Sci-Fi Storm

Tag: fantastic four

The universe shakes as Disney acquires parts of Fox

by on Dec.16, 2017, under Movies, Television

You may have heard about this tiny little deal in the entertainment world…Disney has agreed to purchase assets from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Studios, in a deal worth over $54 billion! Disney gets all of the film and television assets except the broadcast network (they already own ABC), sports and news divisions, which will be retained by Fox. Although this doesn’t include the broadcast network, it seems to leave the network without a TV production studio as a sibling, which the other major networks have.

Disney will also get the rights to all the upcoming Avatar movies, which isn’t surprising since the Mouse House has already incorporated the franchise into its Animal Kingdom theme park.

But one of the biggest ramifications everyone has been talking about is what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fox has owned the rights to the X-Men for some time, which as a result has left the X-Men out of the MCU, even for cameos. In fact, we ended up with two different versions of Quicksilver. In fact, both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch where at the center of a battle between the two studios – Fox claimed they were part of the X-Men universe, while Disney wanted to use them in the Avengers. The studios came to an agreement to allow both to use the characters, so long as neither mentioned the other in either way. Fox never used Scarlet Witch, but Quicksilver first appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and then in his MCU version in Avengers: Age of Ultron alongside Scarlet Witch.

Now with the acquisition, that line gets blurred and the X-Men could easily be included in the MCU going forward, if so desired. In fact, Hugh Jackman, who said he was retiring from playing Wolverine after Logan, left the door open if he could appear in an Avengers movie. So maybe Wolverine isn’t quite done yet.

Another Marvel rights property related to the acquisition is the Fantastic Four, but the rights issues are a little murkier. Fox did not own them outright but rather were in a partnership with the original optioner, Constantin Films. The rights and productions have an interesting history on its own, but rather than regurgitate it here Screen Rant has an excellent write-up. So the status of that property is perhaps less clear, although Disney mentioned them in their press release:

Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

So Disney at least believes they are back in the fold.

Oh, and what of Deadpool, the R-rated superhero? Disney isn’t known for going after the R-rated audience, but Deadpool broke all the rules and was a massive success. Well, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned that specifically while addressing shareholders: “[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”

So there you have it. It might be a while before we see the rewards on screen, but I think I can hear the gears of MCU master Kevin Feige’s brain turning now…

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Did Fantastic Four director throw film under the bus?

by on Aug.07, 2015, under Movies

It appears that Fantastic Four director Josh Trank yesterday tweeted about the movie he wanted to make, which he later deleted. “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this,” he said. “And it would have received great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.”

Fantastic Four has not been receiving good reviews, and we here didn’t have high hopes for the movie – many saw it as a “sequel for rights”, produced so that Fox could retain the movie rights to the Fantastic Four rather than let them lapse and revert to Marvel Studios. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to produce a good movie. Without naming names, it appears that Trank at least blames someone else for the resulting film, and that would usually be the producers/studio. Rumors of troubles on the set came about, and Trank had previously been attached to a Star Wars anthology film, both being produced by Simon Kinberg, but Trank left that production. It seems the friction with that kept the embers burning on Fantastic Four as well, where Kinberg was reportedly less than thrilled with the results.

The troubles may dog the film at the box office as well. While the film appeared to be tracking highly, it managed only $2.2M in early release so far.

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Trank out of the director’s chair for second Star Wars Anthology film

by on May.01, 2015, under Movies

About 11 months later, the marriage between director Josh Trank and the Star Wars universe is over.

“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path,” Trank said via a press release on “I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities. That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn’t be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity to have been a part of this. May the Force be with you all.”

Although this sounds like the typical “amicable” split, Rebel spies tell is otherwise. Trank was the director for the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot for Fox, which was produced by Simon Kinberg, who is also working at various levels in the upcoming Star Wars films and reportedly as a producer on Trank’s film, and was less than thrilled with Trank on the Fantastic Four film (which some circles believe was made just to stop the rights reverting back to Marvel). In addition, Trank was a no-show at Star Wars Celebration, having what he tweeted was the “worst flu of my life,” but rumors were that he was already on the way out and Disney asked him not to come.

So it remains to be seen who will take the center seat for this movie which is still in development, but if the current environment towards production dates holds, it should not delay the expected 2018 release date.

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Fantastic Four helmer Trank to take on Star Wars standalone

by on Jun.04, 2014, under Movies

Not long after Lucasfilm announced the director of the first of at least two standalone Star Wars. films, they’ve already announced another: Josh Trank, who debuted to acclaim with Chronicle and is currently helming Fox’s reboot of The Fantastic Four.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Josh into the family,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”

“The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood,” Trank stated. “The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”

Of course, like last time no details on a plot (the rumored ones center around Han Solo and Boba Fett), but in addition no potential release date was mentioned. From earlier announcements, I’d expect 2018 though, with 2017 slotted for Episode VIII.

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