Today’s big rumor is Fox finally tapping out with trying to make the Fantastic Four blockbuster franchise happen. The studio reportedly traded the rights to Marvel Studios in exchange for TV rights to the X-Men universe.
That’s a fair trade since it’s not like Marvel was going to be developing any mutant-heavy X-Men shows that could potentially benefit Fox’s X-Men movie franchise. Even if these rumors don’t prove true, the FF to Marvel Studios move makes too much sense for both parties.
But getting Marvel’s First Family under the Marvel Studios fold is only the first step in establishing the FF as a major franchise to compliment the Avengers. Here’s how the FF can finally achieve the cinematic greatness it deserves.
1. Don’t retell the origin
For the love of Aunt Petunia the last thing moviegoers need to see is wasting time showing how Reed and company got their powers. It’s simple. They went on a spaceship, got hit by cosmic rays and gained powers. Nuff said.
For the MCU, casually acting like the FF has been around is probably better than trying to force their introduction into the already well established Avengers-dominated movie universe. And scrapping the origin means we can immediately work them in to major upcoming Marvel films, specifically “Infinity War,” set for 2018 and 2019.
In his masterful take on the FF Fantastic Four by Waid & Wieringo Ultimate Collection, Book 1, Mark Waid found a beautiful way to help distinguish Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny from the other super teams in the Marvel U.
They’re a family that explores the unknown. While the Avengers are defending the planet when needed, the FF ends up discovering and stopping threats before they even get to Earth.
3. Play up the celebrity hero angle
The FF would be everyone’s favorite team in real life. They’re household names with superpowers and no secret identities.
Reed Richards would be the superpowers equivalent of Steve Jobs cranking out amazing life-altering inventions regularly. Susan Richards would be a Jennifer Lawrence type where everyone considers her the most down to Earth and relatable of the superhero set. Johnny Storm should be a daily TMZ fixture and Ben Grimm would be the guy everyone wants to buy a beer or have at the poker table once they work past his rocky appearance.
The FF would be the superhero version of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” only this would be a family everyone would love.
4. Ditch Doom … for now
One of the best things Christopher Nolan did when he started his Batman trilogy was not immediately throwing in The Joker. That hasn’t been the case with the FF’s main foe who’s squared off with the team in every film.
Besides, between Namor, Terrax, Annihulus and my top choice of The Frightful Four, there’s no shortage of quality opposition for the FF. Namor and Madusa (with the original Frightful Four) could pave the way for The Invaders and Defenders and help lead in to The Inhumans movie.
Honestly, I’ve been stumped as to how Marvel Studios could possibly top its ambitious Infinity Wars plan, but an X-Men less Secret Wars is suddenly very viable. And the main villain? Dr. Doom.