It is a well known fact that in Hollywood, there are properties that are licensed and never utilized; or screenplays that are written, read by somebody at studio, and thrown in a stack. There are also movies that are even fully produced and completed, then thrown on the shelf for whatever reason. Cabin in the Woods managed to come off the shelf to success and acclaim, while the Red Dawn remake came off the shelf to failure. What about the movies that never come off the shelf — the ones that are locked away, never to been seen (legally) again?
If you prowl the bootleg tables at your local comic convention, you will find nestled between the original BATMAN TV series and the Star Wars Holiday special, the 1994 Roger Corman produced Fantastic Four movie. This version of the Fantastic Four has lived on in bootleg form for years, but was never actually released. Why make a movie about one of the world’s most famous superhero teams and hide it? As we have learned over the years, there was more to the story… much more. Stan Lee has said that the movie was never intended for release and was never supposed to be shown to anyone. Corman and fellow producer Bernd Eichinger have claimed otherwise. They say they made the movie they were supposed to make and Marvel basically got cold feet and thought it was best not to release it. Which of these is true? Why did the movie never see the light of day? How did the company that brought you The Neverending Story bring you the story of Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben but then NOT bring it to you at the same time? It is with great honor and excitement that I can tell you that there are answers to all of these questions and more and they are coming soon!
For the past two years, filmmaker Marty Langford and L.A.-based casting agent Mark Sikes had discussed working on a book about the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie. Not to be constrained by the written word, Marty and Mark are now in the process of producing a full-length documentary called: DOOMED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ROGER CORMAN’S ‘THE FANTASTIC FOUR.
It was Marty’s goal to originally begin investigating just what happened with the production. Why was the movie shelved and when was that decision made?
“These are questions that greatly interest me. I’m also greatly interested in the reactions of the cast and crew who spent 21 days of principal photography and countless hours before and after to bring (director Oley) Sassone’s film to the screen. Their voices, silenced by contracts, lawyers, and shady back room dealings, are what I’ve been waiting for years to hear.”
As for Mark, well, he was a little bit closer to the production. You see, he was cutting his teeth in the movie business as the assistant casting director on the film. That opens the door to hear the story behind this film that we have NEVER heard before.
The film is currently scheduled to film this summer in Los Angeles and will feature interviews with ALL of the key principal cast and crew and maybe even some surprise guests! According to Marty, there will be a Kickstarter launching in mid to late May (Veronica Mars, eat your heart out!) and from what he’s told me, there are going to be some really cool and VERY rare items to reward you for your support. He also tells me that the book that began this project will be available as an e-book for one the Kickstarter rewards.
You can follow the “DOOMED” Facebook page (linked HERE) or follow them on Twitter, @DOOMEDFF. In addition, it is with Marty’s cooperation that we here at the Geek League of America will be providers for news and behind the scenes awesomeness of the production of DOOMED! We hope to bring you ongoing updates from Marty during production and beyond. I can’t wait to see this thing all put together. Excelsior! (Sorry, Stan.)