How To Fix The Future of ‘Fantastic Four’ Franchise


The future of the Fantastic Four franchise is not bright. 20th Century Fox spent 120 million dollars to produce a reboot of Marvel’s longest running superhero team. Early estimates put the opening weekend box office at well below $40 million.

Director Josh Trank has spoken out against the studio meddling with his vision of Fantastic Four. As reported at, Fox cut out 3 action set pieces days before filming, took over the third act from Trank and removed the director from the editing room.  

Currently, Fantastic Four (2015) is scoring 9% on Rotten Tomato’s critical consensus, the audience score is at 28%. I’ll reserve judgement on the movie until I’ve seen it myself.

Here are five options on how the studio can handle the Fantastic Four property. We’ll discuss the pros & cons and the probability of each option.


1. Put the Fantastic Four Out of its Misery 

Fox has proven multiple times that they just can’t get the Fantastic Four right. Could it be time for the studio to cut their losses? Three strikes and you’re out? If Fox doesn’t produce another Fantastic Four film, the cinematic rights will eventually revert back to Marvel and parent company Disney. It’s unlikely Fox would let go of this property, which in the right hands could be a potential blockbuster franchise, but it’s not unprecedented. After passing on a Daredevil reboot, Fox relinquished the rights to Marvel who went on to produce a critically acclaimed and fan favorite Netflix series.  

2. Roll the Dice on a Sequel

A sequel to Fantastic Four is scheduled to be released on July 9, 2017. With a fresh vision, great script, and the right director, Fantastic Four could be the franchise fans want to see. And if given good material, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are great, potential A-list actors. But isn’t that what the 2015 reboot was supposed to be? Another big problem is that each of the Fantastic Four films have had progressively weaker box office openings. To invest another $120 million to produce a respectable sequel, properly market it this time and turn moviegoers’ sentiment around is a long stretch. Fox is already dipping deep into their pocket books by investing over $150 million to make Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie. Let’s hope Gambit doesn’t explode in their face. Don’t be too surprised if the sequel date is pushed back and becomes stuck in studio limbo.

fantastic-four-miles teller

3. Team Up with Marvel Studios 

Fox working with Marvel Studios will not happen. There is no love loss between the two companies. Fox has painted themselves into a corner because it doesn’t make a whole lot of economic sense to go all in for a direct sequel or another reboot at this time. Movies fans make their voices heard the most at the box office and they have spoken. The best case scenario for Marvel is that they get back the rights to Fantastic Four. There is little if no upside for MCU to crossover with Fox’s Fantastic Four. Even if Marvel had a working relationship with Fox like they do with Sony, they would want to put their own stamp on the Fantastic Four without interference. 

4. Fantastic Four Crossover with X-Men

On the strength of Days Of Future Past, Fox’s X-Men franchise is currently bankable and generally well received by fans. Fox could use a positive rub off effect by introducing the Fantastic Four team into the X-Men universe in the hopes that movie fans will become more accepting of the former. The idea would be to use Fantastic Four similar to how Quicksliver was used in Days Of Future Past. Give Fantastic Four a couple of scene stealers and get fans wanting to see more of them, eventually building up to a true epic crossover movie. Unfortunately, X-Men movies are already crowded with characters that don’t have a lot to do. There’s also the thought that if the Fantastic Four can’t stand on their own two feet, why risk diluting both franchises? X-Men: Apocalypse could fall short and it would be an unenviable task for the next X-Men follow up film to have to fix Fantastic Four along with addressing it’s own challenges.


5. Human Torch vs Iceman Movie

Now we’re in comic book pipe dream territory, meaning while a Human Torch Vs Iceman movie could appeal to hardcore comic fans, the likely hood of it happening is next to nil. Instead of a big X-men crossover, try a smaller more personal one. The idea would be to do a character-centric story focusing on the coolest Fantastic Four member. The script can also take a page from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. At first Human Torch and Iceman can be at odds but eventually realize they have a lot in common and work together to defeat a big threat. The rest of the Fantastic Four could be in a supportive background role. While the average movie goer are interested in Batman battling Superman, unfortunately there wouldn’t be much hype in who would win between Human Torch and Iceman.

Overall, I would sleep well at night if there was never another Fantastic Four movie. But if you were a studio exec, what would you do with the Fantastic Four franchise that doesn’t involve a four letter word?

