X-Men, Fantastic Four, Marvel, Fox and a rumoured conspiracy

Feature James Hunt 3 Jun 2014 - 06:07

Is a fractured relationship between Marvel and Fox leading to the end of Fantastic Four comics and no X-Men toys?

Recent days have seen some intriguing accusations being about the way Marvel is currently handling some of its characters – specifically, the properties licensed to Fox to make movies from, namely the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

The rumours break down into two main issues.

The first, a piece of gossip originally broken by Bleeding Cool, suggests that Marvel is deliberately reducing the visibility of the Fantastic Four characters, and will soon cancel both of its Fantastic Four comics until after the release of Fox's 2015 movie so as not to give its partners and competitors at Fox any help with publicity.

The second issue is industry veteran Rob Liefeld suggesting that the relationship between Marvel and Fox is so strained that Marvel won't allow the production of movie-licensed X-Men products. Liefeld comments that although Fox controls the licensing, Marvel has the ability to nix merchandise, and exercises that right.

These are some interesting allegations, but are they true? Let's look at them in more detail.

Fantastic Four Cancellation

At present, there's no suggestion that either of Marvel's Fantastic Four comics – Fantastic Four and Ultimate FF – are cancelled. They both recently underwent a relaunch, and despite some ambiguous wording in the latest solicit for Ultimate FF, nothing suggests they're about to conclude.

But if they were cancelled, one can only beg the question of what that would actually achieve in Marvel's favour. The latest available sales estimates on Fantastic Four (covering print sales in the US only) were low: just 35,000 copies sold. The latest issue of Ultimate FF sold even fewer, at 23,000. If Marvel were to can these books, that'd be 50,000 fewer people giving money to Marvel each month, which is a not-insignificant dent in the publishing arm of the firm. But when a movie trailer can get millions of hits on YouTube, 50,000 people is hardly going to matter to Fox. In a very direct sense, to cancel Fantastic Four, Marvel would be cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The allegations hold that this isn't a business issue, but an emotional one: that Marvel's higher-ups, specifically Ike Perlmutter, have a problem with Fox holding onto its characters. Perlmutter allegedly thinks that Marvel can afford not to publish Fantastic Four, whereas multiple X-titles represent a huge chunk of its business and are therefore safe.

It's an enticing narrative, but not one that necessarily holds up. Until the rights reverted in 2013, other studios also controlled Ghost Rider and Daredevil. The former has been subject to multiple launches since the licensing deal was made (and after it ended) as Marvel tried to find a take on the character that'd stick. The latter would have been far easier to shuffle away than Fantastic Four, because Daredevil only has one solo title. If something has changed in the way Marvel treats comics based on Fox-licensed characters, it's a very recent change indeed.

Non-Use of Characters

Tied up with the rumoured Fantastic Four cancellation, there's a suggestion that Marvel has been instructed not to promote appearances of the Fox-licensed characters. This would account for the non-appearance of both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men on the front cover of the Marvel 75th Anniversary Omnibus.

On one hand, there's something of a smoking gun for this rumour: an instruction to artists not to use the Fantastic Four characters on Marvel sketch cards, including related characters like Galactus and the Silver Surfer, who are tied up with the Fantastic Four movie rights.

But on the other hand, there's no instruction not to use the X-Men characters on sketch cards, even with a new X-Men movie just out and a new one in active development. And the memo specifically mentions The Watcher - who has just been made the focus of Marvel's latest crossover - and The Silver Surfer - who just got a very high-profile relaunch from one of Marvel's best-selling writers.

Even if the notice is genuine, it suggests that Marvel is trying to stay away from the Fantastic Four specifically, rather than all Fox properties, and not even in the comics. It could be that Marvel is trying to protect itself from a licensing dispute with Fox over whether Fantastic Four cross-media appearances count as movie tie-ins. It could just be that it wants to increase visibility of Marvel Studios characters in general, as a way of channelling business energy and value into properties it owns.

