Have ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie Rights Returned to Marvel with a New Film Coming in 2020? [Updated]

     October 15, 2015


Update: Steve here. I’ve checked with some high up sources and can report Marvel has not regained the movie rights to Fantastic Four. In addition, Fox already had the X-Men TV rights so no trade happened or was necessary. Original story below.  

It’s no secret that Disney and Marvel’s collaborative efforts have helped to elevate the comic book company’s properties to an unprecedented level of fame, but many of Marvel’s characters remain fragmented and scattered across different studios. The X-Men franchise, characters, and leeway to use the word “mutant” famously lie with 20th Century Fox, a studio that has done very well with the property and looks to continue this success with Bryan Singer’s cinematic conclusion, X-Men: Apocalypse. Marvel’s “First Family”, the Fantastic Four, also resides at Fox, but if a new report is accurate, that could be about to change.

Den of Geek is reporting that the rights to Fantastic Four are coming back to Marvel at long last. Part of their reasoning for the deal is the disappointing box office ($166+ million worldwide from a $120 million budget) that Fox saw with its 2015 reboot starring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. The second part of the rationale behind the rights transfer is the recent news that Fox will be developing two TV shows from the X-Men universe: Hellfire and Legion, the latter bound for FX. Marvel Television is co-producing with 20th Century Fox / FX Productions on the series, but what else does the comic book company get in the deal? Apparently, the rights to the Fantastic Four.


Image via 20th Century Fox

We’re currently contacting our own sources to get some more details on this possible deal, but as we reported back in August, Marvel had to sign off on Fox’s plan to bring the X-Men characters to TV in a live-action format since they retained the comic rights, even though Fox owned the feature film rights. Fox was more vocal about the deal than Marvel was at the time, so it’s looking likely that the Marvel collective was trying to get Fantastic Four back under their own roof as part of the deal. Honestly, it would be the perfect time to strike since Fox, despite claiming to be moving ahead on a Fantastic Four sequel, could be looking to shed a property that they clearly don’t know how to handle. X-Men has been working just fine for them and has reboot potential written all over it, what with the new young cast appearing in Apocalypse, and likely longevity with these TV series in development.

So what’s the earliest that we could see a new Fantastic Four movie from the company who brought them into existence in the first place? 2020, is the best guess. Marvel recently released a slate of release date shifts, along with a trio of new, untitled films pegged for 2020. Whether it’s in May, July, or November, we’re not sure, but 2020 looks like the earliest you’ll see Marvel’s version of Fantastic Four. Then again, part of the deal could have been that the rights will revert after Fox’s planned 2017 sequel to their clunker of a first film, but that’s speculation at this point.


Image via 20th Century Fox

Would you like to see Fantastic Four back in Marvel’s hands? Let us know in the comments!

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