Fantastic Four Conspiracy: Is Marvel’s CEO Trying To Hinder Fox’s Movie Plans?

Published 11 months ago by , Updated July 10th, 2014 at 1:28 pm,

Fantastic Four Marvel Zombies Fantastic Four Conspiracy: Is Marvels CEO Trying To Hinder Foxs Movie Plans?

At New York Toy Fair in February, merchandise tied to 2014 Marvel-branded movie releases earned major buzz and plenty of headlines from movie and collector blogs and mainstream press. We saw toy props, Hasbro action figures and LEGO sets – among other goodies – for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. For X-Men: Days of Future Past, there was practically nothing.

The same story holds true for 2011′s X-Men: First Class, the previous franchise team-up installment; First Class and its successful followup in Days of Future Past got some Minimates figures from Diamond Select – and that was it. There are Hasbro Marvel Legends X-Men figures coming later this year, but none tied to the latest film.

Perhaps the tonally darker X-Men movies are simply less appealing to kids and merchandisers compared to their Avengers and Spider-Man counterparts, or perhaps it’s something more. Go to the official website and click the movies tab. Marvel is promoting its own Marvel Studios projects because they don’t own the film rights to the X-Men. Twentieth Century Fox owns that license alongside the Fantastic Four - just like Sony owns Spider-Man.

The odd scattering of properties dates back to the ’90s when, during a time of bankruptcy, Marvel sold off film licenses to most of their library. The company has since reacquired most of their properties, aside from the key aforementioned flagship brands. [See a full breakdown of character ownership HERE.]


The Fantastic Four Conspiracy

fantastic four 2015 reboot details Fantastic Four Conspiracy: Is Marvels CEO Trying To Hinder Foxs Movie Plans?

Because of the reality that key characters are still outside Marvel’s cinematic grasp, reports this week are painting a potentially dark picture for the comic books behind these movie franchises. Bleeding Cool reveals that Marvel Comics is planning to end (or put on hiatus) Fantastic Four and its Ultimate Fantastic Four counterpart later this year. The characters can still appear in other books and crossover events, but their two series will not be in print – if insider info proves true.

Why would Marvel do such a thing during the 75th anniversary of Marvel Comics, just as the Fantastic Four movie reboot enters production? Well, the answer is in the question, and it’s because Marvel’s high-ups may not want to promote the competition; according to Bleeding Cool’s insiders, Marvel is attempting to spotlight its own properties that are getting eventual film treatment, like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Inhumans. They claim that when it comes to internal promotion, it’s these books getting pushed more than the popular X-titles (which consistently sell well), and as for crossover events, the X-Men will only get some titles if shared with other teams (i.e. AXIS – the upcoming Avengers/X-Men event this fall).

In a followup article, Bleeding Cool added credence to the bigger picture issue this presents. Fantastic Four imagery was apparently taken down at Marvel HQ and an artist claims that they were instructed by Marvel not to use “FF characters or supporting cast such as Dr Doom, Galactus, Surfer, Skrulls etc” when it came to sketches for the 75th anniversary. Another artist backed the claims up, submitting an instruction sheet (check it out here) from Marvel which read, “all Marvel characters related to Fantastic Four are now off limits and will be immediately rejected by Marvel.” It even listed the characters that couldn’t be used. Even Fantastic Four-related assets have been reportedly been taken down by Marvel, so that promotional partners and licensors can’t access them.

So, is Marvel actually attempting to push away the Fantastic Four to minimize promotion of Fox’s in-development FF movie reboot?

fantastic four movie reboot release date 2015 Fantastic Four Conspiracy: Is Marvels CEO Trying To Hinder Foxs Movie Plans?

Comic Book Resources stepped in and confirmed with their own inside sources that indeed, a “hiatus” was/is being planned for Fantastic Four books – but with all this bad buzz resulting from this revelation, these plans could of course change. The timing of such a hiatus is indeed odd, given the summer 2015 release plans for the Fantastic Four movie.

