The rights to a few of Marvel's key properties belong to 20th Century Fox, and Fox hasn't been keen on sharing those properties with other studios. It wasn't up until recently that Sony decided to share their Marvel properties with Disney studios, and people are expecting the same of Fox. But Fox's past has proven that even consistent failure of their title properties isn't enough for the studio to come to some agreement in order to change that fate. Sony didn't decide to contract their Marvel owned properties with Disney's because of failing properties, despite Spider-Man's solo features failing to meet fan expectations and box office expectations. Sony could see the profitability in Marvel's expanding MCU, now that every mainstream character is having an appearance scheduled for them in the near future. Well most of Marvel's mainstream characters are having some type of appearance in the MCU, except those under Fox's studio properties, mainly the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. The fact needs to be stated that X-Men is one of Fox's most successful Marvel properties and most successful franchise in general . The X-Men franchise has spanned eight films since 2000's X-Men 1, gaining huge popularity among comic-book fans and new fans of the franchise. It is obvious that Fox will continue to develop X-Men related films with the third chapter of Wolverine's trilogy being set for 2017, and X-Men Apocalypse set to premiere later this year. The positive interest from fans is keeping the studio invested in developing more films for their Marvel properties. Although, Fox hasn't been successful in adapting all of their owned Marvel properties to cinematic features. For one, Fantastic Four has had two attempts on the big screen and both were met with mediocre response from fans and critics.
The Fantastic Four received a campy adaptation in 2005, featuring some larger than life superheroes. The Human Torch played by Chris Evans, who now plays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had an over the top impression of his character along with eccentric antics uncommon of the character. Jessica Alba playing the Invisible Woman was also an unorthodox casting choice, leaving the character to present no sense of seriousness in the role; she wasn't given the right script or she just didn't research the character enough because her portrayal of Invisible Woman lacked a lot of essential characteristics.And the matter of Ben Grim's Thing, played by Michael Chiklis was probably the most talked about character of the film. Michael Chiklis is by all means a great actor and has always given his best performance. However accepting the role in Fantastic Four, Michael Chiklis was set up to fail with the film being set up for mediocre reviews. Playing the Thing could have been really cool to see on-screen but the lack of quality and care put into Michael Chiklis' Thing costume was seen very evidently on-screen. The quality of costume design was probably not the most advanced in 2005, but there was probably a few other options that could have been considered for the costume, as to not make the costume a subject of such criticism. To go along with the character criticisms of the film, the entire film was brutally criticized by fans and critics. The 2005 feature for Fantastic Four was probably timed inappropriately but the film's failure isn't the only reason that Fantastic Four is a failing property for 20th Century Fox.
Then there's the matter of the more recent adaptation of the Fantastic Four in 2015, starring Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. Both actors have had exceptional roles in other films, although neither could succeed in Fantastic Four. The cast for Fantastic Four(2015) was stacked with some well known actors/actresses as well as some lesser known actors, which wasn't the reason the film was poorly received. The film was poorly received because the film was simply poorly put together. The character development progressed at a problematic pace. For the team of the Fantastic Four learning to use their abilities from the time they return from the other dimension to their training sessions on controlling their powers, the whole sequence seems rushed and obligatory to shoot. Not enough time was devoted to each individual character for fans to be interested in those characters. And there was the aspect of time skips, overlooking some very possible action sequences for the Fantastic Four. Johnny Storm was set to go on missions for the government agency that was training them before he and his comrades broke out of their facility, that could have been used for some strong character development but was not utilized. The Thing also underutilized, was shown in shot for shot takes on missions causing some serious destruction but those scenes were cut short despite the possibility of intense action sequences adding to the entertainment factor of the film. Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic wasn't given appropriate screen time either. In the film, Reed makes an escape from the facility housing him and his comrades, Reed could have had a few solo outings on his way to rescue his friends from that same facility although that opportunity was overlooked as well. There was a big enough time gap between the time Reed escapes and the time he makes his return for him to have gone on a solo-centered journey for self enlightenment; that definitely would added some depth to the film. The film was filled with sorely overlooked opportunities for character development and entertainment quality, which was probably why the film failed to meet expectations. The failure of both attempts at bringing the Fantastic Four to the big screen says that Fox isn't capable of successfully presenting an adaptation of The Fantastic Four. Fox has considered crossing Fantastic Four with X-Men to revitalize the property but the plan was scrapped with a possible film being shut down altogether. It appears that Fox isn't looking to cooperate with any other studios when it comes to the Fantastic Four, the reason for it may be that Fox sees the potential in the Fantastic Four property and doesn't want to share the profitability when the Fantastic Four property does hit its high note. Although stubbornness from 20th Century Fox may only lead the property of the Fantastic Four reverting its right back to their original proprietor which is currently Disney. If Fox doesn't do something soon about the Fantastic Four, another one of their Marvel properties is going to be lost due to inaction. Daredevil, Punisher, and Ghost Rider just returned to Disney, after previously being owned by Fox and that could be the way of the Fantastic Four. Marvel and Disney have proven that they're not showing any inaction with their newly obtained properties; Daredevil with his own Netflix series, and the Punisher playing a part on it as well. Fox should be worried because they can only invest in the X-Men franchise for so long, and the rest of the Marvel universe is growing bigger without the inclusion of Fox. Soon 20th Century Fox will be all but forgotten when it comes to Marvel properties. If a person were to be asked right now what brand they associate with superheroes, they would say Marvel and Fox would be the least common answer. The failing popularity of the Fantastic Four while under Fox's proprietary holding is setting up the title to be doomed to pre-production limbo. The Fantastic Four will be cast out into a phase of pre-production that will never be concluded until another attempt similar to what 2015's Fantastic Four did; and this conversation will once again be relevant. There's still hope for Fox to do the right thing by talking to Disney and Sony about sharing character rights. The MCU is the most profitable medium for Marvel at the moment and the foreseeable future which should make Fox more inclined to share their properties. They do have the upcoming Wolverine film shooting soon, that will adapt the Old Man Logan story-line which features a few central Marvel figures including Red Skull, Hawkeye, and the memorabilia of mainstream Marvel heroes. But Fox won't be able to fully adapt the Old Man Logan story to Wolverine's third chapter, without the character rights for the other essential Marvel characters of Wolverine's Old Man Logan story to appear alongside Wolverine. Though if Fox were to suck up their pride and come to an agreement in terms of sharing Marvel character properties, then they'd have the opportunity to revitalize the Fantastic Four which has been a monetary failure and expand their X-Men universe. We won't know if 20th Century Fox ever has the intention to cross their Marvel properties over with other studios until they announce their intention. Do you want Sony, Fox, and Disney to share their Marvel properties? Leave your thoughts below.