Before 2005, if you asked a normal person about the Marvel comics, Spider-Man lit a bulb in people's head, X-Men were also popular, and so was Marvel's First Family, Fantastic 4. Rarely anyone would've been able to describe Hawkeye, Iron-Man, Thor, and don't even get me started on Ant-Man. All this is to say is that comic book adaptation has flipped that thinking on its head.
Fantastic 4 is a two time failed comic adaptation, while three Iron-Man movies made over $2 billion at the box office. But no matter, die hard fans always blamed the people at Fox for having no idea when it comes to making a movie based on the most popular Marvel property outside of Spider-Man. Well, that changed when Marvel Studios got hold of the characters from Fox.
There is nothing fans would love more than seeing Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing appear in a film with the MCU logo playing at the start. But it feels like we are still a little far from getting a solo movie featuring the Fantastic 4 by Marvel Studios. So, let's take a deep dive into what we know so far and what we can expect in the immediate future.
Disney's Fox Acquisition Brought Fantastic 4 and X-Men to Marvel Studios
Fantastic 4 is coming to Marvel Studios because of Disney's acquisition of Fox in 2019.
Image Source: Marvel
In 2017 words came that Disney and Fox were negotiating an acquisition by the former of the latter. While it took nearly 2 years to finalize the deal and get all the approvals, in March 2019 an announcement came that the film and TV division of Fox were acquired by Disney. Well, all Marvel fans cared about was for the first time MCU was getting a hold of Fantastic 4 and X-Men characters.
The merger meant, similar to Spider-Man, the first family of Marvel was coming into the MCU. While Mr. Fantastic and Iron-Man won't be sharing the screen together (bummer), but the characters coming into the world Marvel has built over the past 10 years+ made it all worth it. And after the Fox acquisition speculation were rife on when and how the characters will be integrated into the Marvel timeline.
Comic Con News Explosion During Marvel Panel 2019
With March bringing news of finalization of deal between Disney and Fox, fan expectation and speculation reached a fever pitch. With comic con coming in June 2019, thousands of fans flocked to Marvel panel with millions awaiting news online. Kevin Feige came on the stage and went through the motion of bringing stars and directors of all the movies coming in Phase 4.
The excitement was palpable and one by one the Marvel panel was coming to an end. But Kevin pulled a surprise movie when Mahersahala Ali was invited onto the stage and introduced as Blade, vampire killing Daywalker. That was going to be it and the panel was about to end with Kevin raining on everyone's parade.
But then he proceeded to say this, "So this is Phase 4, thank you. Now there's a lot of other stuff we didn't get to talk about today. We didn't even mention that we're making Black Panther 2. We didn't mention the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is coming. We didn't have time to talk about Captain Marvel 2, by the way. I didn't even have time to talk about the Fantastic Four. And there's no time left to talk about mutants."
Even the mention of Fantastic 4 and mutants, in passing, drew the best reactions from the fans in attendance. A blink and you will miss it moment caused an uproar inside the hall and but as Kevin said, he did not have time to go into it all.
Elevating Jon Watts to Direct Fantastic 4 and Official Logo Tease
Jon Watts helmed both Spider-Man movies and did a fantastic job rebooting a title that already saw two different origin movies in the past. On 11 December 2020, the official Marvel Studios Twitter page announced Jon was hired to direct the upcoming Fantastic 4 movie. The director does not use frequently so he has not made a statement about the hiring.
Along with the director announcement came an official logo teaser. The six second clip showed the formation of the "4" logo with Marvel Studios written in the middle to drive home the point that adults are at the wheel now. After the logo introduction it was reported that the studio was actively looking for writers to develop a script for the film.
All this means in 2021 is we do not have a script yet and there is no information when it comes to clarification if the movie is going to be an origin story. One thing is clear, Fantastic 4 won't be a part of Phase 4 and we are looking at a late 2023 or mid 2024 release date for the film.
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