Fox Calls “Do-Over” on Fantastic Four

Honestly, as much as Hitler might bitch and moan, no one really knows how the Disney buy-out will affect Marvel — its comics or its movies. Except for the Fantastic Four franchise, as Fox announced yesterday that it would immediately try to relaunch the film franchise, almost certainly to keep its rights from reverting back to the Giant Mouse. From Variety:

While Disney lays down a $4 billion bet on the future of Marvel’s superheroes, 20th Century Fox has already begun overhauling one of its big Marvel franchises, “Fantastic Four,” to take the property beyond the two films already made.
Akiva Goldsman has been hired to oversee the reboot as producer. Michael Green, the coexec producer of TV‘s “Heroes” who co-wrote “Green Lantern,” will write the script for the new “Fantastic Four.”

Fox wouldn’t comment on its plans, but the moves are evidence that Marvel franchises do have enduring lifespans.

As “Spider-Man 4” moves toward an early 2010 production start, Columbia Pictures recently hired James Vanderbilt
to write a fifth and sixth installment with the understanding that one
or both of those films would give the franchise a makeover with a new
director and cast (Daily Variety, Aug. 16). …

Though Marvel Entertainment owns and finances properties like “Iron Man” and “Thor,”
Fox controls “Fantastic Four” in perpetuity — as long as it continues
making the films. Fox has the same arrangement on Marvel Comics
properties “X-Men,” “Daredevil” and “Silver Surfer.” Marvel is a producer and financial participant through a licensing agreement.

Huh. First of all, it’s good to know that Fox is concerned enough with creating a quality product that they’ve hired a co-producer on Heroes to create the script. Second, I guess the question is if Fox will continue to keep making shitty Marvel movies just to keep the rights — and it’s not like these things have lost money, including the spectacularly crappy Wolverine — so that Disney has to buy them back, possibly before the franchise is totally destroyed. Or maybe eventually the movies will start tanking and Fox will stop of its own accord. I’m going to bet on the former, though.