Comics Creators

How would you fix the Fantastic Four?


We’ve had plenty of discussion and now we have a movie that didn’t quite work out. No doubt many conversations are going on behind the scenes about the consequences of this weekends box office, some perhaps involving the chief himself.

So if you received a phone call from Fox Studios and they asked ‘what should we do?’ what would you suggest?

And if you go with the ‘sell it to Marvel’ option then assume they call you and ask ‘what should we do?’ as well.

Are the Fantastic Four fixable or are they tainted?


All purpose Marvel Plan.
Step 1 Add Wolverine/Deadpool.
Step 2 ???
Step 3 Profit


I think I answered “what I would do with an FF flick” in the other thread, or close enough.

That said, the property is done. We’ve had four flicks counting the early one and the franchise is a laughing stock saddled with a corny name. Just like Green Lantern, basically.

They should have called me 5 years ago.


Go along with the proposed Singer sequel. Don’t let the studio interfere.
Use Mole Man or Namor as the villain. Can they use Namor? Who has those rights?

Maybe they should get Chris Evans and do the “Original Human Torch” story. :laughing:


But Seriously. I think you need to come into the movie with a fully fledged F4. Do the Origins in the credits.
And use a Villain other than DOOM.

I think With Namor you could do some interesting commentary on Pollution of the seas. To give him his usual motivation of being as ass hat to the F4.
Plus New York needs more Giant Monsters and Wave attacks on movies


Namor is owned by Universal, rather randomly, although Marvel is allowed to use him.


This has been doing the rounds for ages and seems to have been updated:

So that’ll be a “NO” regarding Namor.


The Punisher has had three movie attempted before being relegated to a TV property. Maybe the same needs to be done with the Fantastic Four (a three / four hour long episode mini series) Problem is a TV series would need a decent amount of money thrown at it and I don’t think anyone studio would be willing to do that.


The way to “fix” it at this point is to rebrand it as Future Foundation as basically make it Harry Potter for superheroes.

Pick a handful of whiz kids and follow them to the academy, where the Fantastic Four is already there. Audiences will never think the Fantastic Four is cool again as a standalone property. But you can show audiences how cool they are if you have them doing REALLY cool stuff, and show it through the eyes of kids (as supporting cast members in a bigger story).

From there it’s science based, exploration based, about making the world a better place and fighting whatever bad guys and monsters turn up.

And for god’s sake, ditch the sad sack, angry, emo Thing. Make him the Ever-Loving, Blue Eyed Thing. That’s who we all want to see. Make him a funny, kickass rock monster that every kid would want as an uncle, this shouldn’t be so complicated.

I love the tragic Thing in the early comics…but that aspect of the character has never totally worked, in movies OR in comics, without Jack Kirby.


This is exactly what I think too. I think this probably has to be done within Marvel, but the FF and the foundation are a better path for Marvel to have their own X-Men rather than forcing the Inhumans. Personally if Marvel can get the FF back they should shelve the Inhumans and introduce them as part of a FF movie, post Thanos.

Reed should be off the radar of the Marvel Universe, the Baxter Building seeming to be a scientific think tank that doesn’t actually produce anything (because Reed keeps everything secret). In reality the FF have been Earth’s defenders for the past 15 years, protecting against attacks from other realities and having explored a significant portion of both the time stream, the negative zone and the universe in general. The kids Franklin and Valeria are the real opportunity within the brand, and I’d have some new kids arrive who just were put in contact with some aliens or something and so Reed and Sue reach out to them to help. Probably the Power Pack kids or something. Doom should be Voldemort, an incredibly powerful scientist who took over a different reality of Earth and now threatens this one. Things like the councils or Reed, the solve everything formula, the Galactus engine - all this should be part of the FF.

When Thanos attacks in Infinity War I’d hint at the FF in some way but save the reveal until the post credits.


One way to make the FF immediately look like badasses if to have them be people that Thanos is already aware of and holds in high regard as a real threat to his plans.


How would I fix it?

Make the next movie - but do it way lower scale like this one wanted to be.
Don’t try to force in a big blockbuster ending that won’t work this time.
Focus more on the team’s dynamics within themselves.

Make us care.


Start with the characters actually having a relationship with each other. We don’t need to meet them and then see them meet each other. Remember the X-MEN? Did we have to see the whole damn team assembled? Did we have to meet Logan as a boy?

