X-Men and Fantastic Four headed for a movie match-up

Fantastic_Four_XMen

The imaginauts and first family of Marvel Comics is once more headed for the silver screen and hopes are high they get it right this time. However, this time 20th C Fox has plans to bring the cosmic superhero team into the world of mutants seen in the X-Men flicks.

How, you may ask? Given the incredible lengths that ‘Days of Future Past’ went to in order to set the stage for a new time line which will be introduced in ‘Apocalypse’ next year, just about anything is possible for the merry mutants now. Add to this the fact that the new Fantastic Four film will be more centered on dimensional travel rather than outer space travel and I can see no reason why the X-Men and FF will not co-star on screen in no time at all. Especially given that comic book films are seemingly so bullet proof that Ant Man is performing well.

Via CBR.com:

Singer corroborated the X-Men and Fantastic Four team-up talk, saying that he has engaged in conversations with the “Fantastic Four” team — which includes “Apocalypse” writer/producer Simon Kinberg — to find a way to bring Fox’s two Marvel franchises together.

“Those ideas are in play,” said Singer. “That would be a natural match-up because they’re both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it. I don’t want to give it away, but it deals a little with time. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Since the relaunch of the X-Men franchise in 2011 with “X-Men: First Class,” the mutants have been hopping through the decades. They’ve moved from the ’60s to the ’70s in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and will land in the ’80s in next year’s “Apocalypse.” And as seen in trailers for this August’s “Fantastic Four,” we know that the rebooted foursome are interdimensional travelers. As Singer stated, the mechanism for their potential crossover does seem natural.

“We’ll have to see how the films turn out — how [‘X-Men: Apocalypse’] turns out, how ‘Fantastic Four’ plays — to really understand what kind of desire and how that would really work. I think to just say you’re going to do it would be a mistake. You have to see how the films evolve before you make that decision to completely commit to that. But there are those ideas in play.”

From the sound of Singer’s answer, it looks like we may know more about this potential crossover after “Fantastic Four” opens on August 7 and “X-Men: Apocalypse” opens on May 27, 2016.

Fantastic_Four_X_Men

So, what’s your opinion? Should the Fantastic Four and X-Men meet in a mega movie? If so, which team of mutants would you like to see and who would the villain be?

Let your words fly, readers!

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DOOMED! The story behind Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four film

doomedposter-2a618Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe and before Netflix, there was a time when comic book movies were kind of awkward.

The studios at the time had a hard time accepting funny books as marketable properties, the special effects weren’t really sophisticated enough to portray the colorful explosive world of comics and the audience base wasn’t proven. You could point at the 1989 Batman movie as a success and proof that superhero movies were an important money-making thing… but so much money went into that project that I cannot imagine many other studios wanted to go that route.

Back in 1994, Marvel Comics wasn’t the entertainment behemoth that it is today. This is how the film rights for the Fantastic Four were obtained for not much money for a low-budget flick. Roger Corman, renowned for his ability to create motion pictures with shoestring budgets and limited resources, was hired to make it work for about a million bucks.

The cast and crew publicized the movie. A teaser was shown at the San Diego Comic Con. A premiere date was set. But the movie was never released. Why?

To my knowledge, the film was never intended to be seen and was only made in order to retain the rights. Nevertheless, it got out and has been circulating for years on the black market. Heck, you can even watch it on youtube!

FantasticFour_Corman

The movie is a loose adaptation of FF#1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and retells the origin of the team and their development into superheroes. It also shows Victor Von Doom and his descent into… doom-os-ity. All things considered, it’s not that bad and has a certain charm. The special effects are inspired and, given what they had to work with, impressive.

But remember that this was a different time. With the exception of the Mask, there really wasn’t the same kind of attention going to this kind of thing. While most of the cast do a serviceable job with what they have (I’m partial to Philip Can Dyke’s Johnny Storm), there are some who take some liberties… The performance of Joseph Culp as Victor Von Doom has to be seen to be believed. My best guess is that he was trying to recreate the dynamism of Jack Kirby’s artwork but it’s just so bizarre. And don’t get me started on the ‘Jeweler.’