It could even be that it's planning to leave the Fantastic Four fallow for a short while. This would explain both cancellation rumours of the comic and character non-appearances outside of comics. Marvel previously turned low-seller Thor into one of its top titles by cancelling his book and leaving him off the table for a while before a high-profile relaunch. Could it be looking to do the same with the chronically low-selling Fantastic Four? A movie release would provide the perfect opportunity to relaunch the book after a year or two away, after all…

No X-Men Toys

Liefeld makes a good point about the recent lack of X-Men toys, compared to the onslaught of goods that accompanies Marvel Studios' films, and even Sony's Spider-Man movies. But then, there haven't been any X-Men movie tie-in toys since X2. Marvel Studios wasn't releasing movies until well after the toy-less X-Men: The Last Stand. Those who were there will remember the amount of peg-warming junk that accompanied the release of the first two movies, so it's not that it can't do it. It's that one (or both) of them doesn't want to.

It'd be easy to place the blame on Marvel, were it not for the fact that there were toys released for the Ghost Rider movie, which came out in 2007 - after X-Men: The Last Stand. So maybe it's not that it can't do toys for X-Men. Maybe it genuinely doesn't want to.

Why? We can only speculate. Perhaps the demographic of X-Men is such that it doesn't want to put toys out and make people think it's aimed at kids. Perhaps it lost so much money doing it the first two times that it can't convince anyone to do it again (for all the hit X-Men movies, only the most recent has grossed over $500m worldwide). Either way, it's far from the cut and dried reality that it may appear. 

How bad is the Marvel/Fox relationship?

It's fair to say that Marvel and Fox probably don't get on as well as Marvel and Sony, and there are examples we can point to beyond the issue of toys.

For instance, Marvel has done tie-in comics and adaptations of the recent Amazing Spider-Man films, but hasn't done an X-Men movie-verse comic since X2 was released. Then, perhaps crucially, Fox rushed to insert the scene-stealing character of Quicksilver in X-Men: Days Of Future Past just after Marvel Studios announced him for Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age Of Ultron movie. Quicksilver's X-Men moment though amounted to a great but wholly inessential appearance for the character.

Further evidence? Marvel launched a new Amazing Spider-Man comic the same month as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out in cinemas, starring Electro, the villain of that movie. It hasn't synergised with Fox like that in years. Not since Wolverine: Weapon X came out around the same time as X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Rumour-mongers would have us believe Marvel is trying to do as little as possible to enhance the value of the Fox-owned properties - because why should a film studio spend money on a license it can't exploit in other media? If Fox doesn't use those licenses, it'll have to hand them back, leaving Marvel free to make its own X-Men and Fantastic Four films, which may indeed be the endgame.

But on the other side of the coin, Marvel publishing has to make money. Despite what people think, Disney doesn't subsidise the comics arm of the business: it has to pull its own weight. And if that means tying into movies that Marvel didn't actually make and using characters that Marvel Studios can't exploit, so be it. If there's any reason for the lack of synergy between Fox and Marvel, it might just be down to what Tom Brevoort has said in the past on his Q&A Tumblr: that Marvel isn't privy to the development of Fox's movies, and most of the time it doesn't know what's in those films until it actually sees them, which makes planning tie-ins impossible.

Clearly there are lots of things that suggest the relationship between Marvel and Fox isn't perfect. But Marvel is still a business. We can see why people might see personal malice in their decisions, particularly given Ike Perlmutter's reputation - but if these things were happening and Marvel was leaving money in people's pockets as part of a personal vendetta, then one imagines Disney's other shareholders would eventually have something to say.

Either way, now that the rumours have been voiced, analysed and denied, it's all but guaranteed that there's almost no way to know for sure what was going on. Maybe Marvel will change tack, maybe not. We won't be able to tell whether it did or didn't. Either way, you can bet that this is the most people have talked about the Fantastic Four comics in a while. No such thing as bad publicity, right?

Disqus - noscript

Can somebody explain this to me? If Fox own the rights to making X-Men and F4 movies, which make them a bunch of money, does Marvel take a cut of those profits? Or were their lawyers completely inept? If they do take a cut, what kind of percentage are we talking?

No, I doubt they take a cut of the movie profits as they sold the TV/movie rights outright I believe. I don't think their lawyers were inept. Marvel at the time were broke and seriously needed the money. Which means they had less leverage to arrange a brilliant deal (as selling something and then still being able to take a cut of the other person's profits would be pretty brilliant). Merchandise is a separate matter and is probably different. Marvel still has the use of the characters in comics (of course) and computer games.