This post is written purely for your amusement/bemusement. Flame away. 😀

About Sidekick Reviews

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on August 8, 2015, in Comics, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. IMHO the best the Fantastic Four has ever been presented on film was in The Incredibles. The FF are a family. They should be in a family film. You make Johnny Storm really young as well as Ben (but when he gets big he’s like an overgrown kid with anger issues and a silly catch phrase). Reed and Sue are the adults in love. And you make the whole thing a family adventure. Kid friendly. Maybe get Brad Bird to direct. Everybody has love interests. And you don’t even try to get the the Avengers audience. You get the Frozen audience, the Shrek audience. And you keep it light and clean. Trying to make the FF gritty is a fool’s errand. It has always been a kid’s title.

    • I totally agree with you that the best FF was presented as the Incredibles. I really like the idea of FF are a family. I think that’s another reason why the Incredibles worked. Their powers reflected who they are. It’s was interesting to hear people’s reaction to the younger version of FF when this reboot was announced, I didn’t mind. I personally like the MCU tone and can see it working for FF. Yeah a too gritty or edgy take on FF wouldn’t work.

      • The Incredibles was perfect and audiences should accept that as the best incarnation of FF we’re ever gonna get. I just don’t think this property works as a mainstream, tentpole, live-action blockbuster, unless directors are given total free reign to make this as zany and psychedelic as the comics, or completely toned down the bizarre elements of the comic and turn the property into something else entirely. Neither will ever happen, so we should be more than happy with Pixar’s take.

        I haven’t seen this latest movie either, so I’ll reserve passing judgement now, but the only reason it exists at all is because: MONEY.

        • The family friendly/Pixar take makes sense to me. The Incredibles has a sequel coming, we can looking forward to that instead of FF. A family version could have a huge commercial appeal and maybe a whole new generation of kids would grow up fondly remembering FF. I haven’t got into the older comics, I didn’t know they were psychedelic. The less mainstream possibilities sound interesting, but like you said have their draw backs.

          It’s totally all about the money. For that reason they are trying to appeal to the largest audience range possible and trying hard to manufacture a blockbuster franchise, maybe that’s the problem.

  2. Very thoughtful post dude. I don’t know what they should really do with these guys. Being someone who was never really invested in the comic, let alone the original film adaptations I have not much motivation in getting caught up in the seeming catastrophe that is becoming this reboot. I do have to say though that the response to this one has been shockingly poor. I was banking on it at the very least surpassing the original films’ cheese factor but it sees they’ve ditched the humor in favor of a much-too-serious tone and melodrama. A shame. Maybe it’s good to be on the outside though here, it’s really interesting seeing the conversation shifting away from the actors for once and to the studio who may be the real villain(s) for screwing up Trank’s vision.

    • Thanks a lot Tom! I can’t say I’m invested in the FF comics either or the original films. There seems to have been a dark cloud hanging over FF reboot since it was announced: the casting, director, studio meddling etc. There wasn’t anything about the reboot that got me excited enough to want to rush out and see it in theatres. It was also a bad sign that the studio didn’t preview the movie to critics until a few days before the theatrical release.That’s a great a point about the cheese factor; the tone is a balancing act and it doesn’t sound like they got the formula yet.

  3. Great post man. I think I am seeing Sunday or Monday but at this point, I think this is the end. Likely too much negatively and poison around the Fantastic Four name that it will never be seen as a viable Hollywood franchise ever again.

    If I had to choose one option though, I may actually roll with two and see if the ship can somehow be righted with a new director. I’d argue though, that as good as the foursome is, the only way to start truly clean would be to recast the four heroes with a new director, but that would only complicate things having different actors in a part 2.

    • Thanks a lot man! I feel the same way, FF has left a bad taste in people’s mouth that it’ll be hard to get them thinking positively about this franchise for a long time. Maybe the best chance is if Marvel was making it because some fans might be open to their take and vision.

      Yeah I agree it would be complicated and a little confusing to have all different actors in part 2. Moviegoers might not be sure if it’s a sequel or reboot or alternate universe haha. Maybe after I watch the movie I’ll have a better option on how to fix it that would still make some sort of sense. 😀

  4. I haven’t seen the movie myself yet and honestly I don’t think I care to see it. I’m not a Fantastic Four fan. I forced myself to watch the older movies and they bored me to death. Hopefully I’ll walk out of this one thinking differently, but I doubt it.

