X-Men: Days of Future Past left the X-Men movie universe in a place where it can go in a completely different direction from the first three X-Men films. Next year will be the first time we truly get to see the beginnings of this new version of the universe, with Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Gambit all set for release.
Meanwhile, Fox is getting ready to release its Fantastic Four reboot as well, with Josh Trank directing and Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch), Jamie Bell (The Thing), and Toby Kebbell (Doom) starring.
Ever since the Fantastic Four reboot was first announced, fans have speculated about a possible crossover with the X-Men. According to the latest rumor from Latino-Review, it seems Fox is indeed developing a Fantastic Four & X-Men crossover.
According to their sources, the current plan for Fox, permitting that both Fantastic Four and X-Men: Apocalypse are successes and fare well with fans, is for the superhero teams to cross paths in a 2018 X-Men movie that has yet to be officially confirmed. Of course, if this is true, than the film is likely in the very early stages of development and therefore is not a sure thing by any means.
As always, take this information with a heaping pile of salt, but keep in mind that this isn't the first time a X-Men & Fantastic Four crossover has come up. For example, Simon Kinberg, writer of both X-Men: Apocalypse and Fantastic Four, confirmed earlier this year that a crossover between the two is possible, although he also said their main concern was getting the Fantastic Four reboot off the ground:
The reboot of ‘FanFour’ really needed to work in and of itself. We were doing something pretty radical with the tone of the movie. If we wanted to find a way to connect them to the X-Men, we could. There’s a lot of precedent from the comics.
As Kinberg indicates, there are several strong examples of the X-Men and Fantastic Four teaming up - or facing off - in the comics. Perhaps the best instance is the 1987 comic book storyline Fantastic Four vs. X-Men, wherein the two teams initially come into conflict before eventually teaming up to find an effective medical treatment for the dying X-Man Kitty Pryde. This was not only one of the better stories featuring the two teams, but also offered some more insight into the past of the Fantastic Four.
This is just one of the many possible storylines Fox could adapt for a crossover. Considering that the two respective franchises have fairly similar tones, bringing them together is not going to be the difficult part for Fox. What is going to be difficult, however, is finding a storyline worthy of bringing the two teams together.
As has been proven with previous comic book movie failures, audiences are not automatically willing to accept a film based on brand name alone. Even if it does good business during its opening day weekend, word-of-mouth - and critical reception - could doom a film in the long-term. So a good storyline is key to Fox making the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover successful, if it ends up even happening.
As some would argue, the key to making a great comic book movie is not just the storyline, but the villain as well. With Apocalypse set to face off against the X-Men in next year's movie, there is the need for an even more formidable foe that cannot be handled by either team alone. Galactus, who made a brief and very disappointing appearance in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, could potentially serve as a great villain for the crossover film. The god-like figure who feeds by draining living planets of their energy is a force so strong that both the X-Men and Fantastic Four might have to work together to bring him down.
But of course, for that to happen, Fox needs both Fantastic Four and X-Men: Apocalypse to be hits. Before that, a crossover is little more than a pipe dream. Once we see how Fantastic Four does with both critics and audiences, then it might be time to truly consider a crossover.
Fantastic Four opens on August 7, 2015; Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018.