Last week we told you that Avi Arad doesn't want to cross Spider-Man over with the Marvel Studios Avengers universe, and that he's just creating his own Spideyverse. That feels limiting, because it's just Spider-Man and his villains - that's hardly a universe.
But Fox has a wider scope. They have the X-Men, a team that is almost a universe unto itself, as well as the Fantastic Four. They're different enough properties to represent the sort of wide universe that Marvel is creating (in fact losing Daredevil seems to actually hurt now, as Fox has lost the scope of street level to worldwide to cosmic that Marvel enjoys), and we live in a time when audiences expect (and love) crossovers. As Fox soft-reboots the X-Men films and begins a new Fantastic Four movie, they must have plans to cross them all over, right?
SchmoesKnow reports that Fox has decided to wall off Fantastic Four from the X-Men movies:
According to our source, Fox REALLY wants FANTASTIC FOUR to stand on its own without having to bring in some X-Men to help the movie along. Our source confirms there’s not even a whisper of this happening because, as mentioned, Fox wants FF to do well enough to warrant another sequel and then another and so on and so forth.
Simon Kinberg, the guy who is guiding both the X-and FF-verses gave an interview at WonderCon this weekend where he sort of maybe kind of addresses this:
CS: How much say do you have towards building [ an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover]? You're involved with "The Fantastic Four" as well.
Kinberg: I am, yeah. I'm the writer and producer of "Fantastic Four" and I write an produce the "X-Men" movies. I'm very involved. Fox has been very generous with letting me be one of the main authors and voices in the process. I mean, there's other people involved, too, of course. There's Lauren Shuler Donner, the original producer of the franchise and others. But yeah, they've really entrusted me to help craft the story that would have it make sense how these things can coexist and ultimately, maybe, cohabitate in movies.
Here's the thing: if Fantastic Four is set in the modern day I don't know how they can not address mutants if there is ever a plan to cohabitate the franchises. It seems that by the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past the presence of mutants will be a pretty big deal in the 70s (which feels like it already changes the continuity of the original films), and the plans for Age of Apocalypse make it sound like mutants will be a big, destructive deal in the 1980s. If the Fantastic Four showed up in a world post-those events they'd be old hat, right? "Oh look, four new super weirdos" would be the response, which undermines everything about the characters. This is why it's tough having Superman show up in a world that's had super-powered people in the past; part of his specialness comes from being first.
Of course there's always an out: Reed Richards' usual meddling with the laws of reality could mean that he opens a portal to an alternate universe, one where the X-Men live. Allow me to put on my nerdiest glasses here: that's not satisfying. That's how DC did it with their Earth 1/Earth 2 stuff and it's just not the same. The beauty of the Marvel crossover was that Spider-Man could swing by the Baxter Building at any time and say hi to the Human Torch or that Wolverine showed up at Avengers Mansion for lunch. Dimension-hopping is meaningless; the Fantastic Four could just as easily cross over with Avatar that way. The multiverse is not the same as a universe!
How important is crossing over these worlds to you? Should Reed Richards be able to just get on the phone with Professor X (I mean, they wouldn't need a phone but...)? Or are you okay with the Fantastic Four living on one Earth while the X-Men have an Earth all to themselves?