It’s always been kind of bizarre, and a little wrong, to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe without the Fantastic Four. But out of nowhere, new rumors may have revealed plans for a Fantastic Four film due in 2022 that will hopefully correct what’s been a ten-year aberration in Marvel fandom.
As originally reported by The GWW and supported by sources at more reliable news site MCU Cosmic, Marvel studios is rumored to have made a Fantastic Four film “a pretty high priority.” The studio is allegedly targeting a 2022 release date for what could be a superhero period piece set in the 1960s — a decade currently unexplored by the MCU.
Here’s everything we know so far about Marvel’s rumored Fantastic Four movie, along with some speculation on what the movie could look like and why you should care about Marvel’s first family.
Is There a Trailer or Cast Yet for Fantastic Four?
Obviously, there are no trailers or casting announcements.
What’s the Fantastic Four Release Date?
As previously reported, there are three weekends in 2022 that Marvel has reserved: February 18, May 6, and July 29. If you’re trying to be clever and guess the release could coincide with the first publication of The Fantastic Four #1, I’m sorry to remind you the comic was released in November 1961.
Who Could Direct the New Fantastic Four Movie
Rumors involve Ant-Man director Peyton Reed helming the project. The GWW reports Marvel has an “in-house” director, and Reed previously pitched a ‘60s-set Fantastic Four to Fox in 2003 before the studio settled on a pitch by Tim Story, which ultimately became 2005’s Fantastic Four starring Ioan Gruffud, Julian McMahon, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba, and Chris Evans.
In a 2018 interview with Film School Rejects, Reed described his pitch as imagining the Fantastic Four as “daytime superheroes.” He told the site:
“Visually, one of the things we always talked about – and this was 2003 – was the Fantastic Four as daytime superheroes. They don’t have secret identities. They’re very much a part of the fabric of Manhattan. In that universe, if you go to New York to the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty or the Baxter Building, it was all a part of that. We talked about it being a ’60s period movie, but Fox at the time was not into it.”
Wait, Who Are the Fantastic Four?
First published in 1961, the Fantastic Four are a family of scientists turned superheroes after a mission in space leaves them with amazing powers. Conceived of to compete against rival publisher DC’s best-selling Justice League of America, The Fantastic Four was both the first superhero comic under Marvel as well as Stan Lee’s final attempt at comics before retirement.
The success of The Fantastic Four was a boon to Marvel, and Lee stayed on to write more stories with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, eventually leading to The X-Men, The Avengers, and The Amazing Spider-Man. The rest is history.
Although the Fantastic Four are among the most important heroes in the Marvel Universe — next to the Avengers and the X-Men — previous film adaptations have failed to capture audience’s imagination in the same way the MCU has. The 2005 film spawned a fun but forgettable 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. A darker 2015 reboot by Josh Trank, which Fox hoped to inhabit the same continuity of its X-Men series, was a massive summer bomb.
The Fantastic Four also took a backseat in the comic book universe. The long-running series ended in 2015, which freed up Marvel publishing to emphasize characters which Marvel Studios held the film and TV rights. At the time, there was a massive emphasis on Inhumans, which was to become a major movie before it was reshuffled into an ABC series. It was canceled after one season.
While some of the Fantastic Four characters still appeared in the comics, the Fantastic Four didn’t have their own series until 2018, when veteran Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott left his post to write a new Fantastic Four. The comic is still running, with its eleventh issue slated to publish on June 26.
Fantastic Four is rumored to release in 2022 from Marvel Studios.