Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (partially found Doug Jones voice performance; 2007)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is a 2007 superhero film directed by Tim Story as a sequel to 2005's Fantastic Four, based on characters from Marvel Comics. Distributed by 20th Century Fox and produced by Marvel Entertainment, the story focuses on the newly-formed Four as they face off against their most iconic adversaries, the Silver Surfer and his master Galactus, the world-eater.
While critical reception gave Rise a slight artistic edge over its predecessor - and like the first film, it eventually gained a minor cult following - overall it did not perform as well financially, and given its much bigger budget was considered enough of a box office failure to kill any further plans for sequels. Additionally, it ensured that the original vocal performance of the Silver Surfer, which was scrapped just prior to release, will likely remain lost.
Actor Doug Jones was cast as the Surfer as the filmmakers thought he had the right physique and presence for the role after seeing him play similarly inhuman beings in films such as Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. Jones was present on set for scenes involving interaction with the rest of the cast, albeit entirely covered in a silver bodysuit.
The costume did not prevent Jones from speaking clearly, and his lines were recorded during filming. However, for unknown reasons - probably related to relative star power - Jones’ voice was not used in the final cut of the film. Instead, Laurence (The Matrix Trilogy) Fishburne re-recorded the part entirely. In an interview after the film's release, Jones confessed to some disappointment at being replaced:
“... A lot of people involved with the film told me that they got goosebumps and chills when I would talk as the Silver Surfer, so I am sorry to see that go."
Jones’ voice can be heard briefly in the first trailer, as he utters the line, “All that you know... is at an end.” Otherwise none of the audio of his performance has been made publicly available. Though it is plausible that the original recording may be in the possession of the Walt Disney Company - who via their Marvel Studios division subsequently acquired the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise - the likelihood of them releasing it at this point is slim, especially given their stated plans for a 2025 remake.
- Twitter post of Doug Jones on set. Retrieved 12 December '22
- Doug Jones interview. Retrieved 12 December '22
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer trailer. Retrieved 12 December '22