Kate Mara and Michael B Jordan star in the new Fantastic Four film. Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox via AP
Kate Mara and Michael B Jordan star in the new Fantastic Four film. Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox via AP

Marvel’s faltering Fantastic Four franchise is seen off by Deadpool



Is Fantastic Four really as bad as everyone says? Yes, I'm afraid it is – but every cloud has a silver lining and it seems Marvel's cynical, sarcastic, ultraviolent X-Men spin-off character Deadpool may be the unexpected beneficiary of the Fantastic Flop.

The latest Marvel film has been so badly received that not only have audiences rejected it, so has its director and, it seems, the studio that made it.

According to widely reported sources in Hollywood, a scheduled Fantastic Four sequel, due out in 2017, has been dropped. The gap in the schedule will be filled with a sequel for Deadpool, whose first film isn't out until February but has been generating extremely favourable buzz.

The reviews suggest Fantastic Four is terrible. Having seen it, I'm inclined to agree.

There are a number of ways of looking at the reasons for this, but at the root of the problem is the fact that Marvel, strapped for cash during the 1980s and 1990s, sold off the film rights to some of its most popular properties – including the X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four – to film studios.

This left those franchises outside Marvel's control when it later realised the true worth of its characters and signed a big-money deal with Disney, ultimately leading to the Iron Man film and the creation of an Avengers-centred Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The resulting films have not all been brilliant – but even the worst film in the Disney-Marvel family is far superior to 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four. Rival studio Sony has also struggled to do justice to Spider-Man, and so has signed a deal with Marvel that will allow the web-slinger to be integrated into the Avengers film universe.

This was Fox's second attempt at building a Fantastic Four film franchise. The first try – a pair of movies in 2005 and 2007 – were also pretty awful.

Almost a decade later, director Josh Trank was given the job of rebooting one of the best-known comic-book superhero teams, despite only having a single film under his belt – 2012's critically acclaimed "real-world" superhero film Chronicle.

But then the studio reportedly took it away from him again. It has been reported that Trank was physically removed from the editing suite while working on the third act of the film. This is interesting, given that most reviews specifically criticised the disjointed third act. Three major action scenes were also apparently removed by Fox before Trank began shooting.

And just before the film’s North American release, Trank raised eyebrows with a (swiftly deleted) tweet in which he wrote: “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.”

The reviews have been terrible – and the opening weekend's US$26m (Dh95.5m) take in the US is a disaster for a film that expected to make almost double that – but one thing to be pleased about after such a disastrous release is that we gather Fox, which also controls the X-Men franchise, is now likely to drop the fantastic foursome.

This not only clears the release schedule for the aforementioned Deadpool sequel, but also potentially sets the scene for the rights to the Fantastic Four being returned to Marvel, leaving them free to join the Avengers and Spidey in an expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

All of which, quite frankly, would be a Fantastic result.

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Ukraine

Capital: Kiev

Population: 44.13 million

Armed conflict in Donbass

Russia-backed fighters control territory

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 247hp at 6,500rpm

Torque: 370Nm from 1,500-3,500rpm

Transmission: 10-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 7.8L/100km

Price: from Dh94,900

On sale: now

How to improve Arabic reading in early years

One 45-minute class per week in Standard Arabic is not sufficient

The goal should be for grade 1 and 2 students to become fluent readers

Subjects like technology, social studies, science can be taught in later grades

Grade 1 curricula should include oral instruction in Standard Arabic

First graders must regularly practice individual letters and combinations

Time should be slotted in class to read longer passages in early grades

Improve the appearance of textbooks

Revision of curriculum should be undertaken as per research findings

Conjugations of most common verb forms should be taught

Systematic learning of Standard Arabic grammar

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder turbo
Power: 268hp
Torque: 380Nm
Price: From Dh208,000
On sale: Now

Results

Stage 7:

1. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto Soudal - 3:18:29

2. Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck-QuickStep - same time

3. Phil Bauhaus (GER) Bahrain Victorious

4. Michael Morkov (DEN) Deceuninck-QuickStep

5. Cees Bol (NED) Team DSM

General Classification:

1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates - 24:00:28

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers - 0:00:35

3. Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep - 0:01:02

4. Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:01:42

5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo - 0:01:45

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo

Power: 268hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 380Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: CVT auto

Fuel consumption: 9.5L/100km

On sale: now

Price: from Dh195,000

Milestones on the road to union

1970

October 26: Bahrain withdraws from a proposal to create a federation of nine with the seven Trucial States and Qatar. 

