Marvel fans have been waiting for over a decade for all of their favorite heroes to “come home” to the “true”cinematic universe, the MCU, and it’s never been closer to happening than today. Though there are still a few outlying marquee characters controlled by other studios, Marvel Studios’ collaboration with Sony and Disney’s acquisition of Fox have brought Spider-Man, the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four back into the fold. Though rumors of Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds reprising their Fox-Marvel roles of Wolverine and Deadpool, respectively, in the multiversal madness anticipated in Spider-Man 3 and/or Doctor Strange 2, it appears that Disney is moving ahead with a revival of Marvel’s First Family before heralding in the dawn of the mutants (or, at least, an MCU X-Men feature).
During Disney’s recent presentation to investors, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that a Fantastic Four feature was officially in the works, with Jon Watts attached to direct. Watts was a relatively unknown director when he was tapped to helm the Sony-Marvel collaboration reboot of the Spider-Man franchise with Tom Holland as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The movie was a phenomenal success for both studios, revitalizing the flagging franchise and opening the door for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Watts’ sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, further intertwined Spider-Man with the MCU and introduced the concept of the “multiverse” on its way to becoming Sony’s most successful film ever.
This will be the fifth feature film starring the Fantastic Four, but the first one produced by Marvel Studios. The first film was directed by Roger Corman and produced by Constantin Film solely for the purpose of retaining the rights to the characters. It was completed in 1994, but never released (though bootleg copies of the movie have been making the rounds at conventions for decades). The second and third films were family-friendly farces filled with bad jokes and even worse CGI. They were distributed by Fox and released in 2005 and 2007, but the arrival of Marvel Studios’ vastly superior Iron Man one year later forced Fox to reconsider it’s take on the Fantastic Four. The result was the disastrous 2015 film that finally forced Fox to give up on the property.
Images courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios & 20th Century Fox