Look at it this way. i doubt we'd have Iron Man and Thor if Marvel hadn't sold some film rights. There's only so many films a studio can make and they wouldn't have made Iron Man if they still had X-Men, Spidey and FF.

I think one reason for lack of tie-in comic books for X-Men:DOFP maybe that a comic with that entire storyline has been around for decades. Same with X-Men:The Last Stand and The Dark Phoenix Saga. In fact around the time of X-men:First Class, I recall seeing the Marvel Masterworks: X-men Volume 1 (even though it's not that related to the movie) very visibly promoted in my local comic bookshop.
I'm no comics industry expert by any stretch of that word but I think, since Fox are using existing comic book storylines, it makes sense for Marvel to promote their existing comic books instead of repeating the same storylines for the sake of a film tie-in.

I doubt Marvel will ever get the rights back to X-Men unless they bought it out with a verrrrry hefty sum. Which is sad because we will never get the A v X movie!

FF on the other hand is possible. I think the new movie is going to do very badly and in a few years Marvel will have the rights back. I think FF would work better as a TV show and with Marvel moving into TV, I think they could easily make it work.

I think you're right. It was probably and all or nothing deal when it was made originally. Saying that, when Fox did make the deal it was still quite a risky one as comic book movies were not the big thing they are now when the contracts were signed.
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I think this whole thing has both parties to blame. Fox know they have a money-spinner in X-Men and are gonna hold on to it with a deathgrip; Disney/Marvel know they are now missing a trick as X-Men/FF are a big part of the comic universe, so would love to add them to the MCU.
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I think Fox and Disney should just get over themselves and do a deal. Same goes for Sony.

As a comic book geek we'd all like to see a deal. But it doesn't make any business sense at the moment. If you own a business and you've got a product that is making you hundreds of millions of dollars a pop-you're not going to want to share it until you really, really need to (they get a few box office flops).
Even if X-men and Avengers the movie was the biggest film ever (which is a very big ask) and did Avatar like money it's not as appealing split 2 or 3 ways.

You are right i'm afraid.
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Saying that though, precident has been set in the past with the likes of Titanic (as we are referencing JC). The costs on that movie was so high, a couple of studios put in for the costs to be covered. The same could happen again with X-Men/Avengers but lord knows how much it would cost with that many big name actors. The back-end points deals would be freaking huge!

True. But if the cost to make it gets very big and then with all the marketing on top you get to a situation very quickly where it gets difficult to make more money together than you would making films apart. Money talks. If FOX and SONY honestly thought they could make more money sharing with Marvel they would. But I'm afraid I think they're probably right; having your own franchise is probably more profitable at the moment.

Yep, Marvel get a cut. That's how licensing works. Fox pay them a lump sum and a percentage on top - from film profits to licensing profits, so any tie-in merchandise for X-Men DOFP will include a tiny amount going to Marvel. I'd guess about 3% of Fox's profits go to Marvel, but it could actually be much higher.

I wonder if Marvel is simply distancing themselves from adaptations that play quite hard and loose with the source material? If the F4 movie is as removed from the comics as rumours suggest (and I'm not really talking about casting - but the origin etc) then perhaps they feel that it might damage the comic's already shaky sales figures.

If the film comes out next year and is awful - a few months later Marvel could relaunch the comics with the 'real Fantastic Four' factor, if the film is tremendous then they can relaunch with a closer aesthetic? Then relaunch another original Fantastic Four title?

Personally the previous three Fantastic Four movies have been terrible.
Its one of the franchises that I would rather see in the Marvel cinematic universe.

Marvel should be applauded for this. Fox have displayed no respect for the characters or the long times fans by the awful casting of Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm which displays at best ignorance and at the worst utter comptempt for Marvel's First Family. These are characters who helped launch the Marvel Age of Comics which has led to many profitable movies and to completely disregard them like this is an insult to Marvel. The film will bomb no doubt but may also cause irrepairable harm to the characters and any future chance at a franchise should Marvel re-acquire the rights.

