Like Spider-Man and the X-Men, the Fantastic Four is one of Marvel’s key superhero properties whose movie rights are owned by a different studio–in this case, Fox. To date, the studio has made two different film versions of the classic team, but following the failure of 2015’s Fantastic Four, it has been unclear what the future holds for the property. It has now been reported that it might be rebooted as a family-friendly film.
According to Bleeding Cool, the studio is looking to move away from the classic line-up to focus instead on Franklin and Valeria, the children of original team members Reed Richards and Susan Storm. The site’s sources also state that the Human Torch and The Thing would still be part of the team, and the movie would be much more “kid-centric.”
Seth Grahame-Smith is reported to be working on a new script for the movie. Grahame-Smith is best known for the novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but has also written comics for Marvel and was an uncredited script doctor on the 2015 Fantastic Four. He was also hired to direct DC’s The Flash, but left the project last year.
Fox has not commented on this story and no further details are known. However, it is not surprising that the studio might be looking to do something different for its next Fantastic Four reboot. The 2015 movie, which was directed by Josh Trank, took a darker, more serious approach, and flopped both critically and commercially. Trank distanced himself the finished movie, and plans for a sequel were abandoned.
More recently, producer Simon Kinberg admitted mistakes were made in the way the material was approached. “We made many mistakes when we made that movie–mistakes that we learned from and we wouldn’t repeat,” he said. “I think we tried to make a darker Fantastic Four movie, which seemed like a radical idea, but we were kind of messing with the DNA of the actual comic instead of trusting the DNA of the comic.”