If The FANTASTIC FOUR Were Back At Marvel Studios, There'd Be No GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Movie

Two years from today, Marvel Studios will release Guardians of the Galaxy into theaters as the linchpin of their Phase II cosmic endeavor. But is there another Marvel superhero team more applicable to their goals.

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By Mark Julian - 8/1/2012

This write-up is a quasi followup to my initial musings on why Josh Trank might not actually be able to direct Fox's Fantastic Four reboot. That article essentially spells out that based on the facts of their Daredevil dilemma, Fox's deal with Marvel stipulates that their comic book properties must be in production within 7 years of the last film or the rights revert back to Marvel. On that logic, Fox has until 2014 to start Fantastic Four or Marvel's First Family is headed back home. Of course, I seriously doubt Fox will let anything like that happen; despite a less than stellar critical and fan reception, both Fantastic Four films turned a profit for the studio. What's likely to happen is that Trank will simply have to pass on the project due to commitments to other studios. [As an aside, based on what Fox is doing with Marc Webb regarding The Amazing Spider-Man sequel, I hope Warner Bros. returns the favor.] What sprang out of that piece was a lot of film journalists echoing the same sentiment along with further speculation on what the future may hold for Trank. While I like Trank as a young, up-and-coming filmmaker, what I continued to think about were the Fantastic Four rights and what they mean to both Fox and Marvel. This led me to this notion: If Marvel had the rights to the Fantastic Four, there would be no Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) movie.

Think about it. The purpose of The Guardians of the Galaxy is to:
A.) further develop the cosmic aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
B.) introduce another superhero group for juxtapostion against The Avengers
C.) further tease big baddie Thanos for Avengers 2
D.) all of the above.

If you guessed D.) then move to the head of the class. Looking back at interviews with the likes of Kevin Feige, Jeremy Latcham and Louis D'Esposito, you'll find hints that 'Going Cosmic' was planned a long time ago by the Marvel Studios which is why there is/was also an Inhumans film in development. The GotG have apparently won out over The Inhumans but in the public sphere of awareness the Fantastic Four resonate much higher than either superhero group and have a longer and richer history of space exploration and alternate dimension adventures. Imagine Cap, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, S.H.I.E.L.D. teaming up with Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and The Thing to take on Thanos in Avengers 2. Picture Tony Stark not meeting someone of equal intelligence in Bruce Banner but someone ABOVE it in Reed Richards. As an introduction into the MCU, Marvel could go with the standard origin story of the four astronauts heading into space and returning with super powers or they could gloss over the origin in the opening credits and have them head of on an expedition into the Negative Zone. It's rumored that in the GotG, the team will fight Michael Korvac who will be presumably have some connection to Thanos based on what's been said about Phase 2. In a Fantastic Four movie, the group could square off with Annihilus who has a very interesting comic book history with Thanos,to say the least.



With the introduction of the Guardians we get another team dynamic in the MCU but I'm not entirely sure how that team could be portrayed all that different from The Avengers, especially with the announced roster. In the comic books, the Guardians generally view the Avengers as a beta team who deals with low-level threats compared to some of the adversaries they combat out in space. That's about the only interesting dynamic between the two teams that could be an interesting plot device on film. That element works in the pages of comic books but it would be very difficult to convey the wide array of foes the GotG combat in a 2 hr film. In the FF4, you don't just have another team, you have a family. In an Avengers sequel, you'd have a loose-knit alliance to juxtapose against a genuine family as opposed to the collaboration of two similar teams. And in terms of cosmic, it doesn't get any more interstellar than auxiliary Fantastic Four characters like Silver Surfer, Inhumans, The Watcher and Galctus.

With most of the Marvel movies, there's a heavy influence of the Ultimate line as let's face it, aside from a few characters, the 616 origins of many characters are simply dated. In the pages of Mike Carey's Ultimate Fantastic Four, we saw the team take on the Mad Titan. Of course, Thanos outmatched the team in terms of power but that incredible brain of Reed Richards was enough to outsmart Thanos and win the day in the end. That would certainly something to see play out on the big screen, where the mightiest of heroes in the MCU fail, the brain power of Reed Richards saves the day.



Guardians of the Galaxy arrives in theaters exactly two years from today but I wouldn't be surprised if Fox also releases the maybe-Josh-Trank-helmed Fantastic Four reboot in 2014 as well due to that pesky obligation in their contract with Marvel. The summer of 2014 will assuredly be one to watch closely and if the Fantastic Four is a smash success, you can bet the Marvel execs will be doubly kicking themselves.



RELATED CONTENT:
Josh Trank In Talks To Direct VENOM Movie!
VENOM And FANTASTIC FOUR Will Have To Wait, Josh Trank To Direct THE RED STAR For WB
Josh Trank To Direct SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS; Still Attached To FANTASTIC FOUR/VENOM
Is Josh Trank Really Going To Direct The FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot?
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Update From Marvel's Kevin Feige
Is Marvel Working On An Inhumans Movie Behind The Scenes?