I think a big thing here, is that Marvel are now owned and backed by Disney. Fox's best money moments have come from Star Wars, so could Disney just block them from having the distribution rights to future Star Wars movies, or use that as leverage in getting Fox owned comic titles back?

... Fox doesn't have any distribution rights for future Star Wars movies (so long Fox Fanfare at the beginning of Star Wars :( )

So many good points have already been made in the comments, all I'd add is that Marvel is capitalising on the current X-Men film to the extent it can by publishing both a trade and an omnibus that contains the original DOFP storyline. Not sure what's happening re toys, but I expect it is all down to who owns the rights to those (for all we know the toy company concerned could have decided not to press ahead). I think Marvel are playing a smart game here. There is near to no chance of it getting X-Men or Spider-Man back and they can only benefit from increased comic sales driven by the films. Fantastic Four is a different animal. Though a classic title, it does not have the same general appeal and none of the previous films has really been a great success. There is therefore every chance it could return to the fold. If it did, that would not just mean that Marvel could make a Fantastic Four film, but that the related characters (Doom, Galactus, Silver Surfer) could be folded into future Avengers adventures. It's therefore in their interest for the next film not to strike it big as their upside would be limited and they'd then almost certainly never get the rights back. I also suspect, given the long (and deviously manipulated) history that particular license has, that Marvel didn't exactly get a great deal on it when they first drew up the contracts. It may therefore be the case that, even if they have no intention of making Fantastic Four films in the future, they still want the property back so they can re-license it on better terms.

Good on Marvel. Do everything in your power to get the rights back to X-Men and Fantastic Four. It's about time someone stood up to FOX and their inability to actually make a decent superhero film.

I've enjoyed most of the X-Men movies. I liked daredevil too. I think fantastic four is a little hard to translate to live action but I wish any studio would try a little harder. Everything I've read about the one in development sounds mind bogglingly awful. You'd think they couldn't fumble that bad if they tried.

X-Men v avengers sounds boring and cluttered. If that would be the result of both franchises being under the same roof I hope they never get their characters back. Even in comic books that kind of thing was always a last ditch attempt to squeeze more money out of the market, like all the overwrought and ultimately tedious event comics and miniseries.

Films, even more than comics benefit from nice clean storylines.

I really want the Fantastic Four in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. Expecially now that Marvel Studios is going cosmic with Guardians of the Galaxy. I won't be going to see Fox's F4 in cinemas!
The X-Men are something else. Throwing mutants into the MCU mix might make it seems that about everybody in the MCU has some superpower, even if at the moment the MCU heroes are tech based. On the other hand I hope that Marvel Studios leave room in the back story of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers 2 to insert the X-Men in the future.

Guess I'll never have Colossus and Juggernaut gloves to match my (kids') Hulk and Thing gloves.

Whatever. HULK SMASH!!!!

I think they translated really and even too well. What'll happen is they'll make it so UNLIKE the comics that the general audience will like it, and the geeks won't! Nothin' new here!

OOO handbags

Financially, this film will not bomb.

Sadly this is all that matters to the studio.

Hopefully Fox will F up this reboot and lose money. Then they can consider getting out of the superhero business and ask Disney if they would like to buy the Four back. That would be best case scenario.

WAIT A MINUTE. You mention Fantastic Four casting, and you single out Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm as bad? JESSICA ALBA IS ONE OF THE WORST ACTRESSES EVER TO PLAY A COMIC BOOK HEROINE.

Seriously I have nothing against Jessica Alba. I love her in some movies. But she's the last person on Earth who should ever play Sue Storm. The second movie was particularly awful. She had a horrible fake tan, and looked like she was trying harder to be a super model than a super hero. She also had absolutely NO chemistry with Mr. Fantastic.

In comparison to that, the Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm castings were incredible.

I suspect the deal Marvel has with Fox is not as lucrative as the one they signed with Sony. Marvel asked them to renegotiate, Fox said no, Marvel got pissed off and retaliated in the only way they can.

Marvel definitely get a cut. Any deal that didn't include a percentage was negotiated by terrible lawyers.

Now, that said, could the problem be that the Fox contract is worded with the usual slimebag Hollywood definitions that mean the movies never make a profit? That's the sort of thing that could plss Marvel off enough to make them retaliate in the ways the article describes.

