Kress, and the newly-signed Jeremy Sumpter (Soul Surfer, Peter Pan).

Further down the line, THR also says that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses, Vacation) have been commissioned by Sony to give their live-action/CG hybrid Secret Histories a look. Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots) is behind the first draft, in which the fan of a Dungeons & Dragons-like game “discovers he may be a half-faerie when a secret order of mythical beings seeks out his help, thrusting him on a worldwide adventure to save the world.” (You can probably figure out where and how the two different forms come into play.)

The duo did good work with last summer’s R-rated comedy, though I can’t figure out how much impact they’d really have on Secret Histories when all is said and done. Hopefully, we’ll have an idea whenever it starts to hit a deeper state of development.

Is Fox making the right moves on Fantastic Four? Are the other two projects improving with this additional work?

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