When Disney acquired Fox, they didn’t just open the door for the X-Men to enter the Marvel universe They also got one of the most famous superfamilies in history.
While the Fantastic Four’s film journey is, at best, a relic of the genre before the MCU, and at worst, downright awful, it doesn’t mean that Disney will repeat the same mistakes. Many fans see their introduction into the MCU as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and make the best films yet.
Fantastic Four’s film journey
Many would naturally trace the Fantastic Four’s film journey back to the 2005 film. However, the first attempt dates back to 1986, when Constantin Film acquired the rights from Marvel to make an epic superhero film.
Six years later, as they were desperate to hang onto the rights, they hired schlock-lord Roger Corman to produce the low-budget version that served little purpose beyond maintaining rights.
The film they produced had a trailer, a cast and crew promoting it, and even a release window, but it never officially saw the light of day. After such a strange conflation of events, many called it out as a scheme that was less about the box office and more about preserving the legalities behind the film’s production. The film was never released past bootleg markets.
The first official Fantastic Four film was released in 2005. It starred Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Ioan Gruffudd, and the future Captain America, Chris Evans. Although it was a moderate success, many fans of the comics felt it phoned things in. Nevertheless, it spawned a sequel in 2007, Rise of the Silver Surfer, that grossed $330 million. However, when Iron Man came out the following year, the superhero genre got a reboot as a whole.
Hoping to capitalize on the MCU’s success, 2015’s Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank, boasted an all-star cast of Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller. However, It was a critical and financial bomb, doing so poorly that Trank was dropped from an upcoming Star Wars film that he was attached to direct. Since then, Disney acquired Fox.
As such, plans to bring the quartet into the MCU, and fans are excited to see what they do.
Fantastic Four: What comes next?
When Disney acquired Fox in one of the biggest moves in industry history, fans salivated at the prospect of the first family of superheroes joining the most lucrative franchise in the genre’s history. Although little is known about the inevitable series, Feige promises that it will finally give the fans what they want when it comes to the Fantastic Four. When asked for more details, however, Feige played coy.
“All of that is spoilers, but I’m extremely excited about those characters and about bringing Marvel’s first family up sort of to the platform and the level that they deserve,” he said at a shareholder meeting.
The fans, however, are already planning things.
What the fans want
Many fans on Reddit are cautiously optimistic that the people behind the MCU can thrive where others failed. After all, the Fantastic Four aren’t defined by their superpowers and the neverending battle of good versus evil. It’s about a family of superheroes who band together through their shared disposition. U/Silvershadow881 wants this dynamic to be at the heart of whatever comes next for Marvel’s first family.
“They should focus on the family aspects. It’s that simple. There already is a FF movie everyone loves out there, and it’s called The Incredibles. It’s not that the characters can’t work; it’s that no one has exploited their dynamic correctly,” they wrote.
Others, like u/ShinShinGogetsuko agreed.
“That’s exactly what the first movie tried to do; all the pre-release interviews from director Tim Story featured it. He was even hired because of the family feel of his Barbershop films,” they wrote. “So the family aspect is just one aspect. IMO, the biggest problems with the previous movies has been the reluctance to be reverent to the source material, poor casting, and a real lack chemistry between the actors—which is vital for a movie about family.”
Hopefully, for these fans, Feige and company can learn from past mistakes by other filmmakers and finally give Fantastic Four films the fun, family-oriented adventure they’ve been yearning for since the 1960s.
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