Here's a rumor that was quickly shot down. Earlier this morning, Den of Geeks claimed that Marvel and Disney had won back the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise. But now, EW's Anthony Breznican has managed to contact both 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios. And guess what? They are refuting this rumor. Simply stated: It's not true! Of course, the same thing was said about Spider-Man joining the MCU when that Sony rumor broke. Here we are, almost a year later, and Peter Parker will be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War.
That's to say, it still might happen! The original rumor claimed that Marvel and Disney were planning a Fantastic Four reboot for 2020. That it would be a part of their Phase 4 line-up of superhero movies. Just last week, Disney had announced 3 mystery movies under the Marvel banner. Of course Fantastic Four was going to be one of them. Right? This all came after Marvel boss Kevin Feige stated publicly that his team has a contingency plan in place should any outsourced comic titles come back into their possession. Alas, for now, Marvel's first family is still housed at Fox.
It wasn't just the fact that Marvel had set up three untitled movies for 2020 that helped spur this rumor. Yesterday, it was announced that Marvel and Fox are teaming up on two live-action X-Men TV shows. Hellfire, which revolves around the mutant super villain team The Hellfire Club, is happening at Fox Network, while Legion, which is housed at FX, will follow Professor X's long-suffering son. Both of the shows are set within the X-Men movie universe. And they did not come easily. Marvel, who owns the TV rights to these characters, was holding out on allowing Fox TV to move forward. The rumor from Den of Geeks claims that Fox only got to move forward on the two TV series once Marvel was given back the Fantastic Four movie rights. Again, this isn't true. And the actual terms of the X-Men TV show deal have not been fully revealed. About the rumor, Anthony Breznican had this to say.
"Spoke with Fox and Marvel and both sides confirm: Fantastic Four is still with Fox. No change of hands. Before reporting today's Fantastic Four rumor, it might have been nice for everyone to actually, you know, ask the studios involved. The thing I resent about these rumors is, it's hard to get any real work done when people keep pulling the fire alarm."
It seems the rumor may have stemmed from speculation more so than actual fact. But there's no denying that this is something fans want to happen. And it's been talked about every since the Fantastic Four reboot opened this past August, becoming one of the biggest bombs of 2015. The movie debuted to the tune of $25.6 million on August 7th. Budgeted at $120 million, the film has only earned $56 million at the domestic box office, with a worldwide tally of $166.6 million. The Fantastic Four 2 June, 2017 release date is still holding strong, though there has been much speculation that this date will actually be handed over to Deadpool 2.
In the original report from earlier this morning, Den of Geeks claimed that Fox was completely abandoning Reed Richards and his family of superheros to instead focus all of their energy on the X-Men franchise. The studio already has three movies planned for 2016, which include Deadpool in February, X-Men: Apocalypse in May, and Gambit in October. X-Men: Apocalypse is bringing Bryan Singer's X-Men saga, which spans the first six films, to a close while setting up a rebooted X-Men series for the future. And at this point, there is the strong possibility that Gambit will get pushed into 2017, as the studio searches for a new director. Rupert Wyatt dropped out earlier this month. In 2017, Fox has the sequel Wolverine 3, which will be Hugh Jackman's last time playing the indestructible mutant Logan. Also in development are movies for The New Mutants and X-Force. An X-Men/Fantastic Four Crossover Movie has often been discussed but never confirmed by the studio.
Back in September, Fantastic Four writer and producer Simon Kinberg said the studio was still trying to figure out what to do with The Fantastic Four 2. He expressed his disappointment in the reboot, especially the fact that fans didn't like it. About carrying on with a sequel, he stated the following.
"I do believe there is a great Fantastic Four movie that we've made with that cast. So I'm gonna figure out what that is. We're figuring out what that movie would be. I'd like that to happen."
Sounds like they're still figuring it all out. Will we see The Fantastic Four 2 in 2017? That's actually still very much on the table. Will Marvel ever get the rights to Fantastic Four? Who knows, but the possibility is strong. At this point, it sounds like Marvel's three untitled movies for 2020 are untitled for a reason. Perhaps they don't even know for sure what those three movies will be yet. What is your take on all of this?