Over the past few years, there's been seemingly endless speculation involving the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the returning to it of some of the comic book company's most cherished properties. After all, with the rights to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, The Punisher, and Spider-Man having been sold off to various film companies during the '80s and '90s, there's currently a pretty vast number of Marvel characters who can't legally appear in the company's own movies.
With the rights to Daredevil and The Punisher reverting to Marvel in the past few years, and Sony and Marvel recently cutting a deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU, we're gradually getting closer to seeing a Marvel Cinematic Universe virtually indistinguishable from its comic book counterpart. Except, of course, for the properties still held by Fox: the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
That could all be about to change, however. Y'see:
Fox and Marvel Just Cut an Incredibly Important Deal
Specifically, the two companies have agreed to co-produce two television series based within the X-Men movie universe, Legion and Hellfire.
Now, on the surface, that may not seem to mean all that much for the X-Men or Fantastic Four joining up with the Avengers and pals in the MCU. After all, there's been no suggestion thus far that the series will in any way cross over with Marvel's half of the superhero universe.
That, though, looks to be only half the story. As it turns out:
Part of the Deal Seems to Involve the Rights to the Fantastic Four Reverting to Marvel
Yup, that's right. According to Den of Geek, an inside source is reporting that the notable box-office failure of the Fantastic Four this past summer has prompted the company to trade the franchise to Marvel, presumably in exchange for a free hand when it comes to making X-Men-themed television shows.
Which, if true, means that not only will the Fantastic Four be heading to the MCU -- thus reuniting Marvel's 'first family' with the company's other iconic characters -- but they may well be doing so in one of those mysterious, as-yet-unannounced slots Marvel has out in 2020.
Which...would be absolutely awesome. After all:
The Possibilities Are Now Endless
We could see the FF take on the Black Panther, as they did in an early issue of their comic book, or watch as the Human Torch and Spider-Man develop a cinematic version of their legendary bromance. We could see Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner form a legendary three-way science bros team, and the Invisible Woman and Hawkeye team up to prove that neither of them is as lame as people imagine. Doctor Doom and Galactus could take on all comers -- and the Silver Surfer could help the Avengers take them out. Ant-Man could actually visit the Microverse.
And, of course, we could finally see The Thing fight The Hulk.
And WHO DOESN'T WANT TO SEE THAT?
In other words? Let's keep our fingers crossed that this one turns out to be true, since it could well be a super-rare win-win-win (with Marvel getting an iconic property back, Fox getting to make a whole bunch of awesome X-Men shows, and us all getting to watch the greatness that emerges from all of that).
The big question now, though?
What do you reckon?