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– by Campbell Clark

UPDATED: Disney has purchased Fox, and with it came both the X-Men and Fantastic Four, so any hint of doubts in the intro that we would get the Fantastic Four are null and void.

With the big news at the moment being the potential purchase of Fox by Disney, it’s pretty obvious that fans like us are thinking primarily about the Marvel properties coming back under one banner. Both the X Men and Fantastic Four universes would then be good to go for the MCU if they choose to use them.

The only wrinkle in the plan could be that Constantin apparently actually still (at least partially) owns rights on Fantastic Four and were in partnership with Fox. We would hope that does not prove a massive hurdle for the House of Mouse, but we’ll have to wait and see.

But let’s, for a moment, assume that they will head over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How would it accomplish that, and how could the MCU possibly justify the Fantastic Four not being around?

RELATED: Great Marvel Moments We May Get From The Disney/Fox Merger

We at LRM are fans too and we talk about the dreams we have and the movie ideas we wish they would make. Well, I have been dreaming up this Fantastic Four idea in my head for years and we thought it would be fun to share a bird’s eye view of it for your readers, also we’d love to hear your own ideas and thoughts for re-introducing these characters back into the MCU.

We have no inside knowledge here, it is just a bit of fun.

Anyway here is a summary of LRM‘s Fantastic Four pitch. Feel free to ridicule it as you wish, we won’t be precious. I have, I must admit, written a full treatment for this movie, but I won’t bore you all with the minute details.

The key thing I always wanted to look at with the Fantastic Four is going back to those early comics and how the family dynamics were so different back then from what we would consider the norm in 2017.

Fantastic Four: Family Out Of Time

We would set the movie initially in the late ’60s. The Fantastic Four are already established in secret working for SHIELD and they are intercepting a package bound for Latveria and meant for one Dr Victor Von Doom. The period would allow Marvel to have some fun exploring the origin of these characters as they were in the comics and modernising them for the 21st Century as part of the movies character arcs.It also explains their absence from the MCU so far.

Explore the family dynamics as they would have been in the ’60s. Reed taking Sue for granted, Sue feeling repressed and undervalued as a woman in those days, Ben having to stay hidden away at all time. Johnny can be cocky and cool, but for the ’60s, which is not very cool in the modern day times.

Doom can be a former friend and colleague who was responsible for accident in space. This could be done as a flashback and with Dooms origin alongside the Fantastic Four it would also allow them to introduce this threat into the MCU organically.

Don’t Mess Up Dr. Doom!

Dr Doom is one of Marvel’s aces in the hole, probably their most recognisable and complex villain. Dr Doom was the Darth Vader of the comics and a threat to all Marvel heroes at times. Fox dropped the ball on him big time (more than once) and this could be the chance for Marvel to really explore a villain who can keep showing up in other stories.

Give him a great backstory! After all, Marvel do need more compelling villains in the MCU. Doom would not be a one and done kind of villain, but a growing threat.

Here is a backstory idea that’s keeping with his comic heritage. Doom is heir to the royal throne in Latveria, which neighbours Sokovia (MCU). Latveria went through a Military Coup in the 1930’s where his parents were killed as part of the revolution, Victor was smuggled by loyalists to America where he grew up. Doom genuinely cares for his people and truly believes the only way to save them from poverty and war is to finance another revolution to establish himself as the Monarch once more. Doom would aim to be a benevolent dictator and make Latveria strong enough to repel any invasions or internal coup’s again.

Motivations

Doom should not be shown as a true sociopath. He does care for people, but he just thinks that he is the person best suited to run things and distrusts politicians and democracy due to the corruption he witnessed in America. Doom and Richards while both geniuses have very different views about what to do with the discoveries they made. Victor wanted to profit from it and use the money to free his people, Reed was much more altruistic and wanted to give the world their knowledge and let them do with it as they pleased. Initially friends they became opposed to one another’s world views. Doom also thinks that Reed doesn’t deserve Sue and doesn’t treat her with the respect she deserves. That brings in that personal connection to The Fantastic Four from the comics.

To The Present & Into The Modern MCU!