Just start with them together. Second, they are essentially Challengers of the Unknown. Just keep it close to the comics and send them on adventures.


This won’t happen, and if it did it wouldn’t make a dime, but I’d like to see a version of Roberto Aguirre Sacasa’s “4” series; start with the FF already established as mega celebrities/heroes, and slowly take it all away from them.


First, they’d be signing some non-disclosure agreements and such. Then, they do not get a pitch. They have had pitches. What Fox gets for the FF at this point is “You need to fund this, then keep your little paws right off! Corporated decisions have sunk this project before. We shall attempt a monarchy.”

Which is exactly what my script would provide. Some calls to other related Fox properties managers / showrunners and let’s knock up some scaffolding to surround the initial excavation. No origin story. No Annihilus. One hell of a story, contemporary and important to audiences with lots of action and lots of family interactions!

And buy Ben some damned PANTS!

Guess I’d have to be Executive Producer / Writer on a reboot. I’d take general elements as existing back story; Doom’s a bad guy, he’s away in Latveria studying sorcery; the Silver Surfer checked in, that was not Galactus but a Galactus clone, testing the Surfer’s loyalty - Norrin Radd is now off searching for the original Galactus.

This film opens with the attack of and defeat of the Mole Man and his subterranean minions. (Ah, yes, we would have some fun with “minions”.) From the aftermath the Big Bad is exposed, the Shadow Government of the United States. There’s a lot of chasing around, as four or pairs or individuals, and lots of conversations-during-a-fight complete with quips that define and advance the plot. Of course, we can’t fight a Shadow Government, so we have to have the F4 fight an avatar - the Sentry. Good luck with that! Then we have a bit over an hour to tell the whole story.

If anyone shows me an “effect” when Reed’s arm stretches out but it’s just the arm of the suit he’s wearing stretching out but not looking at all stretched and the cuff and cuff links remaining in the exact same position; that person gets canned on the spot. Effects (except explosions) must be subtle.

Throw me in with the sharks, if you’d like. I travel with a school of dolphins! :dolphin:


Yeah, but I think that would’ve been better with an original “family” of superheroes rather than the FF. Something like Noble Causes or The Incredibles where the world of the characters is FF like but not weighed down by the baggage of Marvel.


Honestly, the T1000 in Terminator 2 had better stretching effects than any of the FF films this century.


Most of all, I think it needs to be fantastic. So go with the outrageous concepts and villains, the out-there adventures, the weird and colourful visuals. Make it live up to the name, and don’t feel beholden to the trends of grimness and realism that suit some comics characters but not others.

I love the idea of the rumoured Michael Chabon script: we’re quickly introduced to a classic Silver Age-type take on the team, which lives in an optimistic, colourful world where Reed’s advances in technology have made life better for everyone in general. However, a new dimension-hopping technology reveals a dystopian world in which everything is going wrong - the twist being, of course, that this is our world. Which the FF set out to fix.

Or maybe go with another idea that’s done the rounds for a while and have the FF as 1960s celebrity superheroes. We haven’t had many period superhero pieces, and I think tying it to that era would enable it to capture the optimistic space-bound spirit of the early comics. You could even retcon it into MCU history if necessary.


I think a way you could make it work is to position them as a sort of “anti-SHIELD”. Reed could be a contemporary of Howard Stark and Hank Pym, who thought that simply cataloging, weaponizing and hiding the fantastic as SHIELD does was the wrong approach. He assembled a team to explore a newly discovered Negative Zone (or even just a deep space mission), but was thought to be lost. They reappear in the wake of the Infinity War, after the credits, warning of an even bigger threat coming - Galactus. That would shift the focus of the Marvel Universe from the Avengers to the FF - with films built around the Thing, Silver Surfer, etc. FF 1, 2, and 3 would center around Doom, Kang, and then Galactus.

And you could dodge replicating Cap’s “Man out of Time” bit by establishing that they’re so used to Reed’s advanced technology that the modern world simply seems old fashioned to them.


Play it as an adventure movie. Have the four of them go somewhere fantastic, meet fantastic people, some of whom are fantastically dangerous, then have a fantastic set of problems, conflicts, hairsbreadth escapes and finally the team/family pulls together and wins!

More specifically, don’t $%^& with anything for the sake of it. Reed is a supergenius, Sue is his anchor, Johnny is a hothead and Ben is the one pointing out how crazy everything is and hitting stuff.

It’s closest comparison is probably Star Trek. It needs to boldly go.