Comics Creators

Casting Fantastic Four and The X-Men in the MCU


I thought it was smart the way they shuffled the powers to reflect certain ideas about the Parr family and their characterisations - the idea of the mother feeling stretched and pulled in different directions, the father feeling like he had to be strong to support the family, the teenager lacking confidence and wanting to be invisible, and the can’t-stay-still young lad. As well as the baby representing the idea of potential and infinite possibilities.

The FF do that kind of thing too, in their own way, but I thought it worked particularly well in Incredibles.


That’s why the FF should avoid the Incredibles like the plague. Marvel don’t need to be restricted to having powers defined against personality traits. It was a clever gimmick for the Incredibles, but it’s a writing burden. Reed shouldn’t stretch because he has a active mind or something, Sue shouldn’t be invisible because she’s meek. Johnny shouldn’t be on fire because he’s a hot head. That’s all crap. You don’t have that limitation with any other characters.

The FF simply get elemental powers, fire, earth, air and water. That’s how you define their abilities and it has nothing to do with who they are as people. You give the actors the ability to make the characters their own in the same way all the other CU actors have had room to develop their characters. It’s what separates Marvel from DC.

This conversation though is interesting, it speaks to the difficulty studios have had making this property work.


I’m not sure there’s such a risk of people comparing the two extremely closely. The FF is a more mature family unit (until you introduce the kids, anyway) that I think is sufficiently different to be able to explore other ideas and be pitched slightly older than Incredibles.

And even if there is a connection there for the audience, Incredibles is a good thing to be compared to, like Johnny says. Marvel have benefited in the past from similar comparisons - like Guardians being sold as ‘Marvel’s Star Wars’ - so if they can use Incredibles as shorthand to let people know to expect a movie about a superhero family, I don’t think it will necessarily do any harm.

I think as comics fans we’re much more aware of (and sensitive to) the comparison than general audiences.


Still, that ignores the basic nature of Marvel comics. Their powers reflect who they are far more than any other superhero team. Especially true of the Fantastic Four compared to the X-men or Spider-Man even. If you ignore that, then you’re not really adapting the Fantastic Four.

Very true. Audiences don’t care if movies look like each other. They just want good movies. Hell, it’s hard to tell Star Trek from Guardians from Star Wars anymore.


Only true of the Fantastic Four. And only done by writers trying to be too clever. It’s a creative corner that shouldn’t have ever been approved.

“Not as good as the Incredibles” is the critics review Disney wants to avoid like the plague. And on top of that they want different merchandising and different toys. They’ll have Incredibles toys on the shelves, they don’t want FF toys there too. Two action figures with stretching powers, two partly invisible female figures. Marvel have kept every character unique - Gamora isn’t like Black Widow even though they seem to have similar powers.

Guardians was barely Star Wars. It’s set in space was the only comparison. The comparison was more about the market opportunity - sell spaceships and alien toys. There’s no overlap at all between Guardians and Star Wars. Quill ain’t Han Solo, Groot ain’t Chewy, Rocket ain’t Yoda.


Hmmm, this is maybe a case of remembering things differently.

I think it’s certainly true that marketing sought to play down the connection - you don’t want to be suggesting that your movie is just apeing another, more successful franchise.

But I think audiences and commentators ignored that and recognised the comparison pretty strongly anyway.

Either way, the point is that these comparisons and points of similarity didn’t hurt Guardians, they helped it. Increasingly it feels like audiences want to know exactly what they’re getting with a movie, so shorthand like ‘it’s Star Wars as a superhero movie’ - while reductive and not necessarily completely accurate - can still be a helpful thing.


Found this Googling “Fantastic Four MCU fancast”:


Why would anyone cast Sam Worthington in any role ever?



It’s true of The Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and the X-Men. All of them have powers that represent their inner conflicts. It’s an element that’s been with the Fantastic Four from its inception.

I don’t see how anyone could like the Fantastic Four if they don’t like that element of it.