In this scene, Victor's hand lingers in the air like a werewolf attack then lands on Reed's shoulder as a sign of affection

In this scene, Victor’s hand lingers in the air like a werewolf attack then lands on Reed’s shoulder as a sign of affection

The movie is an odd one for sure, and shrouded in mystery and rumor. The story behind the movie is far more interesting than the movie itself (though DO watch it some day) as the upcoming documentary DOOMED! will show. Apparently, Avi Arad got so nervous about the movie hurting Marvel’s reputation, he purchased the rights back and had the negatives destroyed.

However… it’s still out there. And the story behind this enigmatic and weird movie will finally be told. Interviewing cast and crew members, DOOMED! will explore the mystery behind the world’s obscurest comic book movie that was never seen (legally).

Bookmark the Facebook page for more information.

Bonus! Here’s an image of the Thing from the upcoming Josh Trank (Chronicle) Fantastic Four movie.

Thing_2015

You wanna see Josh Trank’s Thing?

Catch the first glimpse of the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing from Josh Trank’s upcoming comic book superhero film, The Fantastic Four.

International poster of Fantastic Four movie

International poster of Fantastic Four movie

(Via CBR)

While most readers are familiar with the Fantastic Four from the 2005 film and the 2007 Rise of the Silver Surfer sequel (AKA the lousy comic book movies before Iron Man arrived), the comic book is from 1961.

In case this kind of stuff matters to you– The Fantastic Four property is not owned by Marvel Entertainment as far as motion picture rights go. The rights were sold to 20th Century Fox (who also own the movie rights to Wolverine and the X-Men), so this is unrelated to the Avengers movies and the Spider-Man films (now co-owned by Marvel/Disney and Sony).

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (who would go on to unleash a horde of heroes, villains and monsters upon the world including the Hulk, the X-Men, Thor, Ant Man and many more), the FF was a clever blend of horror/science fiction with superheroics with some family drama thrown in. While the company was a success at one time, Lee was practically running the show himself and was ready to throw in the towel before his wife urged him to try doing what he wanted for once.
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The Fantastic Four was a hit and earned the tagline: World’s Greatest Comic Magazine (Lee may have exaggerated). The team was made up of Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist with his head in the clouds, the caring and brave Sue Storm, her younger hot-headed brother Johnny and the gruff pilot Ben Grimm. Exposed to cosmic rays, they developed super abilities that matched their personalities; Reed who was able to adapt to any situation became super-pliable, Sue who was invisible to Reed became invisible, Johnny’s fiery persona was made flesh as a human flame while Ben’s tough exterior became a nearly impenetrable rocky hide. Each team member took a new name with Ben moodily referring to himself as ‘The Thing.’

Of all four team members, I have a soft spot for the Thing. His tough guy attitude hides a soft interior and a big heart. He cares deeply for his team which is more of a family than anything else. However, his temper is so short he goes on a rampage at the slightest provocation. He’s a monster who is also a hero.

However, rather than just being a monster, Ben Grimm is a person too. He has pajamas. He likes to watch sports, drink beer, eat big sandwiches. He’s a regular guy… made of orange rocks.

This is the third live action version of the Thing and I have nothing but compassion for the special effects crew as the character is so cartoony. The 2005/07 version was criticized as looking too fake but… what should it look like? Is he made of actual rocks? The initial Kirby design looked more like dinosaur hide than rocks. Should they go in that direction? Since the new film by Josh Trank (of Chronicle fame) has a grim and realistic slant, the Thing should look realistic as well.

But look at the various ways in which Ben Grimm has appeared over the years below and tell me… what would you do?


