Update: Fox denies Fantastic Four rumours
UPDATE: Fox has responded to the report that Fantastic Four's rights are returning to Marvel - it's "completely untrue" the studio says...
Since our original story about the possibility of Marvel having re-acquired the rights to Fantastic Four, we've been contacted by 20th Century Fox. It states that our source's suggestion that Fox had reached some kind of deal with Marvel is "completely untrue."
A denial has also come from Marvel.
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Our original story follows.
Earlier Update: Having asked for some clarification from our source, we understand that the deal Marvel have made with Fox - which will see Fantastic Four returned to the Marvel fold in exchange for the X-Men TV rights - also includes the rights to villains Galactus and Doctor Doom, as well as the Silver Surfer.
If the deal pans out as our contact says it will, this means that two of the biggest villains in comic books will be able to appear elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not just in the 2020 film we've heard is already in place.
Original Story: Given that Fox's Fantastic Four reboot sputtered so dramatically over the summer, it's little surprise that the studio's redoubling its attention on a property with a proven history at the box-office: X-Men.
X-Men: Apocalypse is due out next May, and it's a sequel director Bryan singer has called a "conclusion of six X-Men films, yet a potential rebirth of younger, newer characters."
More recently, we've also heard that Fox and Marvel have struck an unprecedented deal which will allow Fox to make two X-Men television series, Hellfire and Legion. Now, if you've been following the storied history of Marvel character rights, you'll know what a big deal this is, and that a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes bargaining must have taken place in order to make it happen.
Within the past few hours, we've been handed some information that may explain how Fox and Marvel arrived at that deal.
According to our source, Fox were given the TV rights for X-Men in exchange for Fantastic Four. The deal's been in the works for some time, we're told, and further, the timing of Marvel's recent announcement of its movie slate leading up to the year 2020 and the X-Men TV series is no coincidence.
You may remember that there are three, so-far untitled films on Marvel's schedule in five years' time. We're told that one of those films is a Fantastic Four movie.
We don't have an independent source to back this claim up, so we'll have to treat it with a certain amount of caution for now. But given the reception Fantastic Four received earlier this summer, it makes sense that Fox would be receptive to the idea of a deal with Marvel, particularly if it meant wresting something as major and lucrative as the X-Men TV rights from Marvel's grasp.
More news on this as and when we get it.
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