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Sooooo . . . is the teased 'Fantastic Four' movie part of Marvel’s Phase Four or not? Here's everything you need to know!

Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four’: Is Kevin Feige refusing to release this reboot?

Sooooo . . . is the teased Fantastic Four movie part of Marvel’s Phase Four or not? Rumors & hype about Marvel’s First Family have been swirling around for so long now that it’s become really difficult to figure out what’s really happening. And when in doubt about MCU goings-on, there’s one person who’s the ultimate authority on them: President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige.

Unfortunately, Kevin Feige, the MCU’s hype-man extraordinaire, is being unusually coy about the Fantastic Four and their place in upcoming Marvel plans. Suspiciously coy, even. It’s almost allllmost like he’s starting to regret dropping that Fantastic Four announcement last year. Could it be because the project is already in trouble?

Look, we know that sounds paranoid. But we’ve been hurt by Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm before. Need we remind you of how the Fantastic Four have been quite unlucky as far as Marvel movie adaptations go?

Fantastic curse

There have been four feature film adaptations of the Fantastic Four, and none of them would be considered successes by Marvel fans – although one satisfied bean-counters enough to get a sequel. It’s telling that the consensus among Fantastic Four connoisseurs is that the best Fantastic Four movie is Pixar’s The Incredibles, a movie about a super-powered family that clearly took cues from Marvel’s creations.

But before The Incredibles put all Fantastic Four movies to shame, there had to be Fantastic Four movies to begin with. And the first one ever made didn’t even make it to movie theaters. Roger Corman’s infamous 1994 Fantastic Four adaptation has gained notoriety in the bootleg market thanks to its low-budget-rrific charm, but most people would agree it doesn’t do the Marvel characters justice.

History has been a little kinder to Tim Story’s Fantastic Four movies from the mid-2000s. If nothing else, they feature Chris Evans’s first incursion into the Marvel Universe – this time playing the Human Torch. But Story’s adaptation (and its sequel) failed to capture the sense of awe inherent in the concept of a super-family of scientists. The movies were silly, forgettable, light-hearted fluff.

Fast-forward to 2015, and the pendulum swung the other way really hard for the most recent Fantastic Four adaptation. Josh Trank’s ill-advised take on Marvel’s premier team of cosmic explorers was dark, miserable, and, ultimately, kinda nonsensical. It killed everyone’s hopes of a “serious” Fantastic Four movie and made Trank take a five-year break from filmmaking. Yup, it was that bad.

Fantastic news

So with all that fantastic history behind us, can you blame Marvel fans for being a little apprehensive about future Fantastic Four vehicles? Sure, the MCU has an exceptionally good hit-to-miss ratio, but this is the Fantastic Four we’re talking about. If the new movie follows the trend set by its predecessors, it could turn out to be Marvel Studios’ first critical & box office failure.

Then again, this is what we know for sure: Jon Watts, the filmmaker behind the wildly successful recent Spider-Man movies, has been officially tapped to bring the Fantastic Four to the big screen one more time. Feige himself made the announcement in December, and the internet loved it. But further details have been scarce since then – despite incessant online speculation about potential casting news.

When asked directly about any Fantastic Four casting pronouncements, Kevin Feige actually told ET Online: “I don’t think it’s soon. This [Black Widow] is our first red carpet event in two years. We’ll see what happens with upcoming gatherings and fan events where we can release more news. I hope sometime in the near future.”

Well, that’s a bummer of a response, Mr. Feige. Especially when we have rumors about John Krasinski & Emily Blunt as Mr. Fantastic & The Invisible Woman. Of course, we get it: we literally just listed a bunch of reasons why Marvel should be extremely careful when dealing with the Fantastic Four – and that means they might have to be more secretive than usual. 

But it’d be nice to know who’s going to play Dr. Doom, at least.

Is the Fantastic Four movie your most anticipated Marvel project? What do you think of the previous Fantastic Four adaptations? Let us know in the comments!

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