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ZigZagStuffa - 8/1/2012, 8:49 PM
real cool real cool
Rhinoman - 8/1/2012, 8:50 PM
I don't really care about seeing the F4 back at Marvel Studios as much as their Rogue gallery. They have ALOT of characters that would work as villians in MCU
JoeMomma29 - 8/1/2012, 8:51 PM
That is fine with me Fox has royaly screwed up The Fantastic Four!!!!
kraft46 - 8/1/2012, 8:51 PM
Good read here, def makes sense
MGS - 8/1/2012, 8:52 PM
I woulda took the FF over the Guardians of the Galaxy any day of the week. Damn you Fox!!
KingNTheKong - 8/1/2012, 8:53 PM
GOTG would make much more sense in space since they're aliens.
Bane2099 - 8/1/2012, 8:53 PM
That would be funny to see the former Human Torch teaming with the new Human Torch, Chris Evans would probably have a good chuckle out of it :D
imnotahero - 8/1/2012, 8:54 PM
Or they would make both movies... because they could.

This article is pointless.
Cumulactus - 8/1/2012, 8:55 PM
Personally I would way rather have a Marvel helmed FF movie than GOTG.

But I'm still looking forward to GOTG
SmellofDuty - 8/1/2012, 8:56 PM
I'm pumped for GoTG as long as Rocket Raccon is a total BA.
Jollem - 8/1/2012, 9:00 PM
i'd rather have the ff over the guardians myself. the guardian crew i've never really read or cared about. i heard good things tho
Tony93 - 8/1/2012, 9:02 PM
Make both hah
Rhys - 8/1/2012, 9:06 PM
I'm super excited about GotG. I think it has a lot of potential, and could end up being one of the best space adventures in recent years.

If Marvel had the rights back to F4, we probably would be getting that reboot instead of GotG...but personally, I find Guardians more exciting. Sure, the "family" thing would be an interesting contrast to the Avengers, but over the course of the series, I'd love to see the Avengers develop into a family of their own. And I always found the Fantastic Four, as a team, to be kinda boring. They're a classic team, and I appreciate them as part of the 616 universe, but the never had the same draw as the Avengers or the X-Men to me.

Guardians of the Galaxy, on the other hand, is something new and fresh. It takes a superhero team, and throws them into a completely new setting. Sure, they don't have that "family" thing. Their team dynamic will most likely be similar to the Avengers...but that's fine. With characters like Groot and Rocket Raccoon on the team, I think we'll be seeing a far different film from the Avengers.

As much as I'd like ALL the Marvel characters revert back to Marvel Studios, I don't think the F4 are necessary. I'm fine with the MCU being built around the Avengers, with some smaller properties like Doctor Strange further exploring other aspects of this universe.
ThatOneDude - 8/1/2012, 9:06 PM
I could care less about the FF so GOTG for me
kingmonkeyman - 8/1/2012, 9:07 PM
Thumbs up for fox? I would much rather see the Guardians done well by Marvel and a crappy FF movie by Fox than never seeing a Guardians movie being made at all. It would be nice though if the FF was back with Marvel for cameos in an Avengers or a Civil War movie
CaptainObvious - 8/1/2012, 9:09 PM
Rocket Raccoon is the only Marvel character who can be a badass and cute at the same time.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 8/1/2012, 9:11 PM
I think a lot of people lose site that franchises would be sacrificed if Marvel had every property. It's healthy and good for business that different studios own different properties. If Marvel had every property from day one I have a feeling we would just be getting around to Thor and Captain America right now. They would have developed Spider-man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four first (in my opinion). The fact that Marvel doesn't have the HUGE name properties means it is forced to make quality movies about lesser known characters, in turn, making them big name properties (Iron Man). I like how things are structured, would I like a cohesive movie universe? Sure, but right now it would be way too costly for Marvel to do that.
blkyank - 8/1/2012, 9:13 PM
Seeing that FOX has already released a 2014 summer slate that involves a Planet of the Apes film and the X-Men First class sequel,its much more likely FOX will put FF on its 2015 slate along with the Prometheus follow up.

That way,we get FF in the same summer as Avengers 2 and Justice League.

People will then be saying 2015 is the best CBM summer since 2012.
RocknSntchRvlvr - 8/1/2012, 9:14 PM
@theredhood. Timothy olyphant?!!! Really?!!! Guess you didn't see hitman. I'm thinking someone along the lines of....Josh Brolin.
OverlyManlyMan - 8/1/2012, 9:14 PM
I WANT DOCTOR DOOOOOOOMMM!
ATrueHero1987 - 8/1/2012, 9:17 PM
If Marvel had the rights to FF, I think they would've still make GOTG. Shoot, in a FF movie by Marvel Studios, they could introduce the Kree & Skrulls in those films while GOTG would deal with other alien/cosmic threats.
DeMoNaSsDiZ - 8/1/2012, 9:17 PM
Nathan Fillion = Star Lord. Nuff said.
ATrueHero1987 - 8/1/2012, 9:18 PM
Something does tell me that Trank might not direct FF reboot.
skidz - 8/1/2012, 9:21 PM
If Marvel had the rights to FF they'd be able to make a film that didn't suck so much.
LucasMend - 8/1/2012, 9:24 PM
I'd like FF back at marvel. I never read GOTG, so not much excited about it. I love FF and it deserves the respect marvel has on their movies
FilmsFan - 8/1/2012, 9:24 PM
That's my only issue with GOTG film!

