Will Fantastic Four finally get a good movie? Why F4 joining the MCU is a bad idea
Well, we think it’s safe to say the 2020 Disney Investor Day had a bit more news to offer fans of the company than expected. Don’t you?
If you missed the news yesterday, it was officially confirmed by the President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, that their first major tackle in the collection of superheroes acquired through 20th Century Fox will NOT be the X-Men, but the Fantastic Four.
As we know, there have been multiple attempts to revive the Fantastic Four property in the past, all of which went on to receive both critical & financial backlash.
So is bringing what feels like a cursed property into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a good idea for Kevin Feige?
We’re not so convinced.
The Fantastic Four
This Marvel superhero team is made up of four special individuals who obtain superhuman powers after an experimental space flight that exposed the group to cosmic rays.
Reed Richards, who’s the team’s leader, is known by the name “Mister Fantastic”, who has the ability to stretch and we’re not talking about Bikram yoga. His wife, Susan “Sue” Storm is known as the “Invisible Woman”, while her brother, Johnny Storm, goes by the name “The Human Torch”, given his ability to set himself aflame while flying in the process.
The fourth member of the gang, Ben Grimm, goes by “The Thing”, as his powers involve superhuman strength & endurance, along with his power to mutate into what looks like a giant stack of rocks.
The Fantastic Four were created by Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee & Jack Kirby in 1961.
The Fantastic Four in movies
This is one yellow-brick road of a memory lane you may NOT want to go down.
Kicking off what would turn out to be a string of unwatchable films was the unreleased 1994 film, simply titled The Fantastic Four, a low-budget dumpster fire that was accused of only being made so that Constantin Films wouldn’t lose the licenses for the property.
The film starred ah, forget it. They didn’t try, so why should we?
Next came the Tim Story Fantastic Four movies, which starred Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and Captain America’s own Chris Evans.
Fantastic Four was released in 2005, going on to actually earn a green light for a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007.
While offering their own sporadic bright spots, both films felt about as campy as a 1990s Joel Schumacher Batman film.
In 2015, audiences of this superhero group would get to see a more modern-day take on this beloved comic in Fant4stic, a cinematic experiment gone so wrong that they’ll one day make a documentary about the production nightmare behind this film, which was directed by Josh Trank kind of and starring a stellar cast that featured Milers Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell.
As we enter what Kevin Feige considers “phase four” of the MCU, expected to kick off with 2021’s Black Widow as well as a slew of Disney+ shows in canon with the rest of the MCU, we knew that it would only be a matter of time before Disney and Marvel jumped into their new sandbox filled with FOX content and started building castles.
While many of us thought that the first shiny toy Kevin Feige would grab would be the X-Men, it’s clear now that the first film from the assets gained from 20th Century Fox will be, yep, the Fantastic Four, directed by MCU favorite Jon Watts, whose delivered them two excellent films in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Why we’re unsure
Kevin Feige has proven himself time and time again, bringing to life bizarre superhero concepts such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange and finding a way to make them work.
So far the MCU has released twenty-three films, an impressive collection in which there’s no real obvious dud. So why, given Feige’s great track-record is there still room for concern with the Fantastic Four property?
Simple. We haven’t seen a single successful take on this group of superheroes yet.
A big factor that oftentimes goes unnoticed as it pertains to the success of the MCU is the fact that Feige had delved into heroes which we know very little about, sans Marvel comic book readers. Aside from the Incredible Hulk, how much did we really know about Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Thanos, Scarlet Witch, Vision, etc?
We’ve seen multiple takes on the Fantastic Four, now, and we have a clear vision of what they offer to the movie-going audience.
What if the MCU has it’s first big miss thanks to these dorks in blue spandex? Could that derail an MCU that’s been working just fine since it’s launch with 2008’s Iron Man?
Listen, if anybody can make it work it’s Kevin Feige, but the jury is still out for any filmmaker who tries to make the Fantastic Four work on the big screen.
Good luck, Kev.
Do you think Disney’s take on Fantastic Four will work, or is it a trainwreck waiting to happen? Let us know in the comments!