Against all odds, it sounds like 20th Century Fox is still planning on making Fantastic Four 2. At one point, the movie was set for a June 9, 2017 release date, but as you can guess, that isn’t happening. The troubled 2015 reboot only took in $56 million at the US box office, and wasn’t exactly a critical success, either. Nevertheless, those hoping that this means Marvel Studios will get their crack at the franchise should probably temper their expectations.
“We’re very interested in doing another Fantastic Four movie, and we love that cast, and it’s really about getting the tone right,” Producer Simon Kinberg told LRM. But he also confessed that the darker tone taken by the 2015 Josh Trank film “didn’t entirely work.”
The 2015 Fantastic Four movie had no shortage of issues, although I’m in the minority in thinking that the tone wasn’t necessarily the problem. It was definitely a bold move to try and take Marvel’s first family and put them in the vein of a David Cronenberg-esque sci-fi movie, and at least in the movie’s first act, it almost worked. But a thin story and the increasingly obvious studio meddling (as well as a genuinely awful CGI climax) compounded the film’s headaches. The final product certainly isn’t something anyone is in a hurry to revisit.
“I am sort of proud of the fact that we took a chance, and disappointed that it didn’t totally work,” Kinberg continued. “I think as we go back into it and talk about it, we’d want to be truer to the core voice, tone, vibe of the source material.”
But that “core voice…of the source material” would be a considerable departure from the movie they already made, and despite indications that they’d like to try again with the same cast, that seems unlikely given the circumstances. That’s a shame, because if nothing else, Michael B. Jordan was a highlight as Johnny Storm.
I wouldn’t expect any fast movement on this one. On the other hand, the clock is always ticking for 20th Century Fox to do something with the franchise, lest the rights revert to Marvel. Although, if things get dire enough, perhaps they can work out an agreement similar to what Sony did for Spider-Man. Can you think of a better way to kick of Marvel Phase Four? No? Neither can I.
But I’m not holding my breath, either.