20th Century Fox
There’s no debating it, Fantastic Four is a complete bomb. There are so many factors that caused this, including behind-the-scenes turmoil, critics destroying it, the director tweeting negatively, and finally last weekend, the audience just didn’t show up. Now everyone wants to know what Fox has planned for the franchise moving forward and, according to HitFix, the studio plans on moving forward with Fantastic Four 2. If that’s the case, does anyone care at this point or should the Fantastic Four franchise be put out of its misery?
If Fox moves forward, I can only see three scenarios. The first being they’ll just push back the sequel’s slated June 9, 2017 release date and regroup. This would allow allow time to figure out the direction they want to take this franchise, and find the best director and writers. Unfortunately, it’s going to be hard to find a high profile director who is going to want to touch the Fantastic Four. Fox has had three attempts in the last decade to get these superheroes right, and each time, they have failed spectacularly. The odds of them figuring things out now are pretty slim.
The second scenario would be to finally link the X-Men franchise with Fantastic Four. The trick for this would be to find a way to have these characters cross paths. In the comics, the characters have met quite a bit, but in the movies, the X-Men are currently in the ’80s and the Fantastic Four is present time with no mention of mutants even existing. A team-up at this point would seem forced, and the stink of Fantastic Four could hurt the success Fox has had with the X-Men film series.
Finally, the fan-favorite (though highly unlikely) scenario would be to either co-produce a sequel with Marvel Studios or to let Disney/Marvel get the rights back altogether. We all know Fox and Marvel Studios are not on the friendliest terms. Any deal at this point is unlikely, but it’s interesting that Fox now finds themselves in a similar situation as Sony was with Spider-Man.
Spider-Man was a damaged franchise with two consecutive under-performing films. Now, with Marvel Studios co-producing, the fans are excited once again. Granted, Fantastic Four is a far worse bomb than even the worst Spider-Man film, but with a Marvel Studios partnership, they might be able to reignite interest in the franchise.
Even with the bad buzz leading up to the release of Fantastic Four, Fox had no idea they’d be in this situation after the opening weekend. Expect to first hear an announcement about the 2017 date being scrapped (with some rumors suggesting a Deadpool sequel might take the date). After that, who knows what Fox has in mind? Judging by the track record, I don’t have very high hopes at all.