'Fantastic Four' Heads Back to Marvel? Not So Fast!

– by Joseph Medina

UPDATE: Den of Geek has updated their original post. Fox has responded to rumors and states that the "Fantastic Four" deal is "Completely untrue." Marvel also denies Den of Geek's source's claim.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

As much as I personally hoped "Fantastic Four" would be a reboot worth checking out, watching that movie hit theaters earlier this year was like watching a slow, boring train wreck. One with zero explosions and zero excitement. But what would become of these characters? That's been the ten thousand dollar question. Would Fox try and run with it, regardless of how badly it performed? Would they just let the rights expire in a few years? Or would they try and sell the rights back to Marvel?

According to Den of Geek, the studio went with option C. Yesterday, it was reported that Fox would be producing two "X-Men" TV series--"Legion" for FX, and "Hellfire" for Fox. It turns out that could have been part of the deal Fox recently made with Marvel involving "Fantastic Four," one of the outlet's sources claims.

So what were the specifics of this supposed deal?

Well, it seemed like a pretty straightforward trade. Fox gets "X-Men" TV rights in exchange for the "Fantastic Four" rights. And the rights for "Fantastic Four," if Den of Geek's source is correct, also includes characters Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, and Galactus. The potential for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to branch off in interesting directions has just been increased two-fold with this news.

Of course, that's assuming any of this is accurate, and according to the folks over at Collider, this scoop is not true. Their source states that Fox already had TV rights to "X-Men," so there'd be no point in opening up a trade. But, I have my grievances with this claim from Collider. Wasn't it news a couple months back that Fox was knee-deep in TV deals with Marvel?

Did Fox already have the rights to "X-Men"-based TV series?

Did Fox already have the rights to "X-Men"-based TV series?

Below is a quote from Fox TV chairman and CEO Dana Walden from August of this year (via THR):

"[For] X-Men, we're in negotiations with Marvel. We're hopeful we'll be able to announce something soon. We're not closed on a deal yet, but it's something we're definitely pursuing."

That certainly doesn't sound to me like Fox already had the rights to "X-Men" on TV, does it? Then again, it's possible that Marvel and Fox came to some other sort of agreement that doesn't involve the "Fantastic Four," but what kind of trade would that involve?

In all honesty, a "Fantastic Four" trade does seem the most possible. Let's take a look at the evidence. 

If you'll recall, last week, Marvel announced the film "Ant-Man and the Wasp," which pushed back several films in the MCU lineup. Marvel could have left things at that, but instead opened up discussion with three untitled movies in 2020.

  • "Captain America: Civil War" – May 6, 2016
  • "Doctor Strange" – November 4, 2016
  • "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" – May 5, 2017
  • Untitled Spider-Man Movie – July 28, 2017
  • "Thor: Ragnarok" – November 3, 2017
  • "Black Panther" – February 16, 2018
  • "The Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1" – May 4, 2018
  • "Ant-Man and the Wasp" – July 6, 2018
  • "Captain Marvel" - March 8, 2019
  • "The Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2" – May 3, 2019
  • "Inhumans" – July 12, 2019.
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – May 1, 2020
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – July 10, 2020
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – November 6, 2020

It's looking like Marvel's been dropping hints for us in plain sight here. After hearing news of this deal, it's very possible that a "Fantastic Four" film is one of those three films. Five years is potentially enough time for moviegoers to forget and forgive the movie that came out earlier this year, so it's a possibility. They can also maybe have a Silver Surfer movie in there. Of course, we also have to consider the possibility that they'll nix the idea for a "Fantastic Four" movie altogether and just spread the characters throughout the MCU à la Black Widow and Hulk.

It all seems incredibly plausible to me, and even if it turns out none of this has gone through yet, it seems like the kind of thing that would totally happen eventually.

What do you think? Is Den of Geek's scoop true, or is Collider correct here? Let us know your thoughts below!

SOURCES: Den of Geek, Collider, THR

Rumors, Film Fantastic Four, X-Men, Marvel Studios, Fox