EDITORIAL: Should Marvel Studios Bring the FANTASTIC FOUR To Television Instead Of The Big Screen?

EDITORIAL: Should Marvel Studios Bring the FANTASTIC FOUR To Television Instead Of The Big Screen?

EDITORIAL: Should Marvel Studios Bring the FANTASTIC FOUR To Television Instead Of The Big Screen?

Marvel Studios apparently isn't planning on incorporating the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon, but when they finally get around to it, TV just might be the best way to do it.

At some point, we’re going to see the Fox-owned Marvel properties get integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it is apparently not in the studio’s immediate plans, a new version of the X-Men is all but an inevitability. However, Fox’s other major property raises some more questions. The Fantastic Four have been difficult to properly portray on film, even though we’ve seen several attempts at this point.
 
The campy version we got in 2005 didn’t work, neither did the gritty version we got in 2015. While the problems with these movies can be blamed on studio interference and questionable storytelling decisions, it might be time to try something new. After all, it shouldn’t be all that hard to tell a compelling on-screen story with these characters.
 
The Fantastic Four are the first family of superheroes. The team dynamic is what makes them special, and the weird nature of their powers opens up a lot of interesting possibilities. While hardcore comic book fans would be willing to give an MCU film a chance, the franchise’s recent history of bad films might make the mainstream audience less keen on seeing another Fantastic Four movie.
 
This is why the television route could be the best option for this property. Television is as good today as it's ever been. Outlets like HBO and Netflix are producing cinema-quality TV shows, and networks like the CW are making entertaining superhero shows on relatively small budgets. FX, and Noah Hawley in particular, have shown that they are able to turn some pretty unconventional ideas into incredible TV shows like Fargo and Legion.
 
This wouldn’t be a prequel or spinoff, as some other comic book TV shows are, but a proper Fantastic Four series. The sci-fi angle of the characters could even put the series in Star Trek territory, separating it from other superhero shows. With Marvel Comics’ long history of Fantastic Four stories to draw from, the show could go for either the episodic format or for an overarching season-long story. 
 

Based on the quality of TV that we’re getting today, there’s no good reason why Marvel Television couldn’t make this work if some money and care are put into it. Unfortunately, that could be a big “if”. The studio could easily look at this property and think that it would become much more profitable if they put a bit more money into it and churned out another movie.
 
Going the movie route is tempting because it would pave the way for a crossover with different Marvel characters. While Fox was rumored to be planning a crossover with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, it never came to be, partly because of the box office and critical failure of 2015’s Fantastic Four reboot. After having the Fantastic Four exist in their own universe for a while, many fans would like to see them appear alongside the likes of Spider-Man and Black Panther. 
 
There wouldn’t be anything wrong with making another Fantastic Four movie as long as Marvel does what they usually do and makes sure all creative forces are on the same page. However, the studio would have the opportunity to make a truly great superhero TV show with these characters. 
 
While Marvel’s Netflix shows have been pretty solid for the most part, they have not been too closely connected to the film universe as of yet. This is partly because the studio doesn’t want fans who aren’t caught up with The Defenders to feel out of the loop when they see the latest Spider-Man movie. Keeping the TV and film sides at a reasonable distance from each other has helped keep the MCU from growing too big, but a Fantastic Four series would be best served by taking a different approach. 
 
Since Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing are iconic characters, they would automatically draw a pretty big following. If Marvel is willing to try something bold, they could be introduced in a team-up movie and then move over to the TV side. Since Noah Hawley is apparently working on a Doctor Doom movie at Fox, maybe this could even be the start-off point. 
 
The timing of this is pretty good, as Disney is launching their own streaming platform that will be the home to several Star Wars television shows. Why not make the Fantastic Four the flagship Marvel program on this new service? We’re living in a golden of age of television and superheroes, so it’s about time we get a truly great superhero TV show.
DISCLAIMER: ComicBookMovie.com is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Latest Headlines
Loading...