Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Just as the news of Disney buying Marvel starts to sink in, Variety reports that 20th Century Fox will reboot the Fantastic Four.

While Disney lays down a $4 billion bet on the future of Marvel's superheroes, 20th Century Fox has already begun overhauling one of its big Marvel franchises, "Fantastic Four" to take the property beyond the two films already made.

Akiva Goldsman has been hired to oversee the reboot as producer. Michael Green, the co-exec producer of TV's "Heroes" who co-wrote "Green Lantern," will write the script for the new "Fantastic Four."

Fox wouldn't comment on its plans, but the moves are evidence that Marvel franchises do have enduring lifespans.

As "Spider-Man 4" moves toward an early 2010 production start, Columbie Pictures recently hired James Vanderbilt to write a fifth and sixth installment with the understanding that one or both of those films would give the franchise a makeover with a new director and cast (Daily Variety, Aug. 16).

The 2005 "Fantastic Four" and 2007 sequel "Rise of the Silver Surfer" were directed by Tim Story and starred Ion Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michale Chiklis. Since the deals for the reboot are just getting made, it is unclear if any of them will return.

Though Marvel Entertainment owns and finances properties like "Iron Man" and "Thor," Fox controls "Fantastic Four" in perpetuity -- as long as it continues making the films. Fox has the same arrangement on Marvel Comics properties "X-Men," "Daredevil" and "Silver Surfer." Marvel is a producer and financial participant through a licensing agreement.

Though the related Silver Surfer character soared in the "Fantastic Four" sequel, that iconic personality has remained a priority project for his own film at the studio.

Fox has so far done one "X-Men" spinoff in "Wolverine." The studio is working on a sequel to that film and has scripts for "X-Men Origins: First Class," and "X-Men Origins: Magneto." Potential spinoffs for the Gambit and Deadpool characters have also been discussed.

As producer, Goldsman is involved with several DC Comics transfers, including "Jonah Hex," "The Losers and "Teen Titans." He was also producer of the Will Smith-Charlize Theron superhero film "Hancock," for which a sequel is being developed.

Hopefully the reboot will have a new director and better cast. The Fantastic Four movies were terrible due in part to poor casting. Here's hoping they get it right on this third try.


Keith said...

I hope they have a whole new cast for Fantastic Four. Those movies were terrible.

K and S said...

Exactly, Keith. Exactly.

Tim said...

How did you feel about Chiklis as Thing? I generally like him, but felt they played up the comedic parts way to much. They were like made for TV movies.....Actually they are probably like what disney would make with a marvel movie...silly,tame..not even as good as emo spiderman singing and dancing. I wish Bollywood had bought Marvel instead!

K and S said...

I thought Chiklis was too small as the Thing. He was fine as Ben Grimm but when he was the Thing, I thought he should have been much larger. Chris Evans was good as the Human Torch but these movies needed a better script and much better director.

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