On August 7th, The Fantastic Four movie will be released (in a summer that also brings Ant Man and Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron).
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The Fantastic Four (2015) trailer is here

fantastic-four-2015

Dubbed “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine,” the Fantastic Four is a unique blend of domestic drama/comedy, science fiction and self aware superheroics. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby blazed a trail in print of dynamic action and mind-blowing visuals along with strong characters delving into the unknown while trying to live under one roof without killing each other.

Of all the Marvel properties adapted for film, it should have been a runaway hit but both movies met with lackluster reception.

20th Century Fox has decided to relaunch the FF with Chronicle director Josh Trank and producer Mathew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class) Rarely has a superhero movie been met with so much indifference. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell star as Marvel’s first family in a reboot of the film franchise. The sequel is already green lit and a crossover with the X-Men is hopeful.

Hopefully the cinematic X-Men/FF meeting will go better

Maybe the cinematic X-Men/FF meeting will go better

Not a bad trailer at all and this will certainly get the interest of many on the fence (and who don’t immediately say ‘I don’t really like the Fantastic Four, but-‘ before offering their two cents), but it’s rather heavy for what has traditionally been a lighter comic book. Without having seen Chronicle (yes, I do need to see it), the intention of making the team more ‘contemporary’ seems to have been read as ‘Nolan-ise it.’ So, just as we got a no-fun Superman movie, this may be a no-fun FF flick.

That’s not knocking it. But… I have to ask why?

Official synopsis:
F4_TEASER_ONESHEET-720x1003Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centres on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

The Fantastic Four has an August 2015 release date.

The never seen (never made) Fantastic Four TV series

The Fantastic Four is possibly my favorite superhero comic book (alongside The Doom Patrol). Combining elements of pulp science fiction and horror with soap opera, the Fantastic Four explored the outer reaches of imagination and the deepest depths of the human adventure. Over the years, the FF have been adapted into animation and live action with… mixed results. But what if it were developed into a top notch TV serial in 1963? What would that have looked like?

With scripts by Theodore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison and more and featuring the voice of Orson Welles and pop icon Fabian as the Sub Mariner… this would have truly been a marvel of the television medium.

Starring Russell Johnson (of Gilligan’s Island fame) as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery as Susan Storm/ The Invisible Girl, veteran character actor William Demarest of My Three Sons as Ben Grimm/The Thing and teen heart-throb fellow My Three Sons star Tim Considine as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, the series was a hit… in another dimension in which it was filmed and screened.

The folks over at AuntPetunia.com have painstakingly crafted a most wonderful fantasy in which the beloved comic book of the 1960’s has been re-imagined for the small screen… and it’s perfection itself.

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This site is dedicated to celebrating the greatest TV show never seen, the 1963-64 version of The Fantastic Four. Although only a handful of people have ever seen anything other than a few screen shots and publicity stills from this series, it has become a minor legend in TV history, partly due to the confluence of talents who worked on it, some on their way down from former glory, others doing journeyman work before achieving future fame. But it’s also, in part, because, as fans of both comics and classic TV, we can’t help but believe this would have been one of the greatest television series ever aired. If, after reading about this show’s amazing history, cast, crew, and episodes, you don’t agree, it’s possible that you are a Skrull.

I won’t spoil any of the fine details but rather encourage readers to visit this site and drink deep from the cup of possibilities and become drunk with the fantasy.

The dark future of the Fantastic Four by Fraction and Allred

FFRoster_allred

The FF, the sister book to the Fantastic Four in which the Richards family venture into the unknown, features the ‘back-up team’ of Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Ms. Thing and Medusa defending the Earth and guarding the Future Foundation from harm. The series is graced by the signature art style of Madman, the Atomics and X-Statix superstar Michael Allred and looks to be gearing up for a big story line next year.

