Mark Millar Talks Shared X-Men/Fantastic Four Film Universe

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 26th, 2013 at 7:13 am,

20th Century Fox Marvel Movie Universe Mark Millar Talks Shared X Men/Fantastic Four Film Universe

As Marvel Studios ventures forth, growing their interconnected comic book film universe, and Marvel Comics prepares to relaunch many of their main ongoing books, Twentieth Century Fox hopes to successfully implement something equally as ambitious with their own Marvel films.

To do this, they’ve enlisted the help of Mark Millar, the brain behind several major Marvel Comics events and series. And as suspected, he will aid Fox in pushing forward towards an interconnected, “cohesive” Marvel cinematic universe of their own.

The official announcement regarding Millar’s signing with Fox was made two weeks ago, detailing the comic creator’s position as “creative consultant on the studio’s upcoming projects based on Marvel Comics properties.” To us, this was immediately reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s recent three-year exclusive deal with Marvel Studios where he will help organize their upcoming films leading up to The Avengers 2, which he will write and direct. Fox now had their own overseer of sorts who could potentially help not only Bryan Singer in fleshing out the X-Men universe into something bigger, but have those movies share the same space as Fantastic Four, a property they’re rebooting with Josh Trank (Chronicle).

X Men Fantastic Four Crossover Movie 570x336 Mark Millar Talks Shared X Men/Fantastic Four Film Universe

As it turns out, that’s exactly the case. In chatting with SFX, Mark Millar teased Fox’s big picture plans:

“Fox have said that they want to build a cohesive universe and I’d personally like this to work in complement to the Marvel one. It would be cool if these universes didn’t contradict each other so if you went to see Spidey, The Avengers, the X-Men, etc, as a viewer you would have no idea that all three are coming from different studios. I’d love to make it look like they’re all just happening in one place.

“I don’t think it’s something anyone would want to rush into. 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.”

We already know The Wolverine is distancing itself from X-Men Origins: Wolverine in that it’s more of a standalone story than a sequel. From Millar’s wordsFantastic Four is similarly attempting to stand on its own two feet before they rush into crossing all of the characters together. Daredevil, as of last week, is now back with Marvel and therefore doesn’t fit into the equation.

X Men First Class Days of Future Past Header Mark Millar Talks Shared X Men/Fantastic Four Film Universe

The most interesting bit is how Millar specifically uses the word “compliment” in describing how Fox’s Marvel cinematic universe can exist alongside Disney-Marvel’s Avengers-headlined one. With each studio owning the rights to different sets of characters, there can be no crossover between the live-action Avengers and X-Men, even if they all find themselves in New York at a given time. Although, if the studios can come to some sort of agreement, like Sony and Marvel almost did by having a reference to The Amazing Spider-Man in The Avengers, perhaps there can be minor nods and Easter Eggs back-and-forth, to at least reference major events.

This sentiment was also shared by X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner who didn’t hesitate in expressing her love of the idea of having the X-Men and The Avengers crossover one day. That’s not going to happen, but with The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four both starting anew, and X-Men potentially reshaping itself with Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn’s time travel tale X-Men: Days of Future Past, this would be the opportune time to start paying tribute to each franchise’s respective continuities. Then again, this arguably wouldn’t serve to benefit Marvel Studios since they couldn’t use these other superheroes to fight global threats, where they would in the books.

If you missed it, head to page 2 to read the letter Mark Millar wrote to his fans about the new gig after it was announced.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014, and the Fantastic Four reboot is in active development but still awaiting a release date.

Sources: Mark Millar, SFX

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  1. It’s good to see these studios attempting to put some sort of continuity between the various movie projects. Even if there is never an Avengers/X-Men movie crossover, planting subtle easter eggs that reference each other is enough to make long time comic fans happy.

    • I agree even if its just subtle hints at a shared universe, this could turn out to be something unique and spectacular imo.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I think it’s smart for all the studios to at least acknowledge that other studio’s properties exist in that it at least allows the possibility of a cameo or something. Clearly Marvel Studios would never be able to produce movies for all of their characters but if they can find common ground with the other studios it helps them, and with the success of The Avengers, of course other studios are going to look to cash in on it.

