The most recent Fantastic Four movie is officially a flop. In fact, it’s one of the biggest financial failures in recent years. The production of the movie was plagued with problems since day one, and almost nobody went to see the movie. It made just $26.2 million opening weekend in North America – that’s less than half the opening weekend takes of the previous Fantastic Four films, which came out in 2005 and 2007.
It’s dropped nearly 70% in its second weekend. So, adjusting for inflation, the most recent Fantastic Four film is a bomb of epic proportions. With the franchise now being toxic, it seems more likely that Marvel Studios will get back the rights to Fantastic Four, which are currently held by Fox. Fox says there will be a sequel, but with numbers like this they likely won’t want to take a chance. Marvel Studios just has to sit and wait. If Fox doesn’t make another Fantastic Four movie in seven years, Marvel Studios will get the film rights back to Fantastic Four.
Marvel Studios has already proven with the Netflix Daredevil series that it can breathe new life into one of its properties that was ruined by Fox. Could Marvel studios do the same with Fantastic Four if it gets the rights back? Here’s 10 ways Marvel Studios could invigorate the Fantastic Four franchise.
10. Use Dr. Doom In An Avengers Movie
Dr. Doom is undoubtedly the coolest and most menacing villain in the Marvel Universe. He’s also one of the most popular super villains ever seen in print. The character, which was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, was even the inspiration for Darth Vader. Unfortunately, Dr. Doom’s portrayal on the big screen has been extremely lackluster. The unreleased Roger Corman Fantastic Four film from 1994, actually has the most accurate on screen version of the villain.
If Marvel Studios gets back the movie rights to Fantastic Four and characters from those comics, they would be wise to use Dr. Doom – even if it isn’t in a Fantastic Four movie. Dr. Doom was not only a regular adversary of the Fantastic Four, but he also faced off against Iron Man and the Avengers in the comic books. One of the biggest criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films is the lack of intriguing villains. If Marvel Studios could get Dr. Doom done correctly on screen, fans would rejoice, and Marvel would be fixing two problems at the same time.
9. Team Them Up With The Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel Studios proved that it doesn’t need A-list superheroes to make a good movie. The studio took D-listers and made Guardians of the Galaxy, which proved to be the biggest surprise hit of last year. Teaming up the Fantastic Four with the Guardians of the Galaxy seems like a natural fit considering both teams are prone to spending time in space on weird alien planets.
A fight between a giant rock monster called the Thing and a giant tree called Groot, would also be pretty epic. There is precedence for this route, too. The Thing is currently a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the Marvel comic books because Marvel cancelled the Fantastic Four books due to low sales and to reportedly not give exposure to characters it doesn’t own the movie rights to.
8. Set The Movies In The 60s
With Marvel Studios’ most recent film Ant-Man, we got yet another glimpse into what the Marvel Cinematic Universe looked like decades ago. The way they de-aged Michael Douglas was impressive and the scenes with a young Hank Pym Ant-Man proved to be one of the best parts of the movie. With the TV show Agent Carter, and the movie Captain America: the First Avenger, we saw the Marvel universe in the 40s. So, there is a larger timeline being built with these movies.
If the Fantastic Four had a movie set in the 60s, it might better suit the team’s campy and cheesy sensibilities. Some say the reason a Fantastic Four movie has never worked is because the characters are simply too old fashioned and from the bygone era of the swinging sixties when they were created.
7. Incorporate The Skrulls Into The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Since Fox owns the cinematic rights to the Fantastic Four, it also owns the movie rights to many characters that debuted in those books. Marvel Studios does not fully own the rights to the Skrulls and therefore hasn’t used those characters in any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie yet. That’s too bad because this race of alien creatures has not only caused torment to the Fantastic Four, but the entire Marvel universe.
One of the most famous comic book storylines of the last decade was Marvel’s Secret Invasion where this alien race disguised themselves as numerous villains and heroes on earth. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe expanding, this storyline could well be adapted on the big screen if Marvel Studios gets the Fantastic Four rights back, along with the full rights to the Skrulls.
6. Have The Fantastic Four Actually Face Galactus
The devourer of worlds known as Galactus appeared on the big screen in Fox’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but Fox was too cheap or simply too lazy to have the character resemble Galactus’ comic book look in any way whatsoever.
Instead, they made the planet-eating god a boring space cloud, which upset fanboys and made general audiences practically fall asleep with boredom. If Marvel Studios goes all out and actually puts this gigantic world destroyer on the big screen, the sheer spectacle of a monster of that size would certainly get audiences to the theater.
5. Make a Silver Surfer Movie
One of the few things ever done decently in a Fantastic Four movie by Fox was the Silver Surfer, but Marvel Studios could undoubtedly do better. With space playing an ever-expanding role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a standalone Silver Surfer movie would be an intriguing way to use a Fantastic Four character without actually using the Fantastic Four. The philosophical nature of this character also provides plenty of rich source material to adapt for the big screen.
4. Have Them Meet The Inhumans
When Marvel Studios recently released its slate of upcoming movies, one of the biggest surprises was the announcement that in 2020 there will be an Inhumans movie. These moon-dwelling superheroes, who were an offshoot of human evolution, often faced off and teamed up with the Fantastic Four in the comic books.
Members of the Fantastic Four have been members of the Inhumans and vice versa. The Inhumans first appeared in Fantastic Four #45, released in 1965. It would be a strange twist if Marvel Studios decided to introduce the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by introducing them in an Inhumans movie first.
3. Have Them Fight Monsters
You can’t have the Fantastic Four fight poor iterations of Dr. Doom or giant space clouds over and over again on the big screen, and expect the movies to be a success. The Fantastic Four have a long list of strange and bizarre villains they could face off against on the big screen from Mole man to Impossible man to Annihilus.
The original cover for Fantastic Four number one is iconic as it shows the Fantastic Four facing off against a giant monster from under the ground. If the Fantastic Four actually fought giant monsters like they do in the comics, a movie might actually be entertaining.
2. Make A Netflix Show
Marvel has already proven once before that it can revitalize a dead property that has been butchered by Fox. After the disastrous 2003 Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck, and the even worse 2005 Elektra spin-off starring Jennifer Garner, Marvel Studios played the waiting game and eventually got the rights back to Daredevil.
With a similar scenario possibly happening with the Fantastic Four characters, perhaps Marvel would think the Fantastic Four would be better suited for TV. As Netflix adds more and more original shows to its library, the budgets are getting higher and higher. Theoretically, a TV show could see the same level of special effects seen on the big screen 10 years ago. Imagine a Star Trek or Stargate style sci-fi show on Netflix starring the Fantastic Four.
1. Have Pixar Make An Animated Film
Years ago there was talk of a Fantastic Four animated movie being made by Pixar. Now that Disney owns both Pixar and Marvel Studios, perhaps this is one rumor that should be revisited if Marvel Studios secures the film rights to Fantastic Four.
Fans have often said that there is only one good Fantastic Four movie that has ever been made and it’s called the Incredibles. If a director like Brad Bird could bring what he brought to The Incredibles to a Fantastic Four movie, then it would surely be a bona fide hit.