X-Men: First Class screenwriter Zack Stentz has revealed that in 2011 he worked on a script for a massive Marvel team-up movie at 20th Century Fox. According to Stentz, the movie would have included all of the Marvel characters that Fox owned at the time - not only the X-Men, but also Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and even Deadpool.
Of course, the future of those characters is now in the hands of Marvel Studios, as parent company Disney recently acquired 20th Century Fox and all of its film properties. This brings Fox-owned Marvel characters under the same roof as the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in time for the start of Phase 4, so it's very possible that we'll eventually see movies where the X-Men collide with the Fantastic Four. However, it's now been revealed that while Joss Whedon was filming the groundbreaking superhero team-up movie The Avengers, Fox was making similar secret plans.
Speaking on Kevin Smith's Fatman Beyond podcast (via ComicBook), Stentz spilled the details on Fox's secret Marvel team-up project, explaining that he felt fairly certain he wouldn't get sued for doing so now that Disney owns Fox. Apparently around the time that X-Men: First Class was arriving in theaters, Fox was making some pretty ambitious plans for their own Marvel universe:
"My ex-partner [Ashley Miller] and I, when we were working at Fox and we were working on X-Men: First Class, we did a secret movie for them that, I can't tell you what the plot was, but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011. It used the X-Men. It used the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It used Deadpool. Daredevil was still at Fox at the time. We almost had Paul Greengrass directing it, which would've been so cool, but he had another project to do instead. It didn't end up going but it was a script I was really proud of and it would've been really good."
At the time, Ryan Reynolds was already campaigning for a second shot at playing Deadpool, and Fox was midway between the releases of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Josh Trank's disastrous 2015 Fantastic Four reboot. As another tantalizing "What if...," Stentz also revealed details about his own script for the Fantastic Four reboot, which was scrapped when Trank came onboard.
"When [Trank] officially signed on he was like, 'Why are you imposing these other writers on me? I want to use my own writer. I wanna do my own script.' And he did his version instead. It was one of those hammer blows to our career at the time, even though we had gotten paid, because I was so freakin' proud of that script. It was how the Fantastic Four were almost the Fantastic Five except a young man named Victor von Doom was just too damaged and f---ed up to be part of them. It was a script I was very proud of. Josh Trank didn't wanna do it."
While it's definitely fun to imagine how a team-up movie with Fox's Marvel all-stars would have been like, or wonder whether Stentz's version of Fantastic Four would have worked out any better, unfortunately we'll never really know. Still, with almost all of Marvel's character now under one roof, there's plenty of potential for more epic team-ups in the future.