  2. OMG…..Hell YEA!!!

  3. I’m excited for this, I really am. But I just don’t see this as a big success like Marvle Studios. I just don’t think Fox is capable of handling a shared movie universe now. Fox has had modest success at best with comic book films anyway. All of these studios are scrambling like crazy trying to throw together these shared films that are not going to work. I know it can’t happen but I just wished all these characters could live under one roof. Or at least live under a roof that will benefit them for more than just money.

  4. X-Men doesn’t need to be apart of another world. Otherwise you’d think that Spider-Man or Fantastic 4 (assuming they are in the same universe as X-Men) would deal with the same societal rules as X-Men where mutants are polarized by the citizens.

    • I always wondered why the FF can be treated as heros, while good mutants like Cyclops, Beast and Professor X are treated like monsters.

      Maybe it is because mutants (homo-superior) are the next stage in humanity, and eventually they would make humans (homo-sapien) obsolete, or extinct like the dodo bird? That would be my guess, mostly because it would be true and I would feel the same way as Senator Kelly (to a certain degree I should add), maybe not in the next hundred years, but maybe in a thousand years, humans would be extinct, and people born with special powers are the “norm”.

    • The marvel universe has handled these issues just fine for decades.

  5. This whole gimmick is going to require the X-Men series to be rebooted if it has any chance of working. Since they are still in the middle of doing X movies based loosely off of the original film I don’t see how they are going to shoehorn a rebooted Fantastic Four story into the jumbled X-Men universe.

    • They can just stick with First Class as a new begining and dissregard the original X-Men trilogy. There are already some contuity errors between First Class and the trilogy already so they should just treat it as an intentional reboot.

      • Well since they seem to be planning some kind of time/dimensional travel angle using Days of Future Present as a basis, they are going to interweave aspects of the Original three films with First Class, so until they finish whatever they are doing the X-Men movies won’t be restarted in the conventional sense any time soon.

  6. Im just calling it now daredevil needs to go to Sony so that he can be in the same conematic universe as spidey. Would make sense since their villains (esp kingpin) and newyork are so intermingled.

    Otherwise, i could see them do somethng along the lines of the mightly avengers cartoon ep. 1 when vortex is caught and fury is told he’s a mutant. Fury basically just says, call up the MRD’s he’s their problem. But otherwise, mutants are a whole other can of worms to intro into the avengers reality as if the cosmic side of things wont confuse the average moviegoer enough.

    • Vortex? You mean Whirlwind?

      • Lol, yes my bad.

        • Thats okay, I knew what you were talking about. :)

    • Since Marvel seems cool with Sony’s Spidey living in their universe, I don’ t think it’ll be a problem.

    • That’s very clever. I’d actually prefer that to marvel having daredevil. The street level Heros just seem at odds with what they’re trying to achieve with the cosmic side. To everybody here who starts bitching about the x-movies being at fox…. I suggest being careful what you wish for. Marvels resources are stretched to 2 films per year. The x and spidey universes are huge and deserve the full attention of a studio. This is true of the comics also with each corner of the universe being run by its own group editor. I believe we’ve accidentally fallen into the best case scenerio here with marvel fox and Sony. Millar has a great history with marvel and I believe his plan to ‘compliment the MCU’ isn’t just bs. Sony needs their own creative guru now. If it were me I’d offer the job to Mark Waid. Feedback please?
      Here’s my imaginary slate in my perfect world where Sony get the rights to the street level heroes like blade, punisher and daredevil. It’d be cool because the spidey universe would resemble the 90s Spider-Man cartoon!
      2013- the wolverine
      2014- x-men: days of future past
      2015- fantastic 4
      2016- the x-men, new mutants
      2017- fantastic 4 part 2, wolverine 2
      2018- the silver surfer, x-force
      2019- x-men/fantastic 4- the age of apocalypse or some kinda galactus cross-over

      2015- Spider-Man 2
      2016- venom
      2017- spider-man 3, daredevil
      2018- the punisher, blade
      2019- the ghost rider, Spider-Man 4.
      Also, I don’t need the punisher movie to be rated hard r. They’ve tried that twice now and it hasn’t worked (as much as I have a soft spot for the tom Jane movie). I think they have to just go down a crazy action route with frank fighting the mob and the cops. It could easily sit in spideys world and be accessible to the same teen audience.

