FANTASTIC FOUR: 10 Key Steps To Success For The MCU Debut Of Marvel's First Family
Jon Watts is developing the Fantastic Four reboot for Marvel Studios, but there are some steps we want to see them follow to make this movie the best big screen take on Marvel's First Family to date...
Following the Disney/Fox merger, the rights to the Fantastic Four are finally back where they belong with Marvel Studios. While we have faith in Kevin Feige and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts to deliver something special, the pressure is definitely on to make things right with a team that has appeared in three critical and commercial flops over the past two decades.
While it's safe to assume that Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and The Thing are in good hands, there are definitely some things we do - and don't - need to see in order to ensure that the return of Marvel's First Family to the big screen is a success.
In this feature, we look at mistakes Marvel Studios shouldn't make/repeat (don't worry, we're sure they won't hide Galactus in a cloud again), creative decisions which would help make this one of their best movies to date, and everything else that needs to be done in order to give us the Fantastic Four movie we've all been waiting for after a series of extremely disappointing efforts.
So, to take a look through this breakdown, simply click on the "Next" button down below!
10. We Don't Need A Team Of Teenagers
Making the Fantastic Four teenagers is no doubt going to be something that's mighty tempting to Marvel Studios, especially as it would explain why we haven't seen them before now. However, following the Ultimate Universe didn't work in 2015's reboot, and it won't work here either (even with Jon Watts, a filmmaker who has spent the past few years working with a young cast, at the helm).
Honestly, the entire concept of the Baxter Building being an institute of sorts for gifted youngsters feels like too much of a copy of the X-Men and is a pretty lame way to create this team of heroes.
Reed Richards wasn't that young when he took Sue, Johnny, and Ben into outer space, so they don't need to have been part of the MCU for years; instead, the events of Avengers: Endgame might just be what inspired Reed to look to the cosmos for answers, and it's obviously then that they would get hit by those cosmic rays and transformed into unlikely superheroes.
9. Give The Team Their Classic Costumes
The first two Fantastic Four movies put this iconic foursome in their comic book costumes before Josh Trank gave the quartet some terrible versions that were more grounded in reality...and pretty boring!
Considering how often Marvel Studios sticks to the source material, we have no doubt that the heroes will be in modernised versions of their familiar suits, and a blue and black colour scheme is obviously the way to go. In the comic books in recent years, they've been wearing black and blue, while white and red has also been incorporated into their suits at various times.
Ultimately, as long as they're comic accurate in design and make fans immediately think of the source material, there's really no reason to think those talented concept artists will let us down in any way.
8. Head Back Down The Mo-Cap Route With The Thing
Say what you will about the 2015 Fantastic Four movie, but making The Thing a CGI creation rather than putting Jamie Bell in a rubber suit was one of the best decisions Fox made.
With characters like The Hulk and Thanos, Marvel Studios has shown that they know how to effectively bring mo-cap characters to life on the big screen, and The Thing needs to be both comic accurate and large in stature (perhaps not quite as big as The Hulk, but certainly not too far off).
And yes, this means he should absolutely have that trademark brow of his from the comic books! We're not talking about a cartoon character walking around the place, but if the Mad Titan can be perfectly translated from page to screen, there's no excuse not to do Ben Grimm justice.
7. Hold Off On Doctor Doom...For Now, At Least
Rumour has it that Marvel Studios plans to introduce Doctor Doom in his own Disney+ TV series before having him square off with the team, and that's a great idea. His origin story is one that could definitely play out over six episodes or so and making yet another Fantastic Four movie with Doom as the main antagonist could be a costly mistake on Marvel Studios' part.
After all, whether we're talking about Mole Man, Annihilus, or Galactus himself, the Four have a huge rouges gallery and all we've ever really seen on the big screen is them facing Doom!
With that in mind, he probably shouldn't factor into this reboot in any way, shape, or form, and is best saved for a sequel (possibly even a third movie). Doom could even be a threat to the whole MCU if he's handled the right way, and that could mean the FF aren't actually his only foes. However, we wouldn't say not to a brief flashback showing Reed interacting with Victor in college.