December: Ahmed Al Suwaidi visits New York to discuss potential UN membership.

1971

March 1:  Alex Douglas Hume, Conservative foreign secretary confirms that Britain will leave the Gulf and “strongly supports” the creation of a Union of Arab Emirates.

July 12: Historic meeting at which Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid make a binding agreement to create what will become the UAE.

July 18: It is announced that the UAE will be formed from six emirates, with a proposed constitution signed. RAK is not yet part of the agreement.

August 6:  The fifth anniversary of Sheikh Zayed becoming Ruler of Abu Dhabi, with official celebrations deferred until later in the year.

August 15: Bahrain becomes independent.

September 3: Qatar becomes independent.

November 23-25: Meeting with Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and senior British officials to fix December 2 as date of creation of the UAE.

November 29:  At 5.30pm Iranian forces seize the Greater and Lesser Tunbs by force.

November 30: Despite  a power sharing agreement, Tehran takes full control of Abu Musa. 

November 31: UK officials visit all six participating Emirates to formally end the Trucial States treaties

December 2: 11am, Dubai. New Supreme Council formally elects Sheikh Zayed as President. Treaty of Friendship signed with the UK. 11.30am. Flag raising ceremony at Union House and Al Manhal Palace in Abu Dhabi witnessed by Sheikh Khalifa, then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

December 6: Arab League formally admits the UAE. The first British Ambassador presents his credentials to Sheikh Zayed.

December 9: UAE joins the United Nations.

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Gulf Under 19s final

Dubai College A 50-12 Dubai College B

The Bio

Favourite vegetable: “I really like the taste of the beetroot, the potatoes and the eggplant we are producing.”

Holiday destination: “I like Paris very much, it’s a city very close to my heart.”

Book: “Das Kapital, by Karl Marx. I am not a communist, but there are a lot of lessons for the capitalist system, if you let it get out of control, and humanity.”

Musician: “I like very much Fairuz, the Lebanese singer, and the other is Umm Kulthum. Fairuz is for listening to in the morning, Umm Kulthum for the night.”

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 14

Display: 6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2532 x 1170, 460ppi, HDR, True Tone, P3, 1200 nits

Processor: A15 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP main (f/1.5) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4); 2x optical, 5x digital; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps; HD slo-mo @ 120/240fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4; Animoji, Memoji; Portrait Lighting

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD slo-mo @ 120fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 3279 mAh, up to 20h video, 16h streaming video, 80h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30m; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + SIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Blue, midnight, purple, starlight, Product Red

In the box: iPhone 14, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh3,399 / Dh3,799 / Dh4,649

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

Marathon results

Men:

1. Titus Ekiru(KEN) 2:06:13 

2. Alphonce Simbu(TAN) 2:07:50 

3. Reuben Kipyego(KEN) 2:08:25 

4. Abel Kirui(KEN) 2:08:46 

5. Felix Kemutai(KEN) 2:10:48  

Women:

1. Judith Korir(KEN) 2:22:30 

2. Eunice Chumba(BHR) 2:26:01 

3. Immaculate Chemutai(UGA) 2:28:30 

4. Abebech Bekele(ETH) 2:29:43 

5. Aleksandra Morozova(RUS) 2:33:01  

The specs: 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

Price, base / as tested Dh97,600
Engine 1,745cc Milwaukee-Eight v-twin engine
Transmission Six-speed gearbox
Power 78hp @ 5,250rpm
Torque 145Nm @ 3,000rpm
Fuel economy, combined 5.0L / 100km (estimate)

Company profile

Name: Cashew
Started: 2020
Founders: Ibtissam Ouassif and Ammar Afif
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: FinTech
Funding size: $10m
Investors: Mashreq, others

'Munich: The Edge of War'

Director: Christian Schwochow

Starring: George MacKay, Jannis Niewohner, Jeremy Irons

Rating: 3/5