      • Daredevil belonged to Fox didnt it? I think it went back to Marvel. Punisher went back to Marvel and i think Ghost rider will be going back to Marvel soon.

        • Ah, I know what you’re saying but what I was getting at was that it’d be awesome if Sony obtained the rights to those properties with marvels co-operation. I don’t believe marvel has the resources to make all these movies as much as I’d love them to. So fox taking x-men and Sony the street level stuff inc spidey sounds great to me. Give universal a slice of the action and we’ve got 6 marvel films a year in my dreams

          • your assumption about DISNEY/Marvel is wrong. Also, even though all of these companies want to make money you must realize that Fox and Sony want ALL the money and haven’t traditionally shown a lot of class, tact, and good-will to the source material or creative minds of original creators. This talk amounts to stealing a little thunder/name association with the Marvel-Avengers-Brand shared Universe. I’d hope they could “work something out” but that is it not realistic at all and as long as Marvel’s properties are a success, those other studios will want to bleed every nickel they can ALL FOR THEMSELVES without regard to source material, the quality of the movie(outside of it being a big spectacle) I would love it and as spectator with the rest of of you, it would be a grand idea and lucrative for everyone IF they could swing it all being shared or Easter egged together but that requires creating continuity with companies that cant get their own in universe continuity together and who think comic fans want campiness

            • I respect your opinion but I ask you this… Given that fox are clearly changing their strategy in producing their corner of the MCU, what movies in fox’s recent (ie 5 year) history would you say have been disrespectful to the original source or clearly built on spectacle rather than substance?

              • What leads him to believe they wouldn’t be respectful to the source material? Well for one, X-Men: First Class not being about the first class of Xavier’s X-Men. The first class was Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel and Iceman. Of those, Beast was the only one that showed up. Not really respectful to the source material my friend. They were built on spectacle by choosing mutants they thought would be cool to see in a movie. And let’s not forget about Mystique. She was never a good person or an X-Man. She was always evil. Not only that but if they were to have her in the movie then where is her child, Nightcrawler? For another example we can look to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. What a pile of horse poop that was.

  7. Marvel is the characters managers, make it so they all come together like this or that, set up the interactions between X-men and Avengers or whatever else. While FOX is their pimp and as long as he gets paid, no one has to get slapped around.

    • Yes!

    • said perfectly

  8. complement

  9. After seeing the Hulk steal every scene in the Avengers, Fox needs to give us an all CGI ever lovin’, blue eyed Thing.

    And please, give us a Fantastic Four movie that Jack Kirby would have been proud to watch.

  10. If they did a cross-over, I would see it, and undoubtably buy the DVD. However, I would worry a bit that the screen would be too crowded, and turn into a “top tinkler” contest, with not enough screen time for everyone (including the baddies!).

  11. Who wouldn’t want to see Avengers vs X-men, like in the comic!!!!!!!!

    • I would love to see the original Avengers vs X-Men mini series storyline where the Avengers want to deal with Magneto but the X-Men disagree with their methods. It was a great mini series. It also featured the Soviet ‘Avengers’.

    • ‘Avengers Vs X-Men’ has been mediocre… like almost all of Marvel’s comic book titles this year and last year :(
      They start off strong, but then it gets boring half way through… Fear Itself was exactly the same.

      • Fear Itself was pretty good. AVX was a low point I hope marvel comics doesn’t hit again for a few decades. But even AVX could have been great itself if the plot had been condensed to a four or maybe at the most six issue event. It was twelve issues of repetative crud. They could have condensed it to half that and the story would have seemed great:

        First issue: Pheonix force is comming, Avengers and X-men butt heads over it, conflict starts.

        Second issue: Conflict continues on Utopia, spreads to other parts of the world. Highlights fights in various locations against various members of A and X. issue ends with everyone arriving on the moon.

