At this moment in time there’s little to no hope at all for a sequel to Josh Trank and Simon Kinberg’s 2015 Fantastic Four reboot. It was developed in an effort to deliver a modern take on Marvel Comics’ founding family and to ensure studio Twentieth Century Fox could retain the license to the property (they must produce an FF film every so many years or the rights revert back to Marvel), but in reality the end product was a critical and financial disaster.
It was so bad in fact that people involved with the project admitted as much and Fox silently removed the release date for its sequel it had over-ambitiously pre-planned. Now the intellectual property, which was already being buried under the weight of Marvel licensing restrictions and a pair of canceled comics, has little to no value for Fox. They helped kill the brand as a viable standalone movie franchise.
The good news is there are rumblings of Marvel and Fox potentially working together to save the Fantastic Four, building off an idea we and anyone following this industry closely may have had for a long while – simply work together. Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have partnered to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for instance, allowing the size and popularity of that brand to re-establish Spidey and in turn to help Sony make their future movies relevant thanks to placing him and his supporting library of characters in the world where other Marvel villains and heroes exist. Fantastic Four desperately needs something similar to occur if actor Miles Teller wants any chance in reprising his role as Reed Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic.
The good news is, Miles Teller is game to return if that opportunity should present itself, echoing the sentiments other castmates have said previously. Teller told the following to JoBlo while promoting his upcoming flick War Dogs where he co-stars with Jonah Hill.
“Yeah, for sure. I loved the cast, I loved the characters. I think it’s such an interesting dynamic. I love how much they really need to rely on each other. This Avengers thing, they’ve kind of created their own Fantastic Four in a way, Marvel’s first family. Their powers can’t just exist on their own, you need Thor to do this, the Hulk to do his thing. So yeah, absolutely, I would do another one.”
“Obviously you learn more as you go on; for me I’ve really enjoyed the fact that I’ve been able to work in pretty much every genre. There’s a lot of different factors you’re going to take into account. I think script is super important, and director. The director is going to be the most powerful person in terms of what that final product is. But shit, Whiplash was Damian [Chazelle]’s first feature, who would have known? I did that because of the script. I think certain things you can get sort of disenfranchised with a little bit. But I wouldn’t change anything. I can honestly say I’ve never just done something for money; I’d be really embarrassed for something like that to come out, that I had no attachment to the character, no attachment to the script. It takes a while before you’re only working with the best directors, nobody’s career is flawless.”
By “I’ve never just done something for money; I’d be really embarrassed for something like that to come out,” Teller must be confusingly referring to his September 2014 interview with W Magazine where he admitted he joined the Divergent franchise just for money (a failed franchise now going straight-to-TV unbeknownst to its movie star cast):
“I didn’t have an interesting part [in Divergent], and I’d taken the film for business reasons: It was the first movie I’d done that was going to have an international audience. I called my agent and said, ‘This sucks.'”
Who knows what to believe then about his thoughts on the Fantastic Four characters, cast, and willingness to return. What we can thankfully say is that he and all the talented cast of the failed Fantastic Four reboot seem unaffected by it, and rightfully so given their skills and star potential. Michael B. Jordan went on to do Creed and is now joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a villain in 2018’s Black Panther.
When it comes to the future of Fantastic Four on the big screen however, don’t count on anyone from this cast returning. Marvel didn’t even keep the lovable Andrew Garfield around to continue playing Peter Parker when they got Spider-Man back and his movies made money and generally got positive reviews. No, Marvel would recast, choose their own stars based on their own vision and distance themselves from the awfulness of Trank’s film.
And while you may think we’re over-emphasizing the Marvel partnership angle, recent reports suggest exactly that might be in the works as I type this. Marvel TV and Fox are already working together to co-produce and co-promote a pair of X-Men TV shows after all, and the X-Men are all of a sudden getting more love from Marvel on the merchandise front (look at what we saw at San Diego Comic-Con last month!). Consider the alternative – does Fox really sit on this for five or more years and try again, launching the Fantastic Four in their own universe where they can never interact with the Avengers? No way.
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Fantastic Four 2 has no release date because Fox pulled it.