Marvel Studios’ upcoming Fantastic Four movie should be a Disney+ series instead of a film as Marvel’s First Family finally joins the MCU.
The Fantastic Four are officially getting their debut MCU film, but Marvel Studios should have done it as a television series for Disney+. Walt Disney Studios acquiring 20th Century Fox was a big deal, as the studio held the film rights for both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Both those properties have had their cinematic presence for the last two decades (with some doing better than others). Now the X-Men and Fantastic Four are finally back with Marvel Studios right as they move forward from the conclusion of the Infinity Saga. While Phase 4 has yet to officially begin, Marvel Studios is definitely pursuing bringing at least one of those teams into the MCU.
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After teasing that they were on their way to the MCU at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, it took over a year to get some clarity on what’s happening. Towards the end of Disney’s 2020 Investors Day, Feige revealed Jon Watts, director of MCU’s Spider-Man franchise, will officially helm the Fantastic Four movie for Marvel Studios. There’s no other talent attached or a release date yet but Marvel’s First Family will finally be getting the MCU treatment in the near future.
It would make sense for it to be one of the first films of Marvel’s Phase 5 since the current slate for Phase 4 is pretty full already. However, as big as the First Family is for the Marvel brand, Disney should have taken a different approach with the Fantastic Four. With a solid platform like Disney+, Marvel Studios should have considered making a series for them rather than try another film adaptation. It’s not about the Fantastic Four not being good enough for cinema because they absolutely are. But it’s more about what that franchise comes with and why a series that is longer than 2 hours might be more beneficial as they join the MCU permanently.
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There Have Already Been Two Fantastic Four Movie Franchises
Before Disney acquired Fox, the studio tried to tackle the Fantastic Four and X-Men properties in multiple different ways cinematically. The X-Men got their start in 2000 with a total of 13 films in the X-Men universe, running the gamut in terms of quality. The Fantastic Four films came in two different franchises, the first of which came from director Tim Story and were met with a mixed reception. While the first one that was released in 2005 did better than its sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it wasn’t enough for Fox as they attempted to reboot the franchise.
Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four film was no better as it became one of the most problematic superhero films in history. The project attempted a younger take on the First Family, inspired by Marvel Ultimates versions. However, the project had several studio interferences that caused a lot of clashes between Trank and 20th Century Fox. Not only did Fantastic Four do extremely poorly at the box office, but it ended up becoming one of the most negatively received comic book movies ever, nixing its planned sequel in the process.
A TV Show Fits The Fantastic Four’s Family Dynamic
While Fantastic Four is definitely a group that should have a cinematic presence, the films may have proven that a 2-hour treatment perhaps isn’t the right format. The superhero and comic book genre has exploded on the small screen in the last two decades with Smallville, the Arrowverse, the various Marvel TV shows and so much more. Whether it’s the traditional 22-episode format or something shorter like The Mandalorian, or Marvel Studios’ other Disney+ shows, television has shown what it can do for these popular characters. Being able to follow characters for multiple hours for several seasons allows viewers to connect and know the characters in ways that film franchises sometimes can’t. Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm are some of the most iconic Marvel characters ever created, thus they have a huge legacy behind them.
They’re more than just a superhero team, they’re also a family, hence why they hold the title of being Marvel’s First Family. Their origin stories have now been done at least twice on the big screen. Having to see it again would take up a lot of time from what will likely be at least a 2-hour long film. A Fantastic Four series on Disney+ would allow Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing to get proper character development thus making it more organic to the storytelling. A seasonal arc would be more rewarding for viewers than a movie as they get to see them explore their new abilities and grow into their iconic comic book counterparts. Because of the family aspect that comes with the Fantastic Four, a TV show would fit the team better.
Fantastic Four’s Villains Could Be Better Developed On TV
As Marvel has acquired the Fantastic Four characters, they have also gotten the rights of all of their villains. If a Fantastic Four series happened on Disney+, it wouldn’t just benefit the four heroes, but also any villain that the series would bring in. Victor von Doom a.k.a. Doctor Doom isn’t just a huge villain for the team, but also one of Marvel’s most iconic foes in existence. Doctor Doom was essentially born to have his development be told in a serialized format as opposed to a 2-hour run on the big screen. Since this property is, in its essence, an ensemble piece, it’s always tricky to get big villains like Doctor Doom an equal amount of screentime and development alongside an ensemble of heroes all in one film.
But a Disney+ show that could have its first season see their origin stories before a major showdown in a season finale would feel more earned. In a film format, it will always feel rushed, especially as they debut in the MCU for the first time. But as a Disney+ series, there would be plenty of room to let everyone shine and grow into their characters. That could also be the case for another huge Fantastic Four baddie that Disney/Marvel now has the rights for and that is Galactus. Unlike the Marvel TV shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Defenders franchise, Marvel Studios has made it clear that their Disney+ shows are intentionally weaved into Phase 4 and beyond.
Therefore, even if the Fantastic Four didn’t have a film, those characters would still have the option to appear in the Marvel movies in large roles. The difference now, however, would be that they would come from a more solid foundation. With the budget and resources that come with Disney+, Fantastic Four would both look and do well as a series that would be able to feel cinematic. Time will tell how Watts and Marvel Studios will tackle the MCU debut of the First Family. While it’s exciting that the Fantastic Four are finally getting a film produced by Marvel Studios, it’s a missed opportunity that they didn’t consider making it a Disney+ series.
NEXT: Spider-Man 3: Are Garfield And Maguire Playing Their Original Spideys?
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- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
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