Fox tried three times. None of those Fantastic Four movies worked. Where did Fox go wrong with Fantastic Four? And how should the MCU fix it?
The Deal That Gave Fox Studios Movie Rights To Fantastic Four Was Itself Flawed
Marvel comics was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time when they sold off the rights to Marvel’s first family to Fox. Daredevil and the X-Men were bought off by the studio as well. The fine prints of the deal entails that if Fox does not make a movie on said Marvel properties within seven years, then the movie rights revert back to Marvel. After the success of Avengers, Fox knew it was sitting on gold because mere B-Lister superheroes back then were raking in huge money for Disney. Disney offered Fox to keep Daredevil in exchange for Fantastic Four because they needed Silver Surfer and Galactus. Fox refused. Make no mistake – the new X-Men movies and 2015’s Fantastic Four were rushed into production. That is why they looked so naked in the theaters. There was zero plot covering those movies.
The MCU now owns the rights to Fantastic Four after the Disney-Fox merger. This issue of rushing a movie into theaters to keep the movie rights won’t bother Fantastic Four again.
Lackluster Action Sequences
No matter which Fantastic Four movie you are thinking about, you have to admit this is right. No action sequence in any of those F4 movies are that memorable. Compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that struck gold with high value CGI sequences like in Iron Man and The Avengers, the action scenes in Fantastic Four fizzle out.
Marvel Studios now has the budget and the resources to hire and house the world’s best animators and CGI specialists. That Mouse House money will come in handy. That formula does work. Story and characters are secondary. To really make a superhero movie work, you need to increase the CGI effort. Marvel has that in plenty.
Not once but thrice they wronged the Latverian Dictator. In the comics, Doctor Doom is a literal force of nature. His mastery of magic and science makes him a foe even the Avengers have a tough time dealing. Doctor Doom, in the Fox Studios’ Fantastic Four films, is reduced to a crazed billionaire and madman. In the 2015 film, they were originally planning to make him a super-obsessed internet troll. The fact that they cannot get this one character right after spending millions on three different films shows that something is wrong.
Victor Von Doom’s character could easily be nailed because it is Marvel’s very own turf. They have learned from early mistakes and figured out that good villains need time and patience to be introduced. It’s a slow but effective process, just like they did with Thanos. Doom needs the same treatment.
No Central Character
This may be a bit controversial a statement but a Fantastic Four movie need not have enough screen time for all the four members. Marvel succeeded where Fox failed in their superhero films because they understood that. In The Avengers, Iron Man was more or less the character the plot was mildly centred around. Fox tried to shine the spotlight on all the four members. While it was the morally right thing to do, from a practical perspective, the screenplay becomes a nightmare.
Like the Avengers movies, Fantastic Four too need a central character. MCU could rope in a good actor to play Reed Richards and we are game.
Fantastic Four Fight The Same Villain Over & Over Again In Movies
In the three movies, all fans know is that there are two Fantastic Four supervillains – Galactus and Doom. It is time the audience sees an unknown and unfamiliar face. Mole Man, the Super Skrull, or even Annihilus would make for a fresh start.
The MCU may already have a solution. Kang the Conqueror is a well-known F4 villain. We can start there. Namor, who is reportedly coming in Black Panther 2, has also fought the Fantastic Four at times.