The Guardians of the Galaxy 2 press tour has been in full swing the past week and many details are emerging about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Still notably absent in the lineup is the return of the Fantastic Four, but I believe that’s about to change.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said that there will no longer be phases after the Avengers 4 and they will be focusing heavily on the Marvel cosmic universe. Feige comments “I think it’s a little early to know what it’s going to look like, I think things are going to look very different at that point, but I think the early discussions we’ve had with James [Gunn] about Vol. 3 and beyond with what we’ll call the “Cosmic Universe” and the Guardian characters is very exciting. Which is why he signed up and we announced that even before Guardians Vol. 2 came out.”
If Marvel is going the cosmic route they need the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom to pull it off don’t they?
Here’s a rough timeline put together by redditor Supes1, to see if the pieces for a “deal” (FF rights for X-Men television rights) fit together:
2001-02 – Fox sues Marvel for producing “Mutant X” series. This decision contains the only information we know about their agreement, saying “The Agreement reserved all television rights to Marvel, subject to a proviso… that Marvel would not ‘produce, distribute or exploit or authorize the production, distribution or exploitation of any live-action motion picture’ without Fox’s consent…” Fox and Marvel ultimately settled their claims confidentially.
Early 2015 – Marvel and Fox strike deal to change Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s powers for use of Ego the Living Planet. The deal was in place by March 2015. This is important, because the deal had to occur prior to FF being released despite Deadpool being a 2016 movie… if Marvel had the Ego rights already, no deal would have been needed. Also, it establishes a dialogue between Marvel and Fox during 2015.
August 7, 2015 – Fantastic Four reboot is released, and bombs.
October 8, 2015 – Marvel announces three new untitled movies for 2020. These films are still untitled, as apparently the titles are a spoiler for Infinity War.
October 14, 2015 – Fox announces future X-Men television shows, rights apparently reserved for Marvel in their agreement (though we don’t know the nature of the lawsuit settlement).
November 24, 2015 – Fantastic Four sequel removed from Fox release calendar.
April 22, 2016 – Inhumans movie pulled from Marvel release calendar (note this is well after the Spider-man deal, which already bumped Inhumans from 2018 to 2019). Making room for Fantastic Four?
Looking over this timeline it’s easy to imagine a deal might have been struck sometime around September 2015. If an agreement exists, there might be language forbidding Marvel from revealing any future FF movies until some point in the future. That would explain the silence from Marvel.
I find it fascinating how aggressively Fox has been announcing new X-Men movies, but maintaining total silence on a new Fantastic Four movie. They had a great cast but I doubt they would want to come back for a sequel.The movie stunk.
I’m hoping we see a much older Mister Fantastic and perhaps a different lineup than we are used too. She-Hulk anyone? There are three untitled MCU movies set for 2020 and I’m hoping one of them is FF.
What do you think? Will the Fantastic Four be flying into the MCU anytime soon?