FF #3
MATT FRACTION (W)
Michael ALLRED (A/C)
Variant Cover by MICHAEL ALLRED
• The new FF take to the streets to celebrate 2013! How does the world respond?
• How do the kids of the Future Foundation feel about these new grown-ups running the show?
• And what does Scott Lang have in store for Doom? The war begins…
32 PGS./Rated T …$2.99

Marvel Now! FF#1

FF#1

ff_1_adamsvariantBy Matt Fraction, Mike Allred and Laura Allred

With the main family of the Fantastic Four heading off into unknown territory, Reed Richards makes the decision to build a replacement team… just in case things go wrong (as they often do). Turning first to Scott Lang (Ant Man II), he appeals to the fellow scientist’s brilliant mind and need for some outlet for his grief over his daughter’s death (which I missed, I must have blinked) and lead the new team in his stead.

Lang is a great character who has been kicking around the MU waiting for a purpose for some time now. A former lab assistant-turned crook to help his family, Lang has lots of potential. It’s nice to see that Fraction and the Allreds will be taking the opportunity to flesh out yet another big brain adventurer (personally, I like those guys).

Jaennifer Walters, the green She-Hulk (since we are now resorted to color coding Hulks) is an obvious choice and again I am more than happy to see her getting some attention. One of Marvel’s first high profile superheroines, She-Hulk is a fan favorite and both the John Byrne and Dan Slott-penned series of the past are dear to me. The inclusion of Walters in this book has lots of possibilities and given the flair of Allred and the ingenuity of Fraction, I think we’ll be seeing her put to good use.

The remaining two members of the team are head-scratchers. Queen of the Inhumans Medusa has been bopping around through several crossovers and events with plenty of development, yet that still leaves her presence in the team a mystery. Just why did she leave her entire population? To stop worrying about her husband who’s current status which will apparently be cleared up in Hickman’s New Avengers. Whatever. I still don’t get it.

But that leaves the biggest confusing member, Johny Storm’s girlfriend Darla Deering alias Ms. Thing. I have no idea who she is, why she is in a Thing suit (apparently in issue 2) or… anything. It’s not that a big deal, but it doesn’t help sell the comic book to anyone on the fence. The scene where Johnny tries to ‘tell her about that thing’ (see below)

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The big appeal of the book for me is the mixture of humor and humanity along with the pop-tastic art by Allred (whom I have followed since I first picked up Madman). Both of these facets come together to complement the other big attraction, the future foundation. This is a love/hate thing as the kids, mutants and Dragon Man are incredibly entertaining. Reed hopes that Lang will find some kind of happiness in taking care of them all.. and he may be right.

The only drawback (aside from the aforementioned confusion over Ms. Thing and Medusa even being in the book) is that so little happens in the first issue. I signed up for a year long subscription on the appeal of the creative team and possibilities… so both better come through.

Marvel Now! Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four #1

By Matt Fraction, Mark Bagley and Mark Farmer

The first family of comics, the Fantastic Four was the first big hit of Marvel Comics. The elastic genius Mister Fantastic, his wife the mistress of an unseen force the Invisible Woman, the eternally youthful and rebellious Human Torch and the monstrous Thing. Like most anyone in my generation I knew of the Fantastic Four through numerous cartoons and the like but really became a fan when I borrowed some issues off my brother (broke into his room) and read the John Byrne run. It blew my mind. I had read his work with Claremont on X-Men, but it seemed that the wheels came off for Byrne on the FF. Since then, I have been endlessly hopeful to see the series live up to its moniker ‘World’s Greatest Comic Magazine.’

There are many readers who are much more well-versed in the legacy of the Fantastic Four than I and are familiar with the fluctuating quality and different directions that the series has undergone. The group has been defined by its family status as well as the outlandish ideas and space opera meets fantasy plots. There have been many high watermarks over the years, but in my opinion the previous run by Jonathan Hickman redefined the comic. As such, I was nervous about a new creative team coming in, even when it is Matt Fraction who has made Iron Man, the Defenders, Hawkeye and more must-read titles.