        Third issue: some short fights happen on moon for a while. pheonix force comes, bonds with the Five X-men on its own (without iron man and ant-man shooting it with that stupid gun thing). Avengers fight pheonix five for a while, decide they are outmatched and retreat.

        Fourth issue: Avengers regroup. Pheonix Five start doing many things for the good of humanity. Avengers feel they may have been wrong and rethink their reasoning and previous motives against the pheonix force. ends with pheonix five starting to show some major signs of corruption.

        Fifth issue: Pheonix Five start turning more and more evil and start taking each other out. Avengers start to attack them again also, fearing one person will eventually get all the Pheonix power and become completly evil and too powerful to stop. Ends with Cyclops still becoming Dark Pheonix.

        Final issue: Bascially almost exactly like issue 12. Everyone fights Cyclops (both the Avengers and the X-men members who finally realize cyclops has gone off the deep end). Ends with Scarlet Witch and Hope defeating Cyclops together and setting things right.

        Sorry but I’m just mad at the potential that I thought AVX could have had as a great story but marvel ruined it by draging it out way too much. They need to keep the stories consise, neat, and coheasive in the furture and they’ll start having great storylines again IMO.

        • I don’t agree about Fear Itself (to me it just felt like “another ‘ol annual event” – there was nothing special about it… all the characters who died, came back within a month. It had almost no effect on anybody) but I completely agree about AvX’s potential… I mean, it’s AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN – how would that not be awesome (yet Marvel still figured out a way to screw it up near the end).
          I hate the fact that I hate Marvel Comics at the moment, but the way they’re running their business is just annoying me so much.

          … at least I still have the movies.

          • Well I kinda see your point about Fear Itself. The thing is all these marvel crossover events have AWESOME story ideas. They ALWAYS have a great set up. They’ve had the potential to kick azz with all of their crossovers in the past. Its how they execute the event overall that kills them. The middle and end of it always sucks and like fear itself it ends up being mostly pointless after its all done.

            Atleast the Secrete Invasion, Dark Reign, and Seige all kinda ran together story wise where one directly set up for the other. ie, it atleast had temporary ramifications to the marvel comics universe as a whole and created short periods where the status quo of the comics universe changed.

            Marvel is doing some truely great stuff with their movies right now, thats a big sigh of releif. But pretty soon their gonna have to turn their focus back on their main media and make truly awesome comics once again or people are gonna start saying all the comics the company makes are as bogous as AVX.

  12. As the years pass…I truly care less & less about the direction that Fox and Sony take some of my favorite titles of youth into. I guess Im so use to dissapoint with these studios.

    Marvel may not be perfect but they have my appreciation because they’ve tried to stay as close to the source material as possible without sheer campiness and cheesiness. Is it any wonder that Marvels movie outperform all of the Major sudios in almost every way.

    • No wonder here, FOX and Sony really only care about money, Marvel cares about their characters second only to the fans.

      Marvel would have never made Deadpool look like that in XMO:W… I still get mad looking at that picture, which is why I will not post a link to it.

  13. Like others have said there will never be a cross over between studios, just wont happen. That being said I wouldnt want them to be, they absolutely need to scrap everything Xmen related including First Ass. They need to reset it all and come up with a bible to follow before they film anything. Then the casting which will need a whole new cast, including Hugh Jackman, lets face it he will not be able to do another trilogy at his current age. As Far as the Fantastic Four goes the first two story lines weren’t completely bad in fact I think they failed for other reasons such as foam Thing costumes, Horrible casting and changes to the Origins of the Characters and Horribly bad versions of Dr Doom. Otherwise the tone of the characters was spot on for the FF, they are the First Family and I think they accomplished that for most parts. Rise of the Surfer was a continuation of the bad choices of the first movie but The Silver Surfer was handled well and Doug Jones and Lawrence Fishburne did a great job of bring him to life angain Doom is the major issue as well as the whole super skrull version of the Human Torch. The funny thing is I thought Evans was the best of the actors, I thought he was exactly how Johnny Storm is in the comics, a clown.