A third report from Bleeding Cool claims from additional multiple sources that all of this may be down to the decisions of Marvel Comics CEO Isaac Perlmutter, who allegedly has an issue with seeing Marvel Comics give free promotion to Fox’s work, hence the minimizing of new X-Men characters and promotion, and plans to put a stop to the Fantastic Four.

You can pile together hearsay, rumors and reports from recent years which saw Marvel try to get back Galactus and Silver Surfer in exchange for an extension on Daredevil rights – a case where Fox wouldn’t play ball. Some even say that scene-stealer Quicksilver was added to X-Men: Days of Future Past instead of the originally intended Juggernaut character as a shot towards Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron, since it’s also attempting to introduce a version of Quicksilver. That’s all circumstance and may not mean anything, but the idea that Marvel isn’t in the business of promoting Fox properties is absolutely true.

Update: Oddly enough, Fantastic Four’s director Josh Trank was just tapped by Disney to helm a standalone Star Wars movie which effectively may remove him from the director’s chair of Fantastic Four 2 which is already scheduled for 2017.


Next: The Marvel 75th Anniversary Issue


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  1. I am VERY okay with Marvel not helping to promote garbage. If we could get some Marvel produced X-men, Spider-man, and Fantastic Four movies, I suspect we would all scoff at the quality of these current offerings.

    I want a great X-men and Fantastic Four movies, but giving me gruel and labeling it prime steak just will not sell anymore.

    • I agree 100% with dancingteeth.

  2. It is a shame that Fox would not sell back to Marvel the rights to the Silver Surfer and Galactus. The Silver Surfer was such a key figure in the Infinity Gauntlet story arc that Marvel is clearly setting up for Avengers 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I would love to see him as part of that story on the big screen.

  3. I am totally fine with Marvel having full control of its characters, and not promoting the movies being created by the other studios. I look forward to the future whee Marvel reacquires its rights to all of its characters and probably reboots the entire movie universe after Avengers 3 or 4.

    And recovers rights to Rom Spaceknight, of course. (helo.. Hasbro.. nubmnuts..)

  4. One point. If you’re a movie studio producing movies that are at least partially promoted by comics, wouldn’t you be more likely to promote your own movies through those comics than someone else’s? How many FF comics would you have to sell to equal the 3/4 of a billion dollars that Marvel is making with every one of it’s movies now? It’s a simple matter of economics. And if that ends up creating lackluster fan excitement for movies that are below par anyway, ultimately leading to Fox and Sony selling the rights of these characters back to Disney/Marvel (Fingers Crossed)then all the better.

  5. Good, if your a fan of the fox versions of. Marvel characters your not a comic fan. For example Deadpool and Juggernaut are not mutants and nothing like the fox versions, rogue is an evil baddie until she absorbs Ms. Marvels personality and her goodness. marvel girl, aka Phoenix is nothing like the comics. cyclops father and brother are all screwed up.

    No good moaning about fantastic four when Fox have got Xmen so wrong, it’s just more rubbish.

    • I was really cringing at Havok in First Class, especially as the original is one of my favourite X-men.

  6. “Well, the answer is in the question, and it’s because Marvel’s high-ups may not want to promote the competition”

    OR maybe Marvel just dislikes the quality or direction that these heroes are having to go through. Personally, I find the actual Marvel movies (Thor, Iron Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy) to be far superior in cinematic quality than X-Men or the Fantastic 4 movies.

  7. //”Update: Oddly enough, Fantastic Four’s director Josh Trank was just tapped by Disney to helm a standalone Star Wars movie which effectively may remove him from the director’s chair of Fantastic Four 2 which is already scheduled for 2017.”//

    THIS is a good tactic, actually. Every time Disney hears about Fox courting a director for a Marvel movie… Disney can offer them a Star Wars movie to direct instead!

  8. Maybe I am just niave but why can’t the studios work together within the MCU? As it exists marvel/Disney can only make two movies a year. If the other studios made movies under the MCU they make out and the fans make out.

  9. Marvel without “Fantastic Four” ain’t Marvel.