In fact, both Star Wars and Star Trek ended up trying to be more like Guardians… and like Marvel movies in general.


How’s sticking to walls and firing webs related to Peter Parker’s personality? The abused as a child Banner was added to the Hulk mythos by Peter David 30 years after his creation. Cyclops eye beams or Bobby’s Ice powers or Hanks beastal frame don’t reflect their inner personality. Magneto doesn’t have a magnetic personality. I just don’t see it.

I’ve kind of wondered if Guardians didn’t hurt Star Wars. Theirs is a universe full of wonder and joy and crazy aliens and situations and most of all fun. Star Wars is grim and miserable and full of suffering with prolonged silences. Kylo Ren kills his father and it’s a miserable horrible moment. Peter Quill shoots his Dad and he shrugs it off and asks for a hug. It makes me wonder if in this current market people don’t want grimdank Star Wars and have seen something different in a more joyful Guardians/Ragranok universe.


Earth X tried to retroactively do the whole powers=personality thing for everyone. A lot of them were stretches.



Opens with ‘we can’t have Wolverine, Magneto, Magneto, Beast or Jean Grey’, then starts the story pitch with Dazzler as the main protagonist. That’s some deep thinking.


[quote=“Jim, post:284, topic:10772”]
That’s why the FF should avoid the Incredibles like the plague. Marvel don’t need to be restricted to having powers defined against personality traits.[/quote]

I’m with you on this. I don’t recall much about the last FF movie, other than audiences hated it but I don’t recall comparisons to the Incredibles. Could be because the original Incredibles movie was over ten years before the last FF movie.


Trouble is there’s a new Incredibles coming soon, and every internet asshole is going to preach that this is how you should do the Fantastic Four - when it’s not. The Incredibles isn’t about science, they’re not explorers, they’re not leading mankind, they’re not protecting mankind, they barely leave the city the live in, they live in suburbia rather than the Baxter building. They invent nothing - they even can’t make their own costumes.

The FF can inspire people in science in the same way Black Panther captured a cultural moment. They can do what NASA did. They have not just the universe to play with, they have other dimensions and realities. They can go anywhere, do anything, face anything. The Incredibles fight bad 50’s-ish villains with paper thin motives. White guys in spandex.


I have to stand up for Feige here, I’ve listened to a few interviews now where he’s been extremely humble, yet the first time he was asked to participate with notes was on X-Men as it came to fruition. Producers came to him again and again because he was good at translating Superhero ideas to film - from a production stand-point - something that had clearly been difficult for a lot of producers up until X-Men and even now. He got the job as he was the go to guy for this stuff, it was earned. His job is to produce movies that make money out of the best Marvel comics has to offer and he has excelled at that.

Any creator worth their salt knows that having someone with a strong idea of the realities of how stories work for audiences is an absolute godsend to have around. Yes, he hasn’t written or even directed anything, but he has given space to and sheparded creative minds and talent in a sucessful way both financially and creatively, consistantly, and as a writer I can really see the worth in that. Bridging the gap between the money and the talent is no mean feat - it’s lauded in music - look at Jerry Levigne or Alan McGee.


How would they do that, though? Black Panther had a huge wave of minority voices and calls for diversity in the country on its side before it even came out. People cared about seeing an African leading man being the hero who is not an urban tough guy from the streets.

Fantastic Four is about family. In fact, if anything, science is the problem in Fantastic Four just like technology today is the source of problems for a lot of relationships. Reed’s experiments are essentially the indiscretions of his life. They are what he gives his attention to when he supposed to be a husband and friend.


The only Pixar movie I kinda like is Toy Story 2. I couldn’t get through the Incredibles. (And from what I read about it the villain was kinda the god guy.)


He was a jerk, but it is true in a sense. His essential nature did call into question the importance of “special” people.

In this regard, I’d be much more concerned if Fantastic Four turned out more like TOMORROWLAND than THE INCREDIBLES.