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When Tim Story’s name was attached to direct 2005’s Fantastic Four film, there were skeptics aplenty. After all, this was a big-budget film adaptation of the most famous and beloved superhero family in the world of comic books. At that time, Story’s only big screen claim to fame was comparatively low-budget comedies: Barbershop with Ice Cube and Taxi with Queen Latifah. While Barbershop was a financial success, grossing $77 million worldwide on a $12 million budget, Taxi grossed a less impressive $68.8 million worldwide on a $25 million budget.
Story, however, silenced the critics. Fantastic Four grossed more than $330 million worldwide, and the 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, tacked on another $288 million. Story’s stock has been on the rise. Since then, the 37-year-old served as an executive producer for First Sunday, a comedy that grossed more than $18 million in its opening weekend, and he is currently in talks to direct Patriots, a drama with Forest Whitaker about a basketball coach who led his high school team to the state championship a year after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the school and
displaced many of its students.
black enterprise caught up with Story to discuss his past achievements and future plans behind the camera:
What is it about the superhero genre that is so appealing?
I think it just takes the imagination to another place. I think as soon as the technology caught up with the ideas that were in comic books, it seemed like a normal next step. The imagination of youth has just gone through the roof and now to be able to bring that to screen, it’s just the newest thing. It’s just the next phase.
Was it intimidating to direct a $100 million summer blockbuster after directing smaller budget films?
Of course! I was intimidated but not scared. I think there’s a difference. I’m concerned if I’m not nervous when I start a movie, because I believe you need that excitement. You never want to approach a project as if it’s easy.
A lot of people didn’t know an African American directed one of the biggest films of 2007. Do you prefer to keep a low profile?
I guess so. I just want to work. I like my life and being able to go out and just be under the radar. It can be said the more famous you are, more comes to you but it’s just not in me.
Is it more challenging being a black director in Hollywood?
I think I have the same challenges as any person in my opinion, regardless of race. I can’t say I’ve been held back because of my skin color. I like to think I was the best candidate for the job. At this stage, it’s just about being good and delivering what you, and those you answer to, expect.