Fantastic Four was a troubled production. Of this there is little doubt with director Josh Trank exiting the project, and 20th Century Fox commissioning apparently extensive reshoots. The negative buzz and worse reviews these events generated resulted in the film flopping at the box office. Yet it’s the reports that came later of a toxic work environment, including with how Kate Mara was allegedly treated by Trank, that has most tarnished Fantastic Four’s reputation.
“I had a horrible experience on Fantastic Four,” Mara said. “I’ve never talked about it before. I married one off my costars, so I don’t regret doing the movie at all. But do I wish I had responded differently to certain things? Yes, definitely.”
The actor went on to note that after the #MeToo movement brought a much needed reckoning to Hollywood and all other industries, she’s looked back to her past experiences, including Fantastic Four and an unnamed second film, with new awareness about what she went through, and what she won’t tolerate again.
“The fact of the matter is that my two horrendous experiences were male directors,” said Mara. “Have I not gotten along with a female director? Absolutely. And was it not the greatest work experience? Sure. But there was never a time that I felt, ‘This is happening because I’m a woman.’ Where with male directors, it 100 percent was only happening with me; it was a power dynamic thing.”
Reports of a grim environment on the Fantastic Four set began to leak out when the movie was still in theaters for its opening weekend in 2015. According to an EW report at the time, sources on the set described Trank’s treatment of Mara as ranging from “cold” to “cruel.” This is apparently the result of Trank not wanting Mara in the role of Sue Storm, but Fox forcing her into the production after her success in House of Cards. But then Trank was at repeated loggerheads with the studio and other cast members, according to EW, and developed a “disdainful relationship” with actor Miles Teller, as well.
Mara has moved on from Fantastic Four. After making the film, she eventually married co-star Jamie Bell, who played Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, in the movie. She has also starred in Pose and become a producer, starring in and producing My Days of Mercy. She next is also appearing FX on Hulu’s A Teacher limited series.