20th Century Fox have finally given up the ghost on their sequel to one of 2015's biggest bombs.
Josh Trank's reimagined take on the Fantastic Four origin story descended into a critical and commercial slaughterhouse, with its August release turning in a fairly dismal $160m worldwide. Yet, perhaps in some feverish determination to still prove rivals to Marvel's own cinematic universe, producer Simon Kinberg continued to push forward plans for a sequel, which had already received its 9th June 2017 release date before this year's first installment had even been released; his official positioning on the franchise last saw him state Fox was still "figuring out" its next steps.
And it now seems as if Kinberg has backtracked on that earlier enthusiasm, with Fantastic Four 2 quietly disappearing from Fox's slate of upcoming pictures. And with no official announcement on the subject, we're now left to speculate on what will eventually become of Fox's future with the franchise. Rights to the Fantastic Four are currently held by co-producers Constantin Film, whose deal with Marvel states that their rights will revert back if another Fantastic Four film isn't produced by 2022.
Meaning Fox will either have to kickstart production on a re-re-boot fairly soon or finally make peace with the idea that it may not be so easy to make a major blockbuster out of a man whose abilities largely involve reaching for very far away things.
On the bright side, at least this summer's tragic show has probably put a spring in the step of Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and the rest of the gang from 2005's similarly maligned Fantastic Four movie. At least they made it to a 2007 sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Small consolation, there.
Fantastic Four arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray 14 December.
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