    • I’ve haven’t been excited about the reboot since it was announced. I can totally understand why you don’t care to see it. I think I’m more interested in what’s happening around the making of the FF reboot and the decisions studios make in handling the franchise haha. Yeah, I don’t have high hopes on the movie.

  5. Hey dude, great post man and it was a nice read, very well-thought out and had a lot of questions and answers for each scenario presented. I saw it on Tuesday on an early screening and I thought the film was alright, but mainloy kind of meh. It was underdeveloped, inconsistent and there was no fun factor or that jean ne se qua that comes with superhero films.

    I’ve actually considered at least two or three of the options you’ve presented here so let me just give you my thoughts. Honestly I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand I like the FF, they’re some really strange, cool and interesting characters in comics and I want to see them done justice in a live-action adaptation just to show people not in the know why these characters matter (much like Deadpool but that’s looking like it’s going in a much better direction). But on the other hand, under the supervision of Fox they’ve been messed with three times! It is embarrassing. I think I may be over this, the boat feels like it’s sailed.

    HOWEVER, I’m curious to see what Marvel Studios could do with this property, if they could make Guardians look cool then they could kill it with FF, I know it. Thought considering the complexity, scheduling and ever-growing nature of the MCU it would be hard to find space for them. And even if FF did find a way into the MCU they probably wouldn’t show up until Phase 4 of 5.

    It is a tricky situation Fox have put themselves in. After Days of Future Past I thought Fox were on the up and up, but now I have concern for all of their upcoming properties (not so much Deadpool though, I just have a hopeful feling about that one).

    Anyways that’s my two cents, thanks for sharing dude, would love to hear your quick thoughts on the recent FF film in a replay if possible. Thanks! 😀

    • Hello there! Very cool that you got see an early screening, too bad to hear about the movie itself haha. No fun factor eh, sounds like it takes itself a little too seriously. That’s a shame because I think FF can be a fun franchise … it should at least be entertaining.

      Yeah, I can understand that if there’s a comic or something you personally connect with, you hope that others will get a chance to know why it matters. This is where I think Marvel does a good job. Like every studio they want to make lots of money but at the same time they want to show movie goers why their characters/heroes mean so much to them. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the comic version but the essence is there.

      The next wave of Marvel movies is coming, introducing even more heroes. So I can see it would be hard to find space for FF. Like you said, if they can make Guardians look cool, how amazing would FF be. The thing is that I never grew up with FF so I can’t say I’m holding my breath for them to join the MCU. I don’t think Marvel would want to buy back the rights to FF from Fox, unless it was an offer too good to refuse. I think Fox devalued that property big time.

      I feel that the vibe surrounding Deadpool is very positive, fans are really looking forward to it. I’d watch the next X-Men movies, but whether they will be good is a big question mark.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts too! I’m behind on a number of summer movies I want to see, I think FF is down at the lower end of my watch list right now, but I’m always interested in movie news, especially what’s happening with comic book movies. If I watch FF, I’d probably comment on your review. 😀

  6. Great write-up. My kids went to see Fantastic Four over the weekend and thought the first hour was pretty good. It’s the third act that didn’t go over very well with my kids. I’ll have to see it for myself to see what they meant. Also, great idea with the rub-off effect by teaming X-Men with Fantastic Four. Fox owns both properties, so why not use X-Men’s popularity to boost F4? Makes sense!

    • Thanks Jack! I’ve heard the same thing too that the first part of the movie isn’t bad. A shame that the studio messed with the third act. Yeah, a crossover can generate some excitement and it helps if people’s love for X-men can carry over to FF. A crossover makes money sense too, instead of doing a direct sequel that will probably flop at the box office haha.

  7. Great post! I saw the Rotten Tomatoes score and decided to pass on this one until DVD, which makes me sad because I don’t want to see the franchise fail. I hope that the rights will revert back to Marvel, and I think an X-Men/F4 team-up is also an interesting idea.

    • Thanks a lot! Word of mouth and reviews hasn’t been very positive, I can understand wanting to save money and wait for the DVD. X-Men/F4 team up could be fun if done right. I would also like Marvel’s takes on FF over another sequel or Fox reboot. 😀

  8. Nice post, I actually enjoyed the new FF film on the whole. There are flaws but things those kikns could be worked out, shame there probably won’t be a sequel but I think the X-Men/FF crossover could prove an effective way of rescuing the franchise in its current form.