Yep, every little helps. Marvel have just aligned their approach with Disney's objective of maximising the profit on the FF property.

Is there a source for Marvel getting a cut? Because Fox don't seem like the kind of company to pay for all the costs of making an expensive film but give away the profits when they come in.

Three? The third must have been so bad I've wiped it from my memory; Fantastic Four, rise of the silver surfer. What's the third?

Because the alternative is that someone at Marvel signed away the rights to one of their properties forever for a flat fee. This would be insane.

A flat fee for a limited time, maybe I could buy, but not forever. The way this deal has been described it doesn't have an expiry date. How do you establish the value of a contract that goes on forever?

Hey I agree! But I can't find anything about what Marvel make out the deal. And it's the kind of thing you think some journalist on a site like this would research and write about. It might just be that if they don't use it they lose it-like Daredevil. Or Ghostrider. Rights are weird anyway. Look at when Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles back catalogue. Which McCartney hated

Plus you've got to remember when Marvel sold them they were struggling to keep their comics business going. Nobody thought they'd ever need to worry about film rights and making their own blockbusters.

The 1994 version of the Fantastic Four.
Made on a shoe string budget for the sole reason of keeping the movie rights before they went back to marvel.
It was never officially released but hooky copies were wildley available at comic book conventions and I'm sure you could find it somewhere on the web.

I hear it's about 5% that goes to Marvel. Think Kevin Feige said it himself.

I've worked with Marvel licensing, and they get a cut. If Fox weren't the kind of company to "give away the profits" they wouldn't be making the Peanuts or Alvin And The Chipmunks movies either.

Marvel doesn't need to donanythingn to help The Fantastic Four movie fail. It will do that on it's own.

"One can only beg the question?" Wow, you mangled that phrase even more than it usually is.

"The film will bomb No Doubt..." Wow! That movie must really hate Gwen Stefani!

If anything a Fantastic Four movie of any kind would be great publicity for and boost sales of Marvel's comics

Fair enough. Surely it's win/win then. Everyone is making money and we're getting far more superhero movies than we would if everything was under one studio. I don't think an X-men film would be better or worse with a reference to SHIELD in it.

Because I was talking about the new movie and not the old ones or can't you read as well as employ capitals correctly? NO NEED TO SHOUT IN WRITING. Use the exclamation mark!

Actually "no doubt" was written in lower case and so there could be no confusion - comic or otherwise - with the band "No Doubt" unless you were a complete idiot.

Yeah... I didn't actually believe you wanted to bomb a band that had nothing to do with the article. It's called a joke, I suggest you Google the concept.

If you have a sense of humour that thinks that was a funny comment then I suggest your need to google the meaning of a joke is far greater than mine.

Humour is subjective. Regardless of whether or not anyone found it funny, it quite obviously wasn't intended to be a serious comment.

Ah ha, MY MISTAKE! SORRY:-)

We'll see about the new movie. I'm also not sure about the casting but we'll see.

I really hope marvel doesn't get into tv. I find that the quality difference between film and tv heavily influences how cool someone running around in a superhero costume looks.

Humour is indeed subjective. To qualify as such in writing however it must function as a reaction to poor grammer or poorly expressed views and obey some basic tenets of comic misunderstanding and deliberate sarcasm. To merely attempt humour in the absence of an appropriate platform just comes across as juvenile.

My original comment was a reaction to what I viewed to be a rather clumsily structured sentence.

So after failing in your lecture on comedy you are moving on to syntax? If I where you I would move on and look for another thread to enliven with your razor sharp wit. That is sarcasm by the way. Good night.

Cheerio!

You shouldn't trust Rob Liefeld.

Losers

Flawed though they may be, the X-Men movies are still the best Marvel-themed films so far. They beat Marvel Studios' own attempts hands down. IMO.

Well put.

Will you two just whip it out and measure it already!

Seriously? I throughly enjoy the X-Men films (even the much maligned Last Stand), but the Disney/Marvel films having taken comic book movies to a whoile new level, especially in terms of quality and enjoyment. IMHO.

Really? Everything in their power? Even if it means that the artists and writers on Fantastic Four could lose their jobs because Marvel wants to have everything in house and eliminate competition. Your ignorance on this issue is breath-taking.

