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[UPDATED] Rumor: Marvel Regains FANTASTIC FOUR Rights from Fox

Update: 20th Century Fox has confirmed to that the film rights to Fantastic Four remain with the studio despite the rumors.

After a dismal reboot earlier this summer, the Fantastic Four seem to be trapped in the Negative Zone as Fox scrambles to figure out the future of one of its flailing flagship Marvel franchises. According to a new rumor from Den of Geek, however, it seems that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Marvel’s first family. As part of yesterday’s deal between Fox and Marvel to create two X-Men television showsHellfire and Legion, Marvel reportedly received the film rights to Fantastic Four, allowing the superhero team to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The deal also reportedly grants Marvel the rights to popular Fantastic Four foes like Silver Surfer, Galactus, and Doctor Doom.

The timing of this news is auspicious, coming one week after a newly revamped Phase Three slate, as well as rumors of turmoil at Marvel Studios over the future of the Inhumans movie. With Bryan Singer’s tenure over the X-Men franchise coming to a close in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as the impending departure of series stars like Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy, it’s natural that Fox would be looking to figure out how to maximize its Marvel holdings going forward. But what about Marvel Studios? As it stands now, here is the Marvel Cinematic Universe film slate over the next 5 years:

  • “Captain America: Civil War” – May 6, 2016
  • “Doctor Strange” – November 4, 2016
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” – May 5, 2017
  • Untitled Spider-Man Movie – July 28, 2017
  • “Thor: Ragnarok” – November 3, 2017
  • “Black Panther” – February 16, 2018
  • “The Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1” – May 4, 2018
  • “Ant-Man and the Wasp” – July 6, 2018
  • “Captain Marvel” – March 8, 2019
  • “The Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2” – May 3, 2019
  • “Inhumans” – July 12, 2019.
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – May 1, 2020
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – July 10, 2020
  • Untitled Marvel Studios Movie – November 6, 2020

Note those three as-yet untitled films coming in 2020. According to the report, one of those is likely going to be a Fantastic Four film, which will hopefully allow enough time to pass for people to get the bad taste of Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four out of their mouths. The report also indicates that the inclusion of rights to characters like Silver Surfer and Galactus means that these cosmic characters could show up in other Marvel properties similar to the nature of Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man deal.

So, will Chris Evans be pulling double duty as the Human Torch and Captain America? Not so fast. Like all Marvel-related rumors, it’s probably best that you take this one with a Galactus-sized grain of salt. The notion that Fox would trade Marvel the film rights to Fantastic Four so they could bring X-Men to television seems patently insane. They were burned once before when Marvel reinvented Daredevil as a smash hit on Netflix, so it seems highly unlikely that they would cut themselves out of potential profits where lucrative Marvel properties are concerned.

As Collider’s Steve Weintraub indicated on Twitter, the rumor doesn’t seem to check out with his sources either:

And Birth.Movies.Death’s Devin Faraci raised another extremely valid financial point:

But honestly, Locke and Key writer Joe Hill said what we’re all really thinking:

So, while it would be nice to see the Fantastic Four (and the X-Men) join the ranks of the MCU proper, it probably won’t happen. Especially not when there’s money to be made and reboots to be rebooted. Until then, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope that someday we’ll finally get searing Mole Man saga we deserve.

Images: Marvel

HT: Den of Geek

Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).

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