6. Give The Team "Avengers Tower"
There had been rumblings Norman Osborn might be the new owner of Avengers Tower, but now the Fantastic Four is coming home, the next step feels obvious. While it's hard to say where Reed Richards and company would have got that kind of money, the structure becoming the Baxter Building makes perfect sense and puts this group of heroes right in the centre of the Big Apple.
Reed could easily be the owner of the "Future Foundation" and a billionaire on the back of his inventions when we catch up with him. Then, upon realising that he wants to start making a difference, Reed convincing his friends to head into outer space with him adds up and could be an interesting story arc for the hero.
Either way, Avengers Tower would be a great base for the Fantastic Four once they enter the MCU and after those teases in Spider-Man: Homecoming and the sequel, this just makes sense.
5. Quantum Realm = Negative Zone
The Negative Zone is a location with a lot of big screen potential and we're hoping for an adaptation of Annihilation down the line. That cosmic epic could potentially be bigger than "The Infinity Saga," but rather than confusing audiences with the introduction of the "N-Zone," linking it to the Quantum Realm could be a clever way of tying a lot of dangling threads together.
Whether they're one and the same or just connected in ways that mean they exist side by side, seeing the Fantastic Four travel into the Negative Zone and shedding more light on where Janet Van Dyne was trapped in the process would be really interesting. The groundwork for this could and should be laid for this in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
If that leads to a meeting of the minds with Reed and Hank Pym one day, then count us in for that.
4. Another Kang The Conqueror Variant
Talking of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, we're going to meet a Kang the Conqueror Variant in that movie (we just don't know which one). However, Fantastic Four presents the perfect opportunity to pit the team against the version they faced off against in Ancient Egypt: Rama-Tut!
After interfering in the lives of Marvel's First Family, Kang found himself stranded thousands of years in the past and quickly embarked on a war with En Sabah Nur...a character you may know best as X-Men villain, Apocalypse. Throw in his ties to Moon Knight's origin, and Marvel Studios can tie together a lot of different plot threads as they take the Fantastic Four on a trip through history.
This might not be the expected big bad, but there's no denying Rama-Tut is one with a lot of potential.
3. Avoid That Rumored 1960s Setting
When Peyton Reed was attached to direct Fantastic Four at Fox, the plan was to set the movie in the 1960s. That would have been really cool and there's no denying that the heroes fit well in that setting.
Now, Marvel Studios could choose to do the same thing and it's feasible this team could have existed decades before Iron Man and company showed up. However, it would be a great shame for them not to make their presence felt in the present-day MCU alongside The Avengers and X-Men.
One possible explanation is that they got trapped inside some sort of Time Vortex in the Quantum Realm/Negative Zone after blasting off in the 1960s. They could then arrive in the present day in a fish out of water type scenario, but since that's really not the best option, let's stick to a contemporary team!
2. Focus On Family (Obviously)
There's a good reason the Fantastic Four is known as "Marvel's First Family." The dynamic between this foursome is definitely something the reboot needs to explore, whether it's Reed and Ben's bond as best friends, Sue and Johnny's sibling dynamic, or simply the way Johnny drives Ben nuts with his practical jokes and constant teasing.
It would be no bad thing for Franklin and Valeria Richards to show up sooner rather than later, as outside of Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame, we haven't seen the concept of a superhero parent explored in the MCU.
The idea of a superhero family is one we've not seen done well on the big screen (the first two movies tried, but it didn't really work that well for the most part) but Fantastic Four could change that and these four should be close before we even meet them rather than developing a bond as the movie progresses. That's an issue we saw in both the 2005 and 2015 movies.
1. Make Sue Storm The Team's Most Powerful Member
The less said about Jessica Alba's Invisible Woman, the better. As for Kate Mara's version, all we really remember about her is the odd-looking wig the actress had to don for those extensive reshoots.
In this movie, Marvel Studios shouldn't shy away from showing that while the likes of Mister Fantastic, the Human Torch, and The Thing are incredibly powerful, it's Sue Storm who is truly the strongest member of the team. Her force fields coming into play is a must, while fans will know that her invisibility powers do more than just help her vanish.
The MCU still needs more strong female characters, and the Invisible Woman should lead the charge in an ever-expanding universe that's recently incorporated the likes of Captain Marvel and Captain Carter before we get to spend some time with Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk.