Much to Marvel Studios’ chagrin, Fox still holds the film rights to the ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ which they obtained while Marvel was still in bankruptcy proceedings and before the comic publisher set up their own film studio. Fox’s’ X-Men’ franchise kicked off with a bang in 2000 with the Bryan Singer-helmed ‘X-Men’ and ‘X-Men 2,’ but has had its ups and downs with subsequent mutant movies. Fox also had moderate success with two ‘Fantastic Four’ movies, but those weren’t profitable enough to keep going as is. Though Marvel seemed contented to let Fox (at least for a while) keep the ‘X-Men,’ they were anxiously waiting for the film rights to the ‘FF’ to revert back to them, so they could incorporate one of their flagship groups into their popular MCU. Then Fox rapidly cranked out the upcoming Josh Trank reboot in order to hold onto the rights, upsetting those plans.
With Marvel’s success with a shared universe, many other studios are seeking to build similar movie realities and Fox is no exception. Quite some time ago, Fox announced that their two super hero groups existed in the same world and that they intended to connect them. Singer, who is currently shooting ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ which is believed to be his last X-Movie, admits that those plans are still underway.
The directer and executive producer revealed:
“Those ideas are in play. That would be a natural match-up because they’re both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it. It deals with time. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Time certainly played a part in Singer’s last film, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ in which Wolverine traveled backward in time to stop an assassination attempt by Mystique and in turn, undid the events of the last few X-Men movies, which weren’t as successful or well-liked. And ‘Apocalypse’ appears to contain some element of time travel, as its main villain originated in ancient Egypt, while the bulk of the movie is set sometime in the 1980s.
It was recently revealed that the time-traveling villain Kang— a foe most associated with The Avengers– was actually part of the ‘Fantastic Four’ rights package because the character (in another form) first appeared in the pages of that comic book. Could Kang play a hand in drawing these two teams together onscreen?
Fox uniting these units, whether as allies or enemies, should prove fairly easy as Simon Kinberg (also an executive producer) contributed to the scripts for ‘Days of Future Past,’ ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Fantastic Four.’ At least there would be some level of consistency with a crossover.
Of course there’s one big IF here. What if ‘Fantastic Four’ bombs? It’s certainly a possibility as advance buzz has been incredibly negative.
Prior to the release of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, Sony threw itself into developing its own Spidey-centered universe with spinoff films for ‘Venom,’ ‘Sinister Six’ and other unannounced projects; ‘Black Cat’ rumored among them. But when ‘ASM2’ failed at the box office, Sony had to completely scrap everything, including ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3’ which was all but guaranteed and go back to the drawing board. They ended up striking a deal with Marvel, but that involved rebooting ‘Spider-Man’ from scratch and dropping any existing plans they already had in development.
The X-Men are already quite popular on their own, especially now that the last two films, ‘Days of Future Past‘ and ‘The Wolverine‘ were not only financially successful, but a hit with fans. Whether or not they appear in a crossover is really irrelevant. It’s ‘Fantastic Four’ that could really use the injection of a little mutant blood.
But speaking of time travel, the fate of the ‘Fantastic Four’ remains to be seen, specifically when it opens on August 7th. That will more than likely be the deciding factor.
What do you think? Do you want to see the X-Men and the Fantastic Four onscreen together? Do you think their cinematic worlds would mesh well?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter