The Fantastic Four are long overdue for a franchise reboot, but just how can Marvel Studios incorporate this legacy team into the MCU?
One of Marvel’s oldest heroic teams, the Fantastic Four rightly deserve to have one of the best Marvel movies ever made. Unfortunately, that didn’t necessarily work out the way fans had hoped, turning true believers into true skeptics.
Not only did the first two movies, which kicked off in 2005, miss the mark, but 10 years later, the reboot of that failed even more miserably than the first. Both times, though, the movies were under Fox. But now, the Fantastic Four are coming home because, with Disney’s Fox acquisition, the characters are in Marvel Studios’ hands.
But just how can Marvel Studios reboot these heroes for the better? Let’s find out.
Jump right into it
Let’s look back to Captain America: Civil War for cutting right to the chase with two of its superheroes: Spider-Man and Black Panther. Now, let’s put the microscope on Spider-Man specifically, who has been on this exact same journey but with Sony. Both had an early 2000s movie and mid-2010s reboots, neither of them lasted, and both are back in Marvel Studios’ hands.
As Cinema Blend mentioned, let’s just skip the origin story all together. It’s like Uncle Ben dying. We all know it happens, and for the love of all things good, we don’t need to see it again. The Fantastic Four could, instead, be like Black Panther in which they’re introduced in a movie that’s not theirs. And when it is time for their movie, we can get a bit more back story.
Give them some allies
In line with the Fantastic Four appearing in another movie, that means they’ll have to have some Avengers to link up with prior to their own solo movie. Of course, the Fantastic Four will be the Fantastic Four, not the Avengers. But if they’re going to be part of the MCU, that means they’ll, of course, have to make some Avengers friends along the way. You know, like Iron Man’s solo movies have Nick Fury. Nick Fury appeared in Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel appeared in Endgame, and so on. The thread is always there and comes full circle.
With Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff out of the game, that means the four will have to find some new allies. Spider-Man, Ant-Man, She-Hulk… so many people they’ve come across in comics to bring them into the universe on screen.
Bring on a Fantastic Four-unique villain
… And when we say a “Fantastic Four-unique villain,” we really mean Doctor Doom. But really, the Fantastic Four have such a great legacy that once they do get their solo movie, they have to do the team justice. Granted, the last two reboots also had Doctor Doom, so it’s not like the world’s been without him. But also, let’s be honest, 2015’s was (unfortunately) an absolutely sorry excuse of a villain.
The Fantastic Four have a whole list of enemies that they can defeat, but to really drive up the excitement, Doctor Doom should be introduced at some point. Though, Marvel may go in the way of Sony, seeing as Norman Osborn has been left out since Spidey first came to the MCU. And Osborn is a huge staple in Spider-Man lore. So even if Marvel Studios chooses to delay Doom’s arrival, the wait will be worth it.
Stay true to the source
One of the biggest things a fan can ask for is having the superheroes stay true to the source. Nothing’s greater than seeing little comic book moments brought to life on screen. Or, really, just being able to appreciate seeing the character actually go from page to screen. Pulling the rug under fans’ feet by going in a different direction may sound creatively rewarding, but fans want something familiar. They want the heroes they know and love.
Even 2015’s Fantastic Four producer Simon Kinberg said in an interview, “I think the biggest takeaway for me [is that] the tone of the movie, while really interesting and ambitious, ran counter to the DNA of the source material. I think the source material of Fantastic Four is bright, optimistic, poppy in tone.”
A great example of this is Thor: Ragnarok, which completely flipped the script on the old franchise once director Taika Waititi went back to its roots. It’s a comic book movie, after all, and to pay homage to artist Jack Kirby, he made sure the overall tone of the movie reflected that. Needless to say, a return to form would be greatly appreciated for the Four.