    • Oh before I get hammered , that does not mean I thought either of the FF movies where great, I dont think they where great by any stretch of the imagination, all im saying is they had some what of the right ideas, they just didnt deliver on it.

    • I agree, they should do away with everything X-Men including 1st Class. They need a fresh reboot. Start from scratch. Have ONLY the original X-Men in their 1st reboot movie (NO Wolverine or Storm) they’ll have Scott, Jean, Hank, Bobby, and Warren. Keep it simple, keep it small. Then for the 2nd have it years later where the school is established have Wolverine and Jubilee find the school together. There we will see added in Storm, Gambit, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat and Rogue. For enemies, 1st movie Magneto and the 2nd movie Mister Sinister.

  14. Looks like Marvel has started something with this shared universe model. Everyone seems to be following suit in one way or another. It’s good to see studios collaborating for the greater vision (although I’m sure execs just see it as big bucks) but it may still be a win for the creative heads, fans and casual movie goers.

  15. oooooh, we all know what this means.
    Whenever they wanna “Reboot” what was a good movie,
    it’s definitely going to be over insistent, and inevitably suck.
    Fantastic 4 was good enough the first time round.
    no need to fix it, but then again, you’re only wanting to clone it, and we all know what clones really are, right?..
    Just obsolete copies of the originals. So how many times are we going to expect fantastic 4 to be copied?..

    • I stopped reading after “Fantastic 4 was good enough the first time round” 😉

      • zing!

  16. Two Marvel Shared Universe before one DC.

    f*** WB!

  17. FOX needs to give MARVEL back their rights to their characters and find their own way. Now everyone wants to d!ck ride MARVEL. I’m pretty sure MARVEL is laughing at their a$$ now. I know i am.

    • Everyone wants the rigths to be back at Marvel. You d

      No matter how much you all b**** if The Wolverine and Days of future past and the planned FF don’t flop suddenly, we won’t be seeing shared universe anytime soon.

      Who knows Fox maybe learned their lesson(doubt they did) with how much money Avengers did, and will try not to fvck things up.

      • That’s all you can hope for. Believe or not the only thing any big business cares about is money. That’s how the lights stay on and we keep getting content. Anyone thinking the rights will ever go back to marvel needs to go a rethink a more realistic wish-list for themselves. Marvel have been savvy enough to realise that staying true to the core of what makes the characters great will bring in huge amounts of cash. Hopefully this means Sony and fox will copy that strategy. Thankfully it looks like they’re doing exactly that!

  18. Holding out for news of a Hercules/Xena cross over into either Marvel Universe or Fox but fingers crossed it will come in Thor 2 as they are introducing all Nine realms

  19. just picture the climactic battle in Avengers when everyone was getting their asses kicked, out a smokey shadow you will hear Xena’s “alalalalala” call she does then her boomerang comes flying out and slashes Loki’s face. a bus comes flying out of the shadows which is revealed to have been thrown by none other than Hercules himself. C’mon Marvel/Fox, get it together. Make it happen for us fans!

  20. @Fox and Mark Miller: if you guys get your $#!t together and consistantly make good/great movies that don’t screw over the characters – and actually has some cohesion to one another then maybe, MAYBE we can start talking about merging with the MCU… maybe

    X-Men First Class was a good start and I really like that movie, plus The Wolverine is looking pretty good, so if they can keep it up I think there’s a possibility of the MCU and MFCU co-existing in the same universe… there won’t be any cross-overs, but just co-existence and maybe a reference or easter egg here and there.

    …but right now, I’m against the idea. I still don’t trust Fox.

    • That’s a BIG “if” on their part and no body trust Fox. They have grown fat by flooding movies with as many characters as possible to cover up thin storylines.

      With Bryan Singer attached the X-men will continued to be used as filler for Wolverine and Magneto movies.

  21. Can anyone explain this?

    “It would be cool if these universes didn’t contradict each other”

    How do they contradict each other? There have been events in the books over the what thousand upon thousand stories where characters and teams never criss crossed.

    So how does the Xmen Universe at Fox contradict the Avengers Universe?