To get the team back into the modern world, we could use the Eye of Agamotto (Time Stone) as a MacGuffin. It links in with the Dr Strange movie, and provides a natural way for the team to suddenly appear in 2020 with Dr Doom, who would be using it for his own plans back in the ’60s. You could even have a scene where The Ancient One appears through a portal and picks it up, after they have been sent through time and again linking them into the existing universe.

The family reappear in 2020 and have to learn to adjust to the modern world of the MCU. Reed has his views changed through seeing what the world has done with scientific discoveries. Sue learns about a world where she can finally come out of her shell, and the two need to explore this change in their relationship. Johnny feels like an old man out of touch with the modern world. Ben initially thinks that this world will be far more accepting of his condition, and then discovers people are still as prejudiced as they were…till he meets Alicia.

Doom has also been transported forwards through time, though 10 years prior to the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four find him already established as ruler of Latveria with Iron Man-like drones defending his country’s borders that he calls Doom Bots. This is important because it allows Dr Doom a head start to have been building up his power base, in order that he be a credible threat to any MCU hero.

Doom attacks The Avengers unexpectedly and the Fantastic Four provide assistance, this shows that Doom is confident enough to combat the entire Avengers if need be, though his motives remain hidden. It also brings in other MCU character for the Fantastic Four to befriend and instantly puts Doom on the radar of The Avengers.

The team help to repel Doom and find their place in this modern world, they decline offer of joining The Avengers, because Reed wants to use his scientific discoveries to finally change the world for the better and his friends want to help him. They are a family after all and it still enables them to team up as Marvel wish. Throw in a couple of Easter Eggs showing where they might end up, like The Negative Zone or Atlantis.

Spicy Stingers

Mid-Credit Scene

Dr. Doom we see has been testing the various strengths and weakness of the Avengers, he knows now that he must get the help of the Fantastic Four. They are the only heroes he can really trust, as they are the only ones he can be 100% sure are not Skrull imposters!!

Post-Credits Scene

We see an alien planet as the life force is sucked from it, leaving it a barren rock, a voice commands his Herald to find a new world to feed on as Silver Surfer flies across past the camera. That could be an event to match Avengers: Infinity War.


Do you like this idea of a family out of time? What would you do instead, if you were running Marvel? Even if this deal does not happen (We think that’s unlikely), they can’t stop us fans from dreaming, right?

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  • Greg Culver

    Wow! Campbell, I REALLY like this idea. I can actually see certain moments in my mind. Great work! I especially like the idea of Sue Storm realizing her potential in a modern world. It’s particularly topical to our modern times and the conversations we’re having around gender politics. Kudos! Now who can we call to get this done??

    • Ha thanks, I have a full treatment also. But I have a feeling Marvel will have their own plans for this franchise.

  • Kronx

    Time travel feels kind of redundant for the MCU with Cap’s story and all. But it would lead to some interesting opportunities, like having Peggy Carter show up, etc.

    For me, the movies seem to miss the core difference between the FF and other heroes. The FF aren’t heroes as much as they are super-powered adventurers. They aren’t really actively looking for villains as much as travelling to distant lands, universes, realities and exploring.

    There will also likely be a Tony Stark-shaped hole in the MCU after Avengers 4, and we need Reed to step in and fill it as the “dad” of the MCU and genius scientist.

    I think an initial film should be more about gaining their powers, establishing character and exploring, with perhaps someone like Annihilus filling the villain spot. Doom, PhD, could almost have his own film.

    • True, Doom could perhaps carry his own movie?

  • Smerdyakov

    Doom already has a perfectly good origin. You’re doing the same thing you accuse the FF screenwriters of doing. Making shit up that you think is better than Lee and Kirby. Can’t people just be fans? It’s not up to anyone to “save” the FF. Just do what was written.

    • Maybe. I guess

    • Jake Speed

      Exactly. These hacks keep trying to improve the best comic villain ever. The cujones on these guys.

  • jonathing
  • Kindofabigdeal

    I remember posting about them being originally set in the 1960’s a while back. It’s a cool concept. You can even have them associating with the original Ant Man Hank Pym. I thought you could probably set up a 60’s MCU, which would include Namor and any other B characters who would fit.
    Having said that I really like bringing them into our time. I would really want Captain America to somehow be someone they relate to. Maybe if he’s dead after Infinity War Reed can find a diary he kept which chronicles his thoughts on the modern world and adapting to it.
    That Galactus stinger sounds really good.

