X-MEN and FANTASTIC Four will not take place in a shared universe after all

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Ever since Marvel started doing their thing to much fanfare and mountains of box office greenbacks, every other studio in Hollywood with superhero rights suddenly started coming down with a very contagious case of “shared universe-itis”. Fox was no exception, with veteran comic book writer Mark Millar being brought in 2012 to turn their X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises into a cohesive whole. With Fantastic Four and to a certain extent, X-Men, getting a reboot, the stage was set for Marvel’s First Family to start interacting with those uncanny mutants.

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Well, at least that’s what we thought was happening. Millar, who had been very vocal about his role as Fox’S answer to Joss Whedon, has been very quiet of late, and while producer/screenwriter Simon Kinberg has been talking up a storm about the two properties, nobody has said anything about how they would connect. And that’s because they won’t, as Kinberg has now unveiled to Screencrush:

“None of the X-Men movies have acknowledged the notion of a sort of superhero team–the Fantastic Four–and the Fantastic Four acquire powers, so for them to live in a world where mutants are prevalent is kind of complicated, because you’re like, ‘Oh, you’re just a mutant. What’s so fantastic about you?’ No, they live in discrete universes.”

And to think, I was actually busy working on an article idea about how the two franchises could link up, which I will now have to scrap. Thanks for nothing, Kinberg!

While I understand the complication that Kinberg describes, I really don’t think it would be that big a hurdle to overcome. For example, seeing as how the new X-Men movies (making use of the new timeline established in First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) are all set in the 1960’s – 1980’s, the rebooted Fantastic Four’s origins could have something to do with trying to recreate those naturally occurring mutant powers through science in modern times. I just came up with that in two minutes, and I only get paid in stale donuts, so I’m sure that Kinberg and co could have worked around the problem.

While the writer didn’t spill any details on whether these plans of exclusion would be a permanent thing, he did go on to justify rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise just seven years after the last film, using the recent Amazing Spider-Man reboot as a comparison.

“People have a very different relationship to the Fantastic Four movies than they had to Raimi’s Spider-Man movies. Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie  is a beloved movie that sort of redefined, tonally, sort of what comic book movies could do, so rebooting a movie that was beloved less than ten years after it had come out is challenging. We approach ‘Fantastic Four’ with a different set of challenges.”

Allow me to translate that into plain speech: “The first two movies were meh at best, a stinking turdfest at worst, so we need to really try and not have the new one suck like that again”.

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Finally, Kinberg also elaborated on just what sort of tone director Josh Trank would be going for with this new Fantastic Four film.

“Our version, the ‘Fantastic Four’ movie we’re making differs than those other films. Where I think superhero movies define themselves is not in plot and character, but in tone, and the tone of our ‘Fantastic Four’ movie is so different than those other films, and I actually think, more importantly, different from other superhero movies.”

“It’s like, there’s a spectrum, tonally, from like Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ to Josh Trank’s ‘Chronicle’ movie. We’re on the spectrum, but between those two movies.  I don’t know where the needle turns, but we are in-between those films. On the other side of ‘Chronicle’ is probably like, ‘X-Men’ is around there with the darkness, and then ‘The Dark Knight’ is the darkest. And on the other side is ‘Spider-Man’ — the original ‘Fantastic Four’ movies are probably on the other side of the goofiness. So, we’re somewhere in-between the joyfulness of Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ movies and the reality and drama of Josh’s ‘Chronicle.'”

Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on June 19, 2015, while the next mutant installment, X-Men: Days of Future Past will be blasting into cinemas next week.

Last Updated: May 13, 2014

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