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Fantastic Four (2015) - AVOID

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There was talk about this around the time that Chronicle hit but now Fox have confirmed that Josh Trank is to develop/direct their Fantastic Four reboot. Work has to begin soon as otherwise Fox loses the rights to the characters and it is expected that this will be the next 'Non-Marvel, Marvel movie' after Wolverine and X-Men: First Class 2, which would mean it would be due late 2014 or 2015.

In other news, Fox also have to get a Daredevil picture off the ground by Autumn or they'll lose the rights to that character too. David Slade has now left the project due to not being able to meet the schedule but Fox really like the script they have and want to push forward with another director rather than give up the rights.

Info from /film.

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But is it as good as even The Incredible Hulk? Or Captain America? Actually, a better way of asking that is: is it as authentic as either of those? There just seems to be something lacking in the non-Marvel Marvel films that irritates me. I'm not a massive stickler for moving comic continuity over to film as long as the changes are justified and work in the context of the film, but Wolverine: Origins ruined Deadpool completely, I didn't understand why they made Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost the villains in First Class and I'm not even going to bother going into Raimi's Spider-man films AGAIN. In fact I can't even be arsed to go and see The Amazing Spider-man. I couldn't give a monkeys about it.

I dunno, I'd take my normal stance of 'wait and see' before writing something off, but given the track record of Fox's films and how good Marvel's films have been I just don't really care.

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Part of me would really like everyone to stop going and watching any of these films put out by FOX and Sony so they'll decide it's not worth them continuing to make films and let the characters return to Marvel so we can have them all feature in one big coherent world. Sadly I know that if any of the films are said to be half decent I'll probably go and see them, I can't help myself.

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But is it as good as even The Incredible Hulk? Or Captain America? [snip]

Yes it is. In fact it is better than all the Marvel films bar The Avengers and on a par with IronMan 1. I do understand the sentiment but it is not as if Marvel Studios have delivered classic interpretations of every character so far.

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I think the problem was that Marvel probably felt at the time that they had to sell all those movie rights, when they weren't the Disney-owned juggernaut that they are now. In the 90's they were in pretty serious trouble, as I recall, even going bankrupt at one point a few years before (re-)selling the rights to Spidey.

The problem now is that, thanks to all these comic book movies doing so well, I don't see that there's any chance Marvel will get back the rights to X-Men, FF and Spider-Man any time soon. They'd have to specifically buy them all back from Sony, and that'd probably cost an amount not dissimilar to the one Disney paid when they bought Marvel itself. (Or more, who knows?) The only other way it'd happen that I can see is that the movie-going public gets so sick of Superhero movies that the rights are just allowed to revert, which is spectacularly unlikely, and would also probably only happen at a point where we'd have actually stopped caring about seeing them all together again anyway, and just want a break from the whole thing.

On the plus side, I don't know how well having them ALL in the same Marvel cinematic universe would actually work. The actors would have to be on deals that would stop them doing anything else, and credibility would probably be stretched extremely thin in some places. One of the first things mentioned in one of the Iron Man 3 press releases was that they were going to have to create a scenario whereby Tony Stark is now seperated from the rest of the Avengers. How difficult would it be(come) telling a story where each/any of these characters would be facing a big enough bad to warrant a film without it registering on the radars of the other assorted superheroes?

So yes, I'd love Marvel Studios versions of Spider-Man, Daredevil, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four*, but I'm quite happy to see how well they manage the shared movie universe in the aftermath of The Avengers before I get too exciteable about it...

* ...and Iron Fist and Power Man, but that's a different issue altogether.

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I don't mind the x-men being in their own universe (although I'm sad we'll never get to see Hulk and Wolverine go toe to toe), but I really think that Fantastic Four and Spiderman should be together, either at Marvel or elsewhere. They just go together so well.

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Marvel really fucked up with those licensing agreements, didn't they?

They were on the verge of bankruptcy and had absolutely no inkling of ever producing films of their own back when these deals were done. It's pretty harsh to call it a fuck up under those circumstances, it's just unfortunate series of events. For all we know, if they hadn't sold the rights, they might even have gone under altogether.