    • Tzar Namor

      Namor is not a bit character. He has a great story arc (love triangle). Don’t forget he fits perfectly with the X-Men as well. He is considered one of the first mutants. His introduction as a homeless man with amnesia can be done without any continuity issues. I may be biased because he’s my favorite marvel character but I am super excited about the possibilities. Prince Namor!

  • mrneddles

    I think Thanos’s use of the Reality Stone in the upcoming movies scrambles and resets reality. FF/Doom/Silver Surfer/Mutants can suddenly be a part of the new norm. Doesn’t have to be that complicated.

  • ChimBro

    I totally agree with the idea to root the FF in the 60s as you explained. Reed should be old fashioned as in 1961. They should play with the different society concepts of the 50/60s, where Reed, Sue and Ben belong to. Only Johnny is a kid of the 60s. Sue should struggle with being a housewife in Reeds eyes. Boring Reed was also the reason why she fell for Normar during that days.

    And then by some plot device, at the end of the first movie that should time travel to the current MCU, but escpecially Reed, Sue and Ben should continue to struggle with current society rules in the beginning. They are somehow closer to Captain America (1940s) than to the 2020s!

    • My thinking exactly, I’ve pretty much written a full treatment sans dialogue. I just think it would be unique.

  • Wild Dreams

    I appreciate the effort you put into this but it’s a bit much….we don’t need any time travel shenanigans, imo they don’t need any left field explanation for them if they just take the origin and modernize it a bit. They were regular humans before they got powers correct ? With as much going on in the mcu as it has they don’t need to tell us where 4 regular ppl have been all this time just shoot them up into space and let them return with powers make a good movie around that the end. Their origin can be shown in a post credits scene for all I care at this point as long as whatever movie they do with them is true to the spirit of the team.

    • Yeah course you could do that. I just always fancied showing them in the 60s. Just an idea

      • Wild Dreams

        Your idea isn’t terrible, you put a lot of thought into it. I just do not like the idea of them being from a different era…we already have cap then potentially kang down the road it’ll get repetitive eventually even if it’s well done.

  • Jake Speed

    Nah dog.
    Couple problems. First off. Convoluted.
    FF can just exist. No explanation necessary. Hank Pym just existed. The Magicians just existed. Inhumans just existed. As did Spider Man.

    FF aren’t super heroes they are explorers, there is no good reason for them to have crossed paths with the Avengers before.

    Secondly Doom being responsible for their origin is lame and a trash carryover from the garbage Fox attempts.
    Doom is a self made man, he learned science on his own, he learned magic on his own. His origin does not need to be connected to the FF. He and Reed were friends, he’s jealous of Reed. Done. It worked for 60 years in the comics, why remake the wheel.

    Lastly we’ve seen the man out of time trope with Cap. How does this bring anything new to the table?

    Avengers or Fury needs help with some interdimensional crap, they call in the FF. Done.

    Same with Xmen, they just exist. It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t invalidate anything at all.

  • Dakkar

    My working theory is that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in creating Doctor Doom’s backstory, were heavily influenced by (an admittedly not very good) Orson Welles movie entitled Black Magic (1949). The best part of the film is the beginning—once you get past the framing device of the two Alexandre Dumases (father and son) discuss the elder’s latest book, about Joseph Balsamo—that shows the early years of the man who would take the name Cagliostro: Born of Gypsies, his mother allegedly had the gift of foresight and was therefore accused of being a witch. Because they were unable to save the life of a nobleman’s wife, the nobleman put his parents to death.

    I would love to see Marvel adopt the idea of a villain who came from good people, and who turned bad not because of some inherited flaw, but because of the scurrilous way society treated his people. (I also hate the retconned notion that Victor Von Doom is trying save his mother from the Devil In Hell, preferring the original idea that he built his transdimensional device simply because he wanted to contact his mother in the afterlife. That way is so much more poignant—and ironic if, instead of hideously disfigured, he adopts the metal mask of Doctor Doom simply because he had a slight scar marring his otherwise handsome face.)