    • Thanks! Nice to hear you enjoyed the new FF as a whole. I haven’t seen it myself yet, it would be interesting to see the flaws and how they could be fixed for the sequel. I agree, it’s unlikely there will be a sequel considering the first one did poorly at the box office, but maybe a X-Men crossover can keep the FF franchise afloat.

  9. Great Post, sir!
    Some interesting points made.
    4 what it’s worth, try this:

  10. Interesting article here Eddie! I have no desire to see this, I just don’t care about these *superheroes* at all, the characters and/or actors are simply not interesting to me, so there’s no appeal for me to see it. X-Men has high caliber, Oscar-nominated/winning actors that drew me, and they manage to make the story compelling as well as entertaining.

    So out of these options, I’d go w/ #1: Put the Fantastic Four Out of its Misery!! 😀

    • I think the thing I like the most about the latest X-Men movies is Xavier (McAvoy) and Magneto (Fassbender)’s relationship. I heard there is a Rogue cut for DOFP, I guess I’ll have to check that out eventually haha.

      Yes, a vote for #1 is perfectly fine with me. 😀

  11. Oh HELLO, this is the post we’ve been needing!

  12. Hi, Sidekick:

    Excellent points all around for ‘The Incredibles’!

    Intriguing critique.

    I’ll go even further back in time to DC Comics’ non super powered competition to Marvel’s ‘Fantastic 4’. ‘Challengers of The Unknown’. Whose tales were steeped in back story and not so much on plot. Two things this latest incarnation seems to have skipped over.

    A director who understands comics and their mythos wouldn’t be amiss, Along with a villain of equal or greater stature than the heroes. Hugo Weaving, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Meloni…. Call your office!

    Though, it is amusing that Fox is still suffering from “The Curse of Dumping ‘Firefly'” more than a decade ago!

    • Hi Jack, nice of you to stop by and join in the discussion!

      I’m not familiar with Challengers of The Unknown, but I agree a great or deep back story is something that would definitely help.

      That’s a great list of actors who can make a terrific villain. For me, one quality that can make a villain really great and sometimes even scary is intelligence.

      I heard that among many factors that is preventing a Firefly resurrection is a conflict over the rights. Universal got the rights for the movie (Serenity) and Fox tv got the rights to the show, so we can still continue to blame Fox for what they are doing to Firefly haha.

  13. Nice post! I still believe that the Fantastic Four can be a good movie, just not in the hands of 20th Century Fox. They completely botched this movie. I put it on Trank and the studio. The solution? Sell it to Marvel/Disney and let them figure out the best avenue for bringing the first family to the screen.

    • Hello Keith, very nice of you to stop by and comment!

      I totally agree that FF can still be a good movie … if done by the right studio and director. Yeah Marvel/Disney and FF would be a great fit, they would know how to do it right. The sad thing is that it would be hard for me to muster excitement for another reboot anytime soon … but make a great movie and I’ll watch it. 😀

  14. Another great take on the FF (other than The Incredibles) is in The Venture Bros. They call them the impossibles I think. But it’s more of a horror than a comic book adventure. With the torch in constant pain when he’s on fire. The invisible girl not being able to control her power so we see her insides because she only makes her skin invisible. Mr Fantastic’s stretching effects his muscles so that he’s limp. A more realistic and horrific version. It’s comedy for the Venture Bros. but I can see a much more serious tone.

    • I haven’t heard of the Venture Bros. or the Impossibles before. Their powers sound kind of freaky. I like that there are consequences or side effects to their powers. Makes it more realistic. Instead of a family friendly animated spoof of FF, it’s something more deviant which can be fun too.

      • Oh my god. You’ve never seen The Venture Bros. (I sort of envy you getting to see them for the first time) Go check them out. It’s one of the funniest cartoons ever. It’s a rip on the old cartoon adventure shows with comic book spoofs thrown in. (The FF one for instance) it is very funny. And it’s still going strong. They do movie events yearly now but it’s still great. It’s about the two idiot sons of the son of a famous adventurer. So they’re the third generation and they’re awful. But it’s also about the villains and other adventurers and they are all hysterical. The Impossibles are one of those adventure groups. I think they come in in season three.

        • Haha, I’ve actually never seen any Adult Swim shows. I never had the channel. But I found lots of full episodes are available on youtube. One of those idiot sons looks like a spoof of Fred from Scooby Doo. I’ve also heard good things about Rick & Morty which I also might check out too some time. So many shows I need to catch up on.

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