Entertainment website Den of Geek is reporting that a deal has been struck between Marvel and Fox to bring Fantastic Four into the MCU with the first film due in 2020.
While Den of Geek says they "don't have an independent source to back this claim up," some supporting evidence can be examined which could bring legitimacy to the report.
The first being the recent announcement of three untitled MCU films slated for 2020. A lot of questions on the future of the film series post Infinity War and the conclusion of Phase 3 has been speculated for some time. With film studios more recently looking to lock in release schedules as early as possible, the announcement window for 2020 releases is coming up, so the timing makes sense for such a deal to take place. It also seems like the announcement of a new Marvel TV property with Fox has some connection too.
In August, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden reportedly said Fox and Marvel were close to finalising a deal with Marvel for a live-action X-Men television series. That deal was finalised recently with announcement of development of Hellfire and Legion. We can also consider that Sony recently made a deal with Marvel to salvage Spider-man, after the fairly flat Rise of Electro and the aborted Sinister Six film. Fox's ownership over the financial flop and critically panned Fantastic Four reboot could likely been used as a bargaining chip to secure X-Men TV rights.
Does it mean these characters could possibly be introduced before the conclusion of MCU's Phase 3 as part of the upcoming Infinity War, much like it's rumoured the new Spiderman will feature in next year's Civil War? Could the remaining two untitled 2020 Marvel films be other reclaimed properties such as Blade and Ghostrider?
Regardless, with the continued success of the MCU, it's probably the right choice to salvage misstepped properties as Marvel is working to do with the other studios. I really do think Marvel has got the formula right with its only property and in many ways it's sad so many great characters cannot be together on the big screen. (Wolverine teaming up with S.H.I.E.L.D could be a lot of fun).
Edit 20/10/15: Den of Geek released an letter of apology addressing the now apparent miss-information they reported regarding Marvel regaining Fantastic Four properties. Despite enough evidence supporting the source, it has now been confirmed to be incorrect. The full apology letter can be found here.
Daniel Sanguineti is a Australian Film Producer and Writer, who tutors film and media at the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is on twitter @DanSanguineti.