Way back in 2009, Fox announced that they would be rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise. ComingSoon (via Variety) now reports that Chronicle director Josh Trank is in consideration for taking over the new chapter.
There is a fair bit of buzz around Trank’s debut, in cinemas next month, and if this story holds true, then it is indicative that Fox has a fair bit of confidence in the material. Of course, the box office reception of Chronicle will have a lot to do with the future of this idea.
Often called “Marvel’s First Family”, the characters were the creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961, partly in response to DC’s bestselling Justice League of America, and their respective success heralded a new (“Silver”) age of comics. In its wake, many of the same creators at Marvel would create Spider-man, the X-Men and Hulk.
Fox has previously released two Fantastic Four films, 2005’s Fantastic Four and the ill-received Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007). There was also a 1994 low-budget version that was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Oley Sassone, but never released.
Although Marvel is a producer and financial participant, Fox retains the rights to the characters so long as they keep making films. Fans may know that this is partly the reason Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four was made, simply so that they could secure the copyright in the property!
While we think it is terrific Fox is having another go at the Fantastic Four, with the definitive screen version still elusive, it takes us one step away from Marvel Studios getting back the rights and somehow weaving the team into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will culminate this year with The Avengers. Perhaps Fox can create its own side-world with the X-Men, Daredevil and…erm…Elektra?