If Fantastic4 films, which are very well known characters of Marvel, aren't getting good BoxOffice reception! Then how come GOTG will work!?
Have a Look the characters!
They're really really "ComicBookish" for general audiences!
& Avengers weekest parts were Aliens & Cosmic stuff!

So GOING COSMIC isn't working for marvel now; how can they gamble future on it?!?

I remember lots of people including my friends giggling during GreenLantern when certain kinds of species of "Lantern Core" were shown in film. I myself was I little surprised how cartoony they were!
Now i will they that's not cuz the film was messed up! It was during the early parts of film as well!
Their is a reason that "SUPERMAN" is like humans & James Cameron made NAVI people in Avatar a lot like Humans; cuz making something really ALIEIN could only take you out of film!

It's bold what they are doing but if CAP's BoxOffice future isn't that bright then how GOTG; & then ANT-MAN!
Good Luck Marvel!!
Phase-2 seems a lot STRANGE & DIFFICULT to Work kinda phase to me!
Especially if IronMan-3 is RSJ's last Marvel film (which rumours are pointing towards) & then CAP doesn't work that well! Already giving him April release, Marvel just shows how confident they are of CAP! & then Cosmic stuff & Gamble of GOTG & ANT-MAN !!!

Really really wish u luck MARVEL!
Hope it all works out!!
Ofcourse we fans are gona suffer as well if it didn't.
superotherside - 8/1/2012, 9:25 PM
Nice write up but nah. They would still make GOTG. For at least one purpose. Adam Warlock. GOTG is the best way to introduce Adam and Gamora. Also Thanos. Instead of being just a big baddie, Thanos is actually a friend to Adam. This would be a unique relationship and make for great character interactions between the two.

So yeah. The FF are great, but GOTG are just as great. Yeah, people can say all they want about GOTG. But it's just that they haven't gotten enough publicity yet to have loads of people like them. It's honestly not fair. But anyway. Great write up though! I just disagree.
Tainted87 - 8/1/2012, 9:25 PM
This CBM fanboy hasn't read a single issue with GOTG inside.
ATrueHero1987 - 8/1/2012, 9:28 PM
This what I would like for a FF film series:
FF:Explore the Negative Zone, introduce/stop Annihlius and Annihilation Wave.

FF2:Introduce Dr. Doom, shoot the Baxter Building into space.

FF3:Introduce the Kree & Skrulls.

Silver Surfer movie:origins.
.
4: Stop Galactus
LucasMend - 8/1/2012, 9:31 PM
And yes Richards is the superior mind, having him, stark and banner(hell even pym) in one movie is what I most want to see
batmanmovie2012 - 8/1/2012, 9:34 PM
Kepp the rights to FF fox. Plus also keep X-Men, Avengers should be the only earth team in the MCU.
Tainted87 - 8/1/2012, 9:35 PM
My idear for a F4 movie....
Hit ALT+F4

Ha! I kid.

I want to see a period film. Fox is going to keep the rights, that's just how it is going to be. I say, set the movie in the 60s/70s, and go all out! Don't worry about whatever advanced technology that shouldn't be around during that time - everything that Reed invents doesn't even exist anyway!
Minato - 8/1/2012, 9:37 PM
@RFBD
Good Point
Shadow101 - 8/1/2012, 9:40 PM
So FF shouldn't happen and if it does, it goes back to marvel. Marvel needs ALL their characters back. Even ghost rider.
ninjamishi - 8/1/2012, 9:49 PM
I'm actually kinda glad that they don't have the rights to the Fantastic Four because personally I'm tired of see the well known heroes all the time. Its just so familiar that it gets boring where as the lesser known characters add fresh new stories where as like a FF would just be the retelling of a story we have heard before
NosferatuZodd - 8/1/2012, 9:54 PM
GoG and FF both suck anyway. Marvel/Disney is going to flood the market with crap like GoG and AntMan (and maybe black panther or luke cage) and burn eveyone out with 2nd tier characters. what a shame......
Mego - 8/1/2012, 10:03 PM
@Tainted87 I've collected 1000's of comics and even when DeWayne the Comic Book Shop Owner slips a copy in my stack to rip me off, I just can't read them.
I've never read a single issue.
95 - 8/1/2012, 10:04 PM
Disney would make a great Fantastic Four film. However, I'm interested in Josh Trank's take (if it happens). I'm also interested in seeing Disney's Guardian Of The Galaxy. Also, I think it's time to polish my Fan Fiction, with all the news and other Fan Fictions, I don't want to post mine with comments like: "Copycat" or "Very derivative". Oh, good realization on the situation @Mark Julian.
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