After establishing the X-Men universe in the early 2000s, 20th Century Fox hoped to add another superhero franchise to their core schedule. The studio released two Fantastic Four movies during the 2000s to mixed results (in terms of both critical and commercial returns), before moving forward with a reboot some years later. The result was the now-infamous 2015 version of Fantastic Four, a movie headlined by rising stars Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell, with the director of the hit found-footage film Chronicle, Josh Trank calling the shots.
Despite having a great cast, including Toby Kebbell as the villain, studio interference and behind-the-scenes trouble with Trank ultimately sent the Fantastic Four reboot flying off the rails. The film got blasted by critics and did not perform well at the box office, leaving the future of the franchise and its characters up in the air. Although it’s been indicated before that Fox still intends to continue the Fantastic Four series, the latest update on the matter paints an (even more) muddled picture of F4’s future.
Collider spoke to producer Simon Kinberg about the future of all of Fox’s Marvel related superhero properties, and that includes the potential, or lack thereof, for Marvel’s first family. Kinberg stated that they believe in the cast and could use their experience on Fantastic Four to make a better sequel. However, the likelihood of Fox being the one to continue on with the franchise, that’s another matter. Per Kinberg:
I have no idea. I think the truth is we would not make another Fantastic Four movie until it was ready to be made. One of the lessons we learned on that movie is that we want to make sure we get it 100% right, because we will not get another chance with the fans.
At this stage, most fans of the Fantastic Four property probably aren’t excited by the idea of Fox taking another shot at getting the series “right” on the big screen. The studio has struggled to get a good handle on the property several times over by now, leaving many fans hoping that the Fantastic Four movie rights just revert to Marvel Studios – whether that be from a lack of development at Fox, Marvel purchasing the rights back, or the studios agreeing to a deal that allows the Fantastic Four to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel Studios has already gotten those tired of Spider-Man and his constant reboots back onboard for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and there is a strong belief amongst fans that they could do the same thing with the Fantastic Four. There have been no shortage of rumors since the Spider-Man deal was made and Fantastic Four flopped that Marvel and Fox have been discussing a deal to make this a reality, but as of right now it has not happened.
While Fox has failed the Fantastic Four, they have found their niche recently with Deadpool and Logan received raving reviews. If this is the direction the X-Men cinematic universe is taking, then there seems to be little to no room for the Fantastic Four, as they wouldn’t match up tonally. Again, many fans would no doubt get excited to see more Fantastic Four movies were they included as part of the MCU (and under Marvel Studios’ creative supervision), but for now we will have to wait and see whether or not such a scenario ever comes to fruition.