While the Fantastic Four and the Avengers regularly buddy up in Marvel’s comics, the teams have been tragically separated for years on the big screen due to complicated contracts and millions of dollars. But the superheroic ramifications of the rumored merger between Hollywood powerhouses 21st Century Fox and Disney, which experts expect to be finalized next week, would reach far beyond the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, Marvel star Chris Evans has ideas for an epic crossover that spans his career as a superhero movie star.
On Wednesday morning, the Avengers star known for playing (and being the IRL version of) Captain America took to Twitter, quote-tweeting an update from CNBC about the Disney/Fox merger, which potentially includes some $60 billion in Fox assets — including the cinematic rights to both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
“So who do I talk to about a Cap/Human Torch buddy comedy spin-off?” Evans joked. “I’m thinking Planes, Trains and Automobiles meets Parent Trap.”
Evans’s joke references his infamous career as a superhero star, which precedes his time as the star-spangled Captain America. In 2005, Evans starred as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. the Human Torch, for Fantastic Four, a Marvel movie produced by Fox. A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was released in 2007. Years later, Evans once again became a cinematic superhero for Captain America: The First Avenger, this time from the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, in 2011. (The film was distributed by Paramount, a leftover from a previous deal Marvel had with the studio.)
Unlike square-jawed boy scout Steve Rogers, Johnny Storm is/was a party bro who quickly leveraged his superhero powers to achieve personal fame. One of the best gags in Rise of the Silver Surfer was Johnny Storm selling sponsor space on his costume. So it’s really funny that Evans is proposing a crossover between his two Marvel heroes who couldn’t be more different.
At least Evans has a sense of humor about everything. The acquisition of Fox by Disney — which is “closing in” but in no way final — is capable of altering the media landscape on a scale not seen since Comcast acquired NBC Universal in 2009. The potential Disney/Fox merger includes only Fox’s film and TV properties (news and sports will remain with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox), but that alone is enough to create a seismic shift in the film industry. The merger wouldn’t just be Fox giving up its Marvel licenses; it’s also National Geographic, Fox’s stake in Hulu (which would give Disney a bigger share), and dozens of cable channels, including FX.
Comic book fans, though, are only paying attention to the possibility of Disney having all of Fox’s Marvel toys. The X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four all currently belong to Fox, but should Disney acquire them, fans are in for cinematic crossovers up the wazoo.
There are big, sweeping forces that even superheroes are powerless to stop; but a Johnny Storm/Captain America movie would still be aces, though.