Last September Twentieth Century Fox announced that they had hired comic book writer Mark Millar as a consultant to help plan out the future of their Marvel movie franchise and to take better advantage of the licenses and characters they own.
Millar immediately began helping Fox plan years ahead and his first goal is to bring in the best talent possible, something that the studio was already beginning to do with the hiring of Darren Aronofsky (later replaced by James Mangold) for The Wolverine, the return of Bryan Singer (replacing Matthew Vaughn) on the next X-Men team-up and Josh Trank on the Fantastic Four. This is all leading to a larger framework that Millar teases won’t be announced for another two years.
In an interview with SFX, after complimenting the director choice of Josh Trank (Chronicle) to helm the Fantastic Four reboot, Millar responds to a question about whether or not the X-Men and Fantastic Four share the same cinematic universe.
“Without question I think you have to see some of these guys showing up in each other’s movies. I think the most exciting thing in superhero movies, until The Avengers came along, was when Nick Fury showed up in Iron Man. Even though it was a guy with an eye patch it was really cool – and I expect we will see more of that.”
Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is next on the docket from the studio with a May release date next summer and the following spring is when Fantastic Four is scheduled to hit theaters. While we know Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) is working on a script for X-Force, Fox has yet to officially greenlight production on it or any other Marvel property after the FF reboot.
The Wolverine featured a mid-credits button that teased X-Men: Days of Future Past – is Millar hinting that Days of Future Past may tease Fantastic Four?
Almost a year ago, when Millar first joined Fox in a consulting capacity, he went on record teasing that he had a three-four year plan and that he (and Fox) were interested in building a cohesive universe. He did emphasize however, the importance of the first Fantastic Four just being about them in order to establish that property first, before any major crossover ‘event’ films.
“Following that Marvel model, we want to establish things first. If you had a Fantastic Four relaunch, and Wolverine and the X-Men were in it, I think it would distract you from the Fantastic Four. You can make people aware that they’re existing in the same universe without making it a big crossover movie but it would be an injustice to the Fantastic Four not to make their first movie all about them.”
How the Fantastic Four will fit into the universe we know from the X-Men films is an interesting question, one that could radically change depending on how Days of Future Past handles the concepts of time travel in its story – a story which may redefine the X-Men universe as we know it going forward, potentially even restarting it in a way.
Fantastic Four begins shooting next month and X-Men: Days of Future Past just wrapped production. X-Force may be the next feature in line.
[Update: Millar took to Twitter after the news began spreading to deny the idea of a crossover.]
News sites get very excited about very obvious answers, but the Chinese whispers thing is frustrating. There is NO crossover planned.— Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar) August 19, 2013
But as Millar says, “I think you have to see some of these guys showing up in each other’s movies.” So, if they’re sharing the same universe, showing up in each other’s movies… sounds like a crossover – it’s just a matter of time. In fact, this is something Christopher McQuarrie told us that he pitched this to Fox not long before Millar was hired, but the idea was ignored at the time.
Bryan Singer directs X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Boo Boo Stewart, Fan Bingbing, Evan Peters, Adan Canto, Josh Helman, along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Lucas Till, and Daniel Cudmore.
X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2014, Fantastic Four releases March 6, 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!