Currently, Marvel Studios doesn’t own the rights to a large chunk of its characters and as such, they can’t use them in their movies. So I’m going to try and find viable ways for Marvel to get around this rights problem.
I’m sure we all know about the rights issues with Marvel by now, but I’ll briefly explain it, not going into too much detail. If you want to skip this part, just jump down to ‘CHARACTERS’. Back in the ‘90s, Marvel started to give away their properties to studios to produce films, so that Marvel Comics could make money by taking a percentage of the box office haul. A great chunk of properties ended up in different studios and were to revert back to Marvel if a movie wasn’t made in a specific amount of time.
Then Marvel Studios started making films in a connected universe (The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU for short) and they wanted the rights back, but a few studios still had them. They’ve gained more and more properties and at the start of this year, they partially regained the rights to their flagship character, Spider Man, from Sony after the most recent Spider-man film (the sequel to a film that was only made so that Sony could keep the rights) bombed. Fox still has the rights to the X-men and the Fantastic Four and all their relevant characters. Some instances can use both characters, notably in the instance of Quicksilver. His comicbook character is a mutant (and son of Magneto, up until that origin was retooled) and while he has had many interactions with the X-men, he’s also been a member of the Avengers. He appeared in Days of Future Past as a mutant and in Age of Ultron, but the word “mutant” was not allowed to be used to describe his origin.
To deal with these issues, Marvel Studios has tried to find a way around them by replacing characters from Fox’s collection with characters from their own. The idea of people suddenly gaining powers (mutants from X-men) has already been replaced by the idea of the Inhumans, which made their MCU debut in Agents of SHIELD. So how can Marvel Studios successfully fill in the gap left by the Fox characters? Here’s my opinion how certain characters can be replaced
Well, given the fact that Inhumans can replace them, Inhumans could be any single mutant. There’s no point getting into details. Also, the X-men universe is just as large and expansive as its surrounding Marvel universe, so getting even a fraction of it down would make this article unnecessarily long. If you really want a list like that, mention so in the comments and if I get enough people asking, I may do it.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
This idea is going under the notion that the new The Fantastic Four doesn’t bomb at the box office (which a large chunk of Marvel moviegoers believe will happen) and the rights end up reverting back to Marvel, in which case this idea isn’t needed.
Given the familial and iconic nature of this group, it’d be very hard to almost impossible to replace them, but there a good few ways to get close to being them. For one, Marvel could again fall back upon the Inhumans. Given the fact that Johnny and Susan (or their relative replacements) are related to each other, that could make them both Inhumans if they take the fish oil tablet created at the end of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](tag:722469) Season 2. They could then try and find others like them and find two best friends who changed. These could be the Ben and Reed replacements, at which point the Susan and Reed replacement could slowly fall in love. In this way, they could also create 4 new Inhumans. They could then form an Inhuman family team. The other way that the Inhumans could be responsible for the Fantastic Four replacement is the Inhuman royal family, slated to appear in 2019. The Inhuman by the name of Crystal has had a long history with the Fantastic Four and has even joined the team as a member. The Inhuman family’s role in the MCU could be coming down to Earth to represent the Inhumans by becoming a super team, which would be deviating from the comics, but would probably still be accepted. The abilities of the Fantastic Four can easily be recreated in Inhumans. Some powers already have in the comics. Role wise, Reed Richards’ role as the go-to guy for intelligence could be replaced by Hank Pym or even Tony Stark and Peter Parker. Power wise, we’ll deal with each character in separate chunks
Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic
Kamala Khan’s Ms Marvel is the most likely choice, given her ability to stretch and the fact that she was recently added, alongside the new Inhumans, which could suggest that she will be used as a replacement character. Flatman could be an option. Otherwise, this role could go to a Skrull of some sort, maybe even Hulkling.
Thing could be an alien from the Kronan race (which have already appeared in Thor 2) or even a reformed Grey Gargoyle. I’m betting that he could be the illicit child of a Kronan and a human and he starts developing a rocky body in his teens, which he doesn’t want and therefore he turns to his friend (the new Reed) to reverse it.