The Marvel Now Fantastic Four is a fresh start that picks up from where the previous series dropped off. In Hickman’s Fantastic Four, Reed Richards’ father arrived from his journeys through space/time to help guide the family through a particularly tough patch. In the revamped title, there is a mixture of family bonding and holding secrets. Reed Richards has discovered that his genetically altered biology is decaying and he cannot fix the problem. Rather than tell his family about this, he announces a massive family trip into the unknown aboard a massive craft operating as a classroom for the Future Foundation. However, Reed’s son Franklin has dreamed of a nightmarish vision that he has also kept from the others. Leaving the Earth to the protection of a new FF (who will later premier in their own series), the family once more steps into the mysteries of space and time.

In the added AR material, Fraction is brimming with enthusiasm for what should be the coolest, most exciting and innovative comic on the stands. You can see his excitement in every panel as the team exhibits their trademark personalities while also making it feel fresh and new. I have to admit to not being excited by Mark Bagley’s artwork in the past, but pairing him with Mark Farmer brings out the strengths in Bagley’s pencils.

For a first issue, there is not too much to get worked up over, but I am very happy to see that Fraction’s Fantastic Four will be an extension of what has come before. The future looks very promising.

Marvel to 20th Century FOX ‘I’ll give you one Daredevil for all of the Fantastic Four’

No matter how much you may want it to be false, the 2005 Daredevil movie was a huge hit for 20th Century Fox (I kinda regard it as a guilty pleasure, but i have problems). The only major stumbling block in proceeding into a sequel was that Ben Affleck was not interested in donning the red leather duds again. 20th Century Fox has been working on revamping the character for the hot comic book movie market, but the movie has been in something of a development hell for ages. But the clock is ticking on the film rights and if the movie is not in the can soon, they will revert back to Marvel.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Marvel is reportedly offering Fox more time to make the DD flick in exchange for the Fantastic Four universe, including the Silver Surfer and Galactus. Could this be the beginning stages of a Fantastic Four reboot?

Or is horn-head on his way back to the House of Ideas (along with the recently re-acquired Punisher)?

All day similar outlets such as this one have been citing a Variety article that states with time running out for 20th Century Fox to retain the film rights for Dardevil, they literally have to start shooting the movie by 10/10/12 before the rights go back to Disney/Marvel Studios. However, their sources are saying that a deal may be struck between Fox chairman Tom Rothman and Marvel to extendDaredevil’s time at Fox beyond the cutoff date. Marvel is offering to give Fox an extension to get its Daredevil reboot in production in exchange for the rights to use characters from the Fantastic Four , including Galactus and the Silver Surfer, who would no doubt be included in future Marvel “Phase Two” movies. The article goes on to report, Fox is in discussions with Joe Carnahan to direct what’s been described as a “Frank Miller-esque, hardcore 70s thriller” take on blind Hell’s Kitchen superhero Matt Murdock — a vision that would deviate from Disney/Marvel’s family-friendly tone. Carnahan has yet to receive an official offer, though multiple sources tell Variety that he’s the choice.

While the exchange doesn’t seem like that far-fetched of an idea, consider this article from Deadline, it seems that Fox may just let Daredevil go back to Marvel:

Reports that Fox and Marvel Studios are going to do some horse-trading with its Fantastic Four franchise to keep Daredevil in the fold were being strenuously denied by studio insiders.

Those insiders said that with Josh Trank aboard to direct, Fantastic Four is a big priority and the studio would be crazy to give away a cornerstone villain. Especially when the studio is very lukewarm about rebooting Daredevil, which focuses on blind lawyer Matt Murdock and his emergence as a crime fighter powered by heightened sensory perception. While Joe Carnahan has come to the studio with a take, it sounds like Fox is ready to let it revert to Disney-owned Marvel, unless Disney is interested in co-financing. That is what the current talks are really about, insiders said.