I think your missing the point of the article. If Marvel cancels F4 it will lead to many writers and artists losing their jobs. Marvel is playing a dirty and unprofessional game here. A lot of the artists and writers are really worried about their future in the industry. Everyone seems to have this false notion that Marvel is all one entity, but in fact it's broken up into many divisions that run themselves separately. The movie production division doesn't work with the comic division to produce new content. The focus of the company seems to be more and more geared towards the production of movies while cutting back the comic division.

At least the X-Men movies have the balls to show mature themed content like genocide, racism, carnage and coarse language.

I don't know. FOX is doing a great job on the X-Men movies rights now. They have definitely learned from their mistakes and the quality of their movies have improved dramatically.

Marvel's "retaliation" will only hurt the artists and writers in their comic division. Especially the ones working on the F4 comics.

I find that argument laughable because Marvel is showing utter contempt for the Fantastic Four by threatening to cancel that very same content your praising. The biggest losers in this situation will be the artists and writers who create the content that keeps the F4 alive and relevant. Marvel seems more concerned with making movies then helping its ailing comic division create new content. These shenanigans on Marvel's part will do more damage to the F4 than anything FOX could do.

Wow! Really? My ignorance is breath-taking? I find that highly amusing. Of course I don't want anyone to lose their jobs you wally, that is ridiculous and not the point I was making... I am pretty sure the artists and writers on the current Fantastic Four comics are either A: working on other projects or B: Will be reassigned and offered other titles.

Of course I would love Marvel to OWN all the film rights to their OWN franchises because personally I think both Sony and FOX have dropped the ball far too many times on the respective films that they own. I haven't see the new X-Men film yet and still debating if I should believe that it's any good.

So yes I still want Marvel to do EVERYTHING in their power to get those rights back from the Studio... and apart from this reply I am really not bothered if you find that ignorant, have a nice day!

No no, I haven't mentioned the comics at all! I don't know anything about them so I don't speak up about them. All what I mean is that I won't go to Fox's F4 reboot in the hope it will bomb at the box office and they give the rights back to Marvel. Just like what happend with Ghost Rider for example. I'm fine with X-Men being a separate universe.

What if the F4 movie turns out to be really successful?

Actually a lot the artists and writers working of F4 aren't working on other titles currently and if these rumors turn out to be true it will lead to a large disruption in their workload. Which could mean layoffs and loss of income. Also if Marvel gets the rights back that doesn't mean they'll develop the property right away or adapt it in the way you want it to be. Marvel hasn't hesitated to change things from the comics when it suits them. Good day.

Grammar

If Marvel cancels the FF comic, then the Fox FF franchise now becomes a movie series about a bunch of "failed" characters. This would then create a financing problem; how to sell a movie to investors that based on a bunch of comic book characters that do not exist in a comic any more? Or; why risk investing millions in a property that sold so few comics that it is no longer in publication?

Well, then Fox keeps the rights and makes a sequel or two.

Sorry but I disagree. We're talking about a major Hollywood studio here. Each Hollywood studio releases dozens of films per year and Marvel Studios whilst a relatively new studio is also now a major player.

How would it stop other super-hero films from being made? Marvel are owned by Disney and the resources available to make more super hero films is greater than ever.

To counteract that, Warner Bros who own DC make a ton of films a year and yet most of them are not super hero films.

Yes they are big studios. But there is a limit to how many superhero films a single studio would be willing to make and release in one year (market saturation). My point was that if Marvel had all their rights back at this moment in time they'd probably be making X-men and Spidey films and not Dr Strange and Antman. My previous comment I was talking about the past as well (they wouldn't have made Iron Man and Thor first if they'd always had the other rights). Kevin Smith said the same thing recently. It wouldn't STOP other superhero films. But if one studio owned everything it would probably delay the smaller character films.

Fair enough, you make a very valid point. I guess it is a little bit of wishful thinking in seeing that essentially Marvel & Disney are two separate major film studios with Disney being the parent studio.

I would definitely love to see more of the smaller character films and perhaps in an ideal world where Marvel owned all of the film rights to their characters, they could continue with the big name projects and Disney could lessen the load by producing the smaller character films.

