5 things we want to see in a Marvel-made Fantastic Four movie.
Last week, a report based on an anonymous source spread across the internet that because of the abysmal reviews and box office performance of this summer’s Fantastic Four movie, 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios are hammering out a deal that would send the FF and all associated characters, including Dr. Doom, the Silver Surfer and Galactus, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But just as quickly as Marvel fans began to ponder The Thing and The Hulk battling it out on the big screen, Fox dashed those dreams by rushing out a statement denying that any such deal was in the works. Still, that doesn’t mean that Marvel Studios will never get the rights back, or that Fox and Marvel aren’t actually in talks but not quite ready to announce something. It’s more a matter of when, not if, Marvel gets the rights to the Fantastic Four back, and when it does, here are five things we want to see.
Focus on the Family
Marvel Studios has already built two great and distinct superhero teams in the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, but unlike those teams thrown together by circumstance (or a LOT of Nick Fury’s plans), the Fantastic Four is at its core a family. Yes, there’s friction among the team members, just like with any family, but what makes the Four so fantastic is how much they truly care about each other. With very little build up, Marvel could create a strong dramatic franchise based on the relationship between Reed Richards and Sue Storm. Add in the brother-sister dynamic between Sue and her brother Johnny Storm (and yeah, sorry 2015 FF movie, but the Human Torch can’t just be a stepbrother), and you have a recipe for a great new type of Marvel superhero movie.
Yes, There Needs to be Another Origin Story
Bear with me.
Admittedly, we’re all pretty tired of origin stories in comic book movies. Even Marvel has had enough of stories about how heroes get their powers and won’t delve into Spider-Man’s origin when he debuts in Captain America: Civil War next year.
It’s not that the Fantastic Four have a terribly complex origin. They go into space and cosmic rays give them superpowers, but this year’s abysmal movie screwed up that simple origin with inter-dimensional travel, “Planet Zero,” and a bunch of silly green goo (though admittedly, they were borrowing heavily from FF’s Ultimate universe origin).
By the time Marvel gets the franchise back, it will be more than a decade since the Fantastic Four has had a halfway decent origin on-screen. And unlike Spider-Man, an elusive vigilante who tries to stay out of the limelight, the Fantastic Four are beloved celebrities in the Marvel Universe. It doesn’t make any sense to suddenly drop them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and say, “Hey, you haven’t heard about these superheroes in the past dozen movies, but they’ve saved the world a bunch of times already and everyone loves them.”
Keep it Light
Another of the 2015 film’s (many) mistakes was forcing a dark and gritty tone on some of Marvel’s funniest characters. The Human Torch in particular is known for his wise cracks (especially when he gets together with Spider-Man) and his never-ending prank war with Ben “The Thing” Grimm.
The 2004 and 2007 Fantastic Four movies delved into this a little bit, but felt a little too slapstick. Thankfully, Marvel has shown in its recent films (like Captain America yelling “Language!” at Iron Man in the opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron) that it knows how to strike just the right humorous tone with its characters.
A common and not unfounded complaint against the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it doesn’t have any great villains beyond Loki. Thanos has been pulling the strings behind the scenes for some time now and will no doubt be a great foil for the Avengers when he finally goes toe-to-toe with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the Infinity War movies, but beyond him, there aren’t many other great villains Marvel Studios has the rights to. That’s why it’s the perfect time to introduce the ruler of Latveria and his army of Doombots. And Marvel would need to bring in that version of the character, not a mere scientist out for revenge against the Fantastic Four.
Even if Marvel waited a few movies to introduce Doom, the Fantastic Four has a solid rogues gallery made up of the likes of Annihilius, the Super Skrulls, and Mole Man. Any of those characters could bring massive armies against the Fantastic Four that would make for a special effects extravaganza on par with either Avengers movie.
Make It Smart
Reed Richards is arguably the smartest person in the entire Marvel Universe, but just showing him building a bunch of cool toys to blow stuff up won’t cut it. That’s how the MCU has mostly treated its current resident genius, Tony Stark. It worked once, but it won’t again, particularly when the hero in question isn’t an engineer creating a suit of armor for himself.
In “Dark Reign” Reed created “The Bridge,” a device that allowed him to observe parallel Earths in order to see how those worlds solved similar problems to the one his universe faced. And when he entered The Bridge, he joined with dozens of alternate versions of himself to solve the problems of all their worlds. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Hank Pym may be smart, but Reed is on a completely different level.
Of course, the one person who comes close to him in terms of intelligence is Victor Von Doom. A great Fantastic Four movie would play out like a precise game of chess, with each man cleverly getting the best of the other until Reed revealed a brilliant final checkmate in the last act.
Those are our ideas. Have your own? Let us know in the comments!