Ever since Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot flopped in 2015, fans assumed it would be only a matter of time until Marvel brought its first family into the MCU. However, X-Men producer extraordinaire #SimonKinberg has stated multiple times that Fox still has plans for the franchise. This past February, for example, Kinberg said this during an interview with Comicbook.com:
“Obviously, [2015's 'Fantastic Four'] wasn’t what we wanted it to be and it wasn’t received the way we wanted it to be… we would love to make another 'Fantastic Four' movie. We feel like there’s a great Fantastic Four movie to be made and I think it would hue closer to the tone of the original, the source material, the comics, but we want to make that movie.”
A new rumor further suggests that Fox has no intention of releasing the rights to Marvel. According to Bleeding Cool, the studio has big (or, shall I say, smaller) plans for the Fantastic Four:
The Fantastic Four May Be Coming Together Once Again ... But Not How We Expected
Bleeding Cool is reporting that Fox is working on a new reboot of the franchise. This time, however, the film won't focus on the classic Fantastic Four team — but rather on Franklin and #ValeriaRichards, Sue and Reed Richards' super-powered children.
For non-comic book nerds out there, the children have been an integral part of the Fantastic Four lore for decades, and they're two of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Franklin can alter reality and manipulate things at a molecular level to create essentially anything he wants. To give you an idea of how powerful he is, he was once considered to be on the same level as the Celestials ... by Eternity. Valerie is a genius (almost on par with Reed Richards' intelligence by the time she was two) who can create force fields, alter time and neutralize her brother's powers.
But this doesn't mean the new film will be totally devoid of core members from Marvel's first family. Reportedly Ben Grimm (The Thing) and Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) will be coming along for the ride.
The report further states that the screenplay is being written by #SethGrahammeSmith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dark Shadows) who polished the script for #JoshTrank's Fantastic Four. As with any rumor, take this information with a grain of salt. But what if this is what's happening?
The Clever Game Fox May Be Playing With Marvel
Fox's deal with Marvel regarding the Fantastic Four is a bit complicated, but essentially to keep the rights, Fox needs to have an F4 film in production every number of years. Fox already tried its hand at two unsuccessful #FantasticFour iterations, and the studio understands the difficulty of selling yet another version of the team. But it doesn't have the time to let the property cool off, due to its rights contract.
Therefore the studio could be going on a different direction with the franchise by using Franklin and Valeria as protagonists. It's still technically the Fantastic Four — allowing Fox to keep the rights — but the children serve as a nice break and give audiences a new take on the property, which could allow it to thrive in the ever-competitive world of superhero cinema.
It's worth mentioning that, while Kevin Feige recently stated there were no plans to integrate the Fantastic Four into the MCU, Marvel likely wouldn't be very happy to know it'll have to wait another handful of years for another shot at getting the property back.
Would A Kid-Centric Fantastic Four Movie Work?
It's hard to say. We can raise our fists, angry that Fox won't release the rights to Marvel, but the reality is that we don't know what this project (if it exists) will be. There are instances of a movie sounding like a terrible idea but ending up surprisingly good — and vice versa. Plus, Fox recently gave us Logan and Deadpool, so maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt?
As unusual as this project sounds, having a movie starring Reed and Sue Richards' children with Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm along for the ride could be the source for one of the best comic book movies ever. So we'll have to wait and see whether, firstly, the movie is actually in development, and secondly, how the characters are handled.
What do you think about this possible new Fantastic Four reboot? Let me know in the comments!