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Yes it is. In fact it is better than all the Marvel films bar The Avengers and on a par with IronMan 1. I do understand the sentiment but it is not as if Marvel Studios have delivered classic interpretations of every character so far.

Yeah, geez, I was gonna say that! First Class is superb. People be trippin' if they think otherwise.

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I'm assuming it just has to go into production because the FF rights were supposed to go back to Marvel at the end of the year whereas the new film won't be released until 2013 at the earliest.

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Are all the Marvel IP's not owned by thems currently with Sony? Because the point about Spidey and the Fantastic Four is a good one, and if Daredevil is/was owned by Sony too then they could actually do their own, vaguely sensible, New York-centric mini-Marvel Universe (whilst still probably keeping the X-Men seperate).

It could actually work quite nicely, with the FF taking on Doom/Galactus-sized threats, Spidey taking on his own rich (but lower-scale) rogues gallery and Daredevil just doing his thing around Hell's Kitchen. There'd be no big shared event movies, but a few crossovers/cameos would make a lot of sense, and could be a lot fun.

Sure, it'd be a shame that we'd never get a big Stark/Banner/Richards geek-out, for example, and something like Civil War would still be impossible, but...

...

Hmm. The more I think about this, the more I'm not sure if I like the idea of it or not. I think I still just want Marvel to have them all back, as eventually my New York-based pseudo-Marvel U probably wouldn't feel right without the Heroes For Hire, Dr Strange, the Avengers and so on.

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Sony have Spider-Man (there's a bit about the complexity in the box office report last week /plug)

Fox have Daredevil and FF. They lose the rights to Daredevil this year if a film isn't in pre-production. I think they lose the rights to FF a little later, but not much. Fox optioned the rights to Daredevil in 1997 so I imagine it's a 15 year thing, with a clause that says you must bring a film out every XX years.

What one has to remember is at one point, quite recently, comic-book adaptation were seen as box office poison. There was no money to be made pandering to that fan base. Marvel, struggling, were probably glad to sell of the rights to certain characters just to get money into the bank, to keep the wolf from the door. It's only in the past 15 or so years that the characters have crossed into the mainstream and been able to exist without their comic book fan base.

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Both of the R-rated Marvel comics are back with Disney, so that is them dead and buried then :P

The tone of Blade and The Punisher so don't fit in the current Disney/Marvel universe.

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Yeah, geez, I was gonna say that! First Class is superb. People be trippin' if they think otherwise.

I must be trippin' off my balls, I hated it.

Actually, isnt Ghost Rider Sony too?

Correct. There's a lengthy making of on the Spirit of Vengeance blu-ray.

It shows just how down to the wire they were, on getting that into production, before the rights reverted back to Marvel.

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What is depressing is the inevitability we can expect reboots for each of the franchises just so the respective studios can retain the rights. If we get another Spiderman origin story in ten years time I think I may kill someone.

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I'll tell you who I feel sorry for. The next people that dare tackle Batman onscreen.

Whether it's good or bad, it'll still be held against what Nolan's done, which I don't think is fair.

There's room for a less than realistic Batman universe onscreen, I love The Batman and The Brave and The Bold to some extent.

Let Bats have some colourful onscreen adventures, but for the love of god, don't go Full Schumacher.

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I'll tell you who I feel sorry for. The next people that dare tackle Batman onscreen.

Whether it's good or bad, it'll still be held against what Nolan's done, which I don't think is fair.

There's room for a less than realistic Batman universe onscreen, I love The Batman and The Brave and The Bold to some extent.

Let Bats have some colourful onscreen adventures, but for the love of god, don't go Full Schumacher.

Surely the natural thing to do next would be The Dark Knight Returns? Sounds like a sequel to the Dark Knight Rises to the non-geeks, would let them do futuristic Batman to set it apart, would act as a nice palette cleanser between franchises. OF COURSE THEY'LL NEVER DO THIS. But still.

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