I believe the latter article is a little more plausible.

via comics-x-aminer

Fantastic Four re-boot on its way from Chronicle director Josh Trank

The first family of comics, the Fantastic Four was born out of Stan Lee’s frustration as a writer and the steady decline of sales on the science fiction and monster books peddled at street corners by his publisher. Lee’s wife suggested that since things were going down fast anyway, why not write a comic the way he always wanted to? He had nothing to lose, after all.

Despite the superhero boom of the 1940’s, the genre had fallen out of vogue, supplanted by talking animals and humorous titles starring Dobie Gillis and Jerry Lewis. This was largely due in part to the witch hunt started by Fredric Wertham who pinned the degradation of youth to comic books. It hit the medium hard and the Comics Code Authority limited the creativity of the artists and writers. That is, until what is regarded as the Silver Age of comics exploded. In DC Comics, this was reflected by the relaunch of the Flash, across the street at what would become Marvel Comics, it was the arrival of the Fantastic Four.

Dubbed as ‘heroes with problems’ the FF struggled with the bills, finding a parking spot and escaping the press while battling world-threatening entities. It’s common practice now, but at the time the standard practice was to portray superheroes as lantern-jawed do-gooders without a sliver of personality. In sharp contrast, the Marvel superheroes were all personality!

A mixture of science fantasy and superheroics, the Fantastic Four were explorers of the strange and wonderful, themselves transformed into freaks by weird cosmic rays. The unique quality that remains a hallmark of the FF is that they are a family. They argue and disagree, but there is a bond that cannot be broken within the team that makes them special. Artist/writer Jack Kirby is also a large part of the success of the Fantastic Four as his signature style left an indelible mark on comics. The collaboration of Lee and Kirby on the FF is legendary and shaped the future of modern comic books for generations.

Throughout the many years, there have been several different creative teams on the Fantastic Four and different lineups as well (my personal favorites include the John Byrne run and the current Jonathan Hickman series). There have also been cartoons and a pair of motion pictures (unless you count the Roger Corman one and that makes three).

Unlike most, I hardly damn the two Fantastic Four movies as awful, they are lacking some superb quality that should have been evident on screen. Seriously, these movies should have had all the impact of The Avengers and the end result felt thrown together in places, mostly in the portrayal of Doctor Doom. However, the family dynamic, hokey humor and action were well displayed and Michael Chiklis as the Thing was inspired while future Captain America Chris Evans as Johnny Storm nearly stole the show. However, Jessica Alba and Ioan Gruffudd had zero chemistry as Sue Storm and Reed Richards and that’s inexcusable.

Since the Avengers is the third highest grissing movie in the history of film… 20th Century Fox want to give it another try. As Chris Evans stated after the second FF, the films were not major hits but it showed audiences and the studio that such a movie could be done.

Maybe third time is the charm?

‘Chronicle’ director picked for ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot
Via Movies MSN.com

July 12, 2012, 11:15 AM EST
By Brent Lang
TheWrap
Twentieth Century Fox has tapped Josh Trank to spruce up its “Fantastic Four” franchise, a studio spokeswoman told TheWrap.

2004’s “Fantastic Four” (©Twentieth Century Fox)
The 28-year-old director made a big splash last spring with his low-budget feature “Chronicle,” a found-footage film that tracked three high school students with telekinetic abilities.

Made for a mere $12 million (roughly the cost of the bagel and cream cheese budget on “Rise of the Silver Surfer”), “Chronicle” racked up strong critical reviews and $126.6 million at the worldwide box office.

It appears that Fox is taking a page from Warner Bros. and Sony’s strategies for Spider-Man and Batman, by taking an up-and-coming director without a lot of big-budget experience and allowing him to find the heart in a comic book franchise. The first two “Fantastic Four” movies were financially successful, earning over $600 million globally, but the consensus among many fans and critics was that they were loud and dumb.

The Fantastic Four are a superpowered family who routinely save the world but also have to grapple with infighting and jealousy. Now it’s up to Trank to discover the spark that makes them sizzle.