    I would also do this as two movies: A Fantastic Four-centric movie, showing a day-in-the-life of the quartet, with family squabbles and dealing with the press and hordes of fans as well as beating down rampaging monsters (this was Chris Columbus’ take—sort of a superhero movie by way of A Hard Day’s Night), with flashbacks to Reed’s and Ben’s and Sue’s college days (and cameoing Victor Von Doom’s refusing Reed as a roommate—“Listen, fella . . . you’d better double-check some of these equations. You’re off a few decimals in some place and that could mean . . . ”); then a Von Doom-centric movie showing his epic journey from child prodigy to megalomaniacal sociopath, fueled by hate and hubris—including a flashback to his college days, telling his version of how Richards’ meddling altered the course of his life.

    • Sounds cool

      • Dakkar

        Thanks! I’ve had a long time to think about this.

  • Fallout Boy!

    Doom has yet to be done right. If they can pull off Red Skull, they can pull off Doom. But so what. Screw that! GO BIG. The FF is THE science-fiction Superhero franchise. NOTHING is off the table. If anyone has balls they can exceed Guardians and Avengers for sheer spectacle. Galactus, Annhilus, the Negative Zone, the most awesome, mind-blowing ideas ever put to celluloid. Perhaps there’s a good reason they haven’t pulled it off yet – only now is the tech really available to truly visualize the FF and do them justice.

  • WTFITBS

    Doom deserves his own film, which is long overdue. If they somehow made Dr. Strange enjoyable, Doom would be much easier to pull off. Also, Doom is more integrated to the overall Marvel universe than the entire Fantastic Four team so it would make much more sense to establish him before making a full reboot of the FF in MCU.

  • Saranac

    Okay my turn, and this depends on what happens in Aveng. 3&4…

    The Baxter group has been launched into space on a 3rd mission to the new ISS. Richards, the Storm siblings and two pilots, one who is Ben Grimm. The timing couldn’t be worse as a result of Thanos’s wielding the gauntlet sends a series of cosmic rays into the ship. Kills the pilot we didn’t name, while Grimm does what he can the rays bounce all over the cabin and scientific equipment. The ship is damaged, crashes into many satellites (keeps people from knowing what’s occurring with Thanos battle) and begins to drift in orbit – Grimm is closest to a hole and his body begins to create a protective cover and so on… The ship is collected by Damage Control and Ironman? But it cannot be opened, with Wakanda in turmoil the ship is brought to the small country of Latveria, a country that has been mining vibranium from Slovakia and is reluctantly led by a former emergency doctor. Because of the world wide devastation there isn’t anyone available to assist as they open the ship, as they do so a blast shoots out, ricochets off the vibranium and hits Dr. Victor Doom. It is not as powerful and Doom recovers quickly to assist in the recovery of the five people inside. But they find one pilot dead, one large orange rock, and only Dr. Richards and Johnny Storm – Sue cannot be found! Until someone trips over nothing. So Doom works to find out what’s in the rock and puts each one in a separate room, Doom is affected over time as the rays warp his brain and such….

  • Bruce Norris

    Said this before, saying it again.
    Some of you are saying it here and I agree.

    The FF are “super adventurers” not “superheroes”. Their movies should play out like “JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH” or “FANTASTIC VOYAGE”. Avengers save the earth. FF saves the universe/our existence and such. Simply have one of their adventures become public knowledge and BOOM! Overnight celebrities. New to the public but they’ve been “grinding” for a bit.

    Doom has been here but he and his country have kept a “low profile”, similar to Wakanda. Doom starts to show his face once FF gain public attention.

  • WTFITBS

    It wouldn’t work if Johnny Storm is now in his 70s so a period piece in the 60s wouldn’t make sense. Johnny Storm is a peer to Peter Parker so with the most recent reboot they would still be teenagers.

    That’s my biggest gripe with the recent marvel films, Hank Pym’s importance has been reduced to being a mentor to Scott Lang which is weird because he’s much smarter than Tony Stark and closer to his age in the comics than his father, Howard Stark. Additionally, he is more of the founder of the Avengers and responsible for more inventions than Stark. So having him be significantly older than Dr. Banner, Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange and Doctor Doom at this point does mess things up quite a bit.

    To bring them, I wouldn’t fall into the pitfall of wrapping in Doom’s origin as well. Hell, if they could leave Doom out of the first film all together it would be for the better while they go against Mole Man while Doom is kept separate for a much bigger film following that.