Johnny Storm/Human Torch
Fitting in with the idea of Hulkling, Johnny could be Wiccan and twist the role a bit, with the new Susan being the sibling while Hulkling and Wiccan are the couple, which would also be unprecedented in the movies. Of course, as mentioned before, Crystal could replace him or he could even be the Human Torch android from Captain America’s time that has already appeared in the movie universe in the form of a costume in a museum. Even Firestar could be debated, given her lack of real presence within the X-men. It could even be a reformed Molten Man or an Extremis soldier.
Susan Storm/Invisible Woman
This could go to a magic individual, tweaking the powers of Susan Storm a little. It could be someone like Scarlet Witch or maybe even a Dr Strange-like person. I believe that if it isn’t an Inhuman, it’ll be magic. I’m not quite sure about the details though.
Silver Surfer could be an Eternal. In particular Makkari or Ikaris
Honestly, the entirety of the Fantastic Four and even the X-men could be Skrulls. Skrulls themselves are owned by Marvel, despite their beginnings in and history with the Fantastic Four. The Super Skrull though, is owned by Fox, but he can easily be replaced. I addressed this idea in a fake post-credit scene I made and put up a little while ago which suggests the Super Skrull being replaced by the Super Adaptoid. The article is featured HERE but the actual extract in particular (for Avengers: Infinity War- Part 2) is:
*A man dressed in a suit is standing in an alleyway with a briefcase. Elektra walks past and he gestures for her to come over*
Elektra: I had to maintain appearances, so I went ahead and assisted them in their war.
Man: You should watch yourself. If your abilities weren’t up-to-scratch, you could have lead to them discovering you
Elektra: I had enough training from the Kree war. Plus, I think Thanos distracted them enough for them to not question my abilities. What’s in the briefcase? (points at the briefcase)
Man: Coincidentally, this is your salvation. This is the ultimate way to complete your infiltration. As you know, we have agents everywhere. SHIELD, Hydra...
Elektra (interrupting): Who can tell the difference anymore?
Man (continues, without missing a beat):...Enclave, Stark Industries, the Wakandan Dora Milaje. Specifically though, we have agents in AIM. We’ve been using our influence to develop a project. Project Adaptoid. The humans don’t question motives when they are blinded by promises of advantage in combat. So, we’ve got the first sample in this case. Since you’re the only one of us impersonating one of Earth’s “heroes”, we decided to give it you to complete the illusion.
*the man pulls out a needle and Elektra grabs it, jabbing it into her arm*
Man: That will allow you to emulate the abilities of those you impersonate, simply by touching them. It’s only in preliminary stages so you can only take one power at a time.
Elektra: It’ll do. Thanks. Anyway, I’ve got to go. I’m assessing whether Matt Murdoch, also known as Daredevil, is a viable choice for impersonation, given his disability.
Man: Well I’ll see you around. I’m still doing investigation work on Tony Stark. May you have success in your mission
Elektra: And you as well
*the man and Elektra look at each other, as their faces forms into the faces of Skrulls*
Elektra & Man: In the name of the Skrull Empire
*cut to black as music ramps up*
Fantastic Four villains
Other Fantastic Four villain replacements include:
Replaced by Purple Man, set to appear in Jessica Jones later this year. He could maybe even be Brother Voodoo.
Could be replaced by Dormammu or even have his role as the Big Bad be replaced by Norman Osborn, Loki ,Kang or the real Mandarin. If the Inhuman royal family end up being the new Fantastic Four, Maximus would definitely represent the replacement Doctor Doom.
Molecule Man could be a by-product of the Infinity stones or an Inhuman
Mole Man’s basic abilities would allow him to be an Inhuman
Galactus could be replaced by a Celestial, probably a rogue one.
So, what do you think? Are these all viable replacements for the Fox characters? Do you have any better suggestions? Did you want me to do an X-men character article? Let’s talk about it in comments!
EDIT : The X-Men piece is now up and can be found HERE
Thanks for reading!