When the Fantastic Four reboot bombed big time last summer, many believed the rights to these Marvel characters would eventually revert back to Disney and Marvel Studios. That hasn't happened yet, even though 20th Century Fox hasn't announced how they will move forward with the property. The Fantastic Four 2 was originally set for June 2017. But when the first one took a nosedive at the box office, the studio quickly rethought their strategy and pulled the sequel off their slate. While there is no word yet on what is happening with the characters in Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn knows what he'd do with the property. And his idea might surprise you.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is currently shooting in Atlanta, with a script long in place. There won't be an opportunity to utilize any Fantastic Four characters in this next sequel. But with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 already announced as one of the movies in Marvel Phase 4, this could definitely change before 2020. Though, James Gunn doesn't want to use one of the four earthbound superheroes that make up the Fantastic family. He's more interested in the cosmic villains, who would be more likely to run into Star-Lord and his crew.
James Gunn held another hour long Q&A on his Facebook page this weekend. Asked if there were Fantastic Four characters he'd like to use if the rights revert back to Marvel, the filmmaker had some pretty interesting choices. This is what he had to say, admitting that Fantastic Four has better villains than heroes.
"I probably wouldn't add Ben Grimm to the Guardians team even if they were a part of the MCU. And of course I would love the FF to be a part of the MCU...Fox owns so many great villains and cosmic characters I would love to play around with including Annihilus, and I think they own Kang."
A bug-like warlord from another dimension, Annihilus rules a massive army. He is very strong, and known to be crazy. He has appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy comic books before, but he was introduced in Fantastic Four, and is one of the characters under Fox's Marvel umbrella. At one point, Star-Lord and his team had to stop Annihilus from taking over the entire galaxy. That story also included Thanos, who will next show up in Avengers: Infinity War as the main villain. Kang is a time-traveler who likes to manipulate various time periods so that he can become a future ruler. He is most associated with The Avengers, but was originated for and introduced in the Fantastic Four comics.
It's interesting that 20th Century Fox still holds the rights to so many cosmic characters that would be perfect for Guardians of the Galaxy. And James Gunn has talked about using them before, with Silver Surfer and Galactus also viable in the world he's created. Alas, he can't get his hands on them until the rights change hands. There is no word on what is happening with the Fantastic Four rights at this moment, and Fox has made it clear that they want to still make another sequel. And there is always that much talked about X-Men and Fantastic Four crossover that was rumored to happen before Fantastic Four tanked.
In the current run of Marvel's Fantastic Four comic books, the team has separated. Reed Richards and his wife Sue are off in the cosmos trying to create a multi-verse with their children. Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm have both joined other super teams. As you'll notice, James Gunn mentions not wanting to use The Thing. The Thing, in the comic books, is currently part of the Guardians of the Galaxy team. It doesn't sound like that will happen while Gunn is at the helm of this franchise. Marvel have already asked the director back for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but he's too focused on his current sequel to make a commitment to that right now.