Logistically it could work. :-)

True. I was just trying to look at the positives of the Marvel rights being spread about ;-)

It is overall better for the Superhero genre for the universes to be kept separate. If Xmen spderman and fantastic four were all in the same universe with Iron man and Captain America nothing unique would stand out about these characters. For instance the whole mutants not being accepted by humans is an element unique to the X-men universe and if you just throw them in with Marvel it ruins what makes it stand out. Comic book nerds would love it but general film fans would not and it would not bee good overall.

The rumours have not been denied. See later BC coverage.

Right! Do you know who owns the FF film rights right now? They were bought by the German Constantin Film in 1986. Constantin made all three FF movies - Fox only being the big US partner -, but I can't find Constantin being mentioned in the reboot. I can't believe Constantin Film sold the rights 'cos something like this would be all over the internet nowadays.

Marvel won't cancel it permanently. Plus the Fantastic Four have 53 years worth of comics. Even a cancellation can't turn that into a failure. But I do agree with you partially. FF comics do not sell in massive numbers and I'd be surprised if the film did massive box office. Plus I'd rather see a film about a proper super-hero team than a 'grounded, gritty' reboot.

Yup. Coarse language really makes or breaks a superhero film.

All true. But if F4 sold in decent numbers they wouldn't cancel it. Low selling comics will ALWAYS run the risk of a cancellation/subsequent relaunch. Sad but true. It has ALWAYS been the nature of the business and ALLcomic book companies do it. Hell all businesses do that.

Yeah your definitely right about that. I don't think Marvel would cancel the F4 out of spite with Fox. That decision would hurt Marvel more than it would Fox. Fox is a giant movie studio that doesn't need the comic book movies to stay afloat. Marvel Studios, on the other hand, is reliant on it and would lose revenue from merchandising. Any cancellation is decided purely because of sales.

Fo has done a terrible job with FF but than again good for Marvel on not supporting Last Stand which was a horrible movie and as decent as X-Mendays of future past was without those Quicksilver movie it would have been average like Wolverine was.
There's too much money involved and Marvel needs X-Men movie because Wolverine in The Avengers would make it better and Fox needs Marvel as there comic movies aren't big oversees as most blockbusters.

That's the reason why I dislike them so much. I'm sick of all the racism and Nazi metaphors. It's just the same old story all over again. I hope Fantastic Four returns to Marvel, but as long as mutants and X-Men is treated like German Jews under WW2 in the comics as well, Fox can keep them. Too bad, because when you see what Claremont and Byrne did with the comic, it has great potential. After Byrne left, they obviously felt that the concept of Days of Future Past should define the whole mutant universe instead of being just a story among other stories.

They've not been mentioned but it doesn't mean they have sold the rights. Of course if they have it could have been part of some bizarre deal, there have been others, such as when Fox acquired Deadpool, although that was very public (not that anyone noticed as almost everyone seems to think he's in with the X-Men).

numbnut

great joke man!! Nice surreal concept - movies becoming sentient and waging war on Gwen Stefani, cooool

There's potential for a Charlie Kaufman movie in there somewhere!

Sony, if you ever see this post, strongly consider this: Once you're done with the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, sell the rights back to Marvel!

'Grammer'? Is that the lady who married your Grandpa? There you go - humour as a reaction to poor grammar. Thanks

Definitely lazyawol!! I see the opening scene at a drive in, Gwen Stefani and her 4 little Japanese buddies, open top, watching Apocalypse Now, watching the scene as the helicopters approach - and the choppers burst out of the screen and head towards Stefani's car!! She gets away (maybe one of her little buddies gets to experience first hand 'Napalm in the morning'), chills out, goes to watch another movie,....IT BEGINS AGAIN. Essentially that's the 'High Concept', a more surreal riff on 'The Purple Rose of Cairo' essentially. Revoltin' Development are you with us? And if not, what humorous film are you catching up with? I'm gonna guess, let's see, you're comments suggest.....'Precious'?

Fox should just sell the rights to FF back to Marvel the reboot movie already has major problems and has been pushed back twice. Even if they are able to start filming before the deadline is reached I have a feeling the movie will flop again. So they should cut their loses and let Marvel buy back the FF rights

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