    Everytime I pick up a Spidey book he does not go over the list of of characters or teams that could be there to help him. Same with Ironman or any of the other Avengers.

    They do not contradict, they are just stories that have not been told.

    • I suppose it has to do with major events. Now that aliens have literally invaded New York and the world knows about Asgard, everything changes and news headlines wouldn’t focus on people with mutant abilities.

      Either way, he’s not saying they do. He’s saying he doesn’t want them go going forward after the events of The Avengers.

  22. Please can someone make him stop.

  23. Oh also I would ask why? to this…

    “there can be no crossover between the live-action Avengers and X-Men, even if they all find themselves in New York at a given time.”

    I mean we have seen DC/Marvel cross over books why not Sony/Fox/Disney crossover movies?

    We may not see it in the near future but when it comes to money never say never.

  24. Is this guy for real?

    • Who me? Yes I am real. Do youhave anything to actually input to this dicussion? Maybe knowledge of why these things would NEVER happen?

      Or are you just one sentence wonder with no original thought?

    • Most consumers/fanboys and the like will never understand how business and the greedy work, let alone how hollywood and commercially-selling art is developed. They have seperate creative teams, paid by different big league studios with big budgets invested that have enough internal conflict going between financial and creative side without trying to include/combine efforts with another large studio and team.

      In a nutshell this same guy is probably asking why apple and microsoft dont come together and make a super computer = never gonna happen

      Aknot -FTL

      • Is this like two different publishing companies working together (DC/Marvel), Is it like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and King Features, Paramount, MGM, etc?

        Thats just two instances I know off the top of my head.

        A little research into Apple and Microsoft will reveal they work together a little more than you may believe in the best of intrest of each other.

        So I would have to say DaRel… FTL.

  25. Just thinking here but can anyone else think that this will all lead to phase three which will be Civil War, my thinking this is because Marvel said that while they are going cosmic with phase two they know that they wont be able to always make things bigger and bigger so i’m thinking that they already have an agreement and that each will start their own universes and slowly build to the same universe.
    to do the same universe thing what they should do is drop in characters that aren’t superheroes but shared by both films such as the same president, same television reporters (in film) with each one reporting on the others in either film. it would be an easy way to get around certain legal things but again my belief is that phase three will be something along the lines of Civil war crossing all solo films and the third avengers film before they end up rebooting the whole thing.

    • What would be nice is to have the Civil War angle but using the opposing movie properties on the same teams….

      Meaning The Avengers would be for the registration act (they all work for SHIELD more or less) and Xmen, Spidey, FF etc would be against.

      Kind of ruins the Cap angle but would be easier to pull off instead of trying to criss cross a bunch of characters which (imo) would confuse the casual noncomic reader.

      Each Universe could lead up to a final movie (three parter ala LotR).

      Pipe dream…. I know.

  26. So because they’re trying to connect the messed up continuity, that means FOX’s “phase 1″ consists of x1, x2, x3, origins: wolvie, then “phase 2″ would be first class, the wolverine, x: days of future past, then for phase 3, the trank-fantastic 4 reboot, then another x-movie with the teams combined I guess, wolverine included, maybe “Fall of the Mutants” w/ apocalypse. That could be 2 or 3 movies in itself.

  27. Seeing that Marvel is going Cosmic. I’m guessing Fox will try and do the same thing now. Looks like we might see a Shi’ar vs Kree War or maybe a Skrull Invasion. For those who don’t know, the Kree and Skrulls are F4 and Shi’ar are X-Men.

    • The Skrulls actually deal with the Avengers more. Don’t know how Fox has the rights to them though.

  28. now i have a big symphaty for this guy, i did written some weeks ago that i don´t like kick- ass and -the superior- comics, but i did read it again and i did read -nenesis- which made it clear that he´s a great comic-artist and knows what to do.

  29. I really don’t want another origin story for the Fantastic Four. Just start the movie with their powers in the middle of a fight with the Dr. Doom we know and love from the comics. Doom gets away and the movie’s titles show and then blah blah blah screen writers job.

    • yes. More comicbook movies should start in media res.

    • there will be an original story, because it´s a different reboot.