(CBR) The superhero film marketplace has certainly become a very crowded place. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures developing a “Spiderverse,” 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Universe and Warner Bros.’ DC Universe films all competing for attention and dollars in the years ahead, one would think there isn’t room for another tent pole franchise based on a comic book.
But Fox isn’t satisfied with just “X-Men.” The studio has held the movie rights to the Fantastic Four for nearly a decade, but after the release of two films in the mid-2000s the characters have been out of the public eye. With a franchise as potentially lucrative as Marvel’s First Family, especially given how well other Marvel properties have translated to the big screen, Fox has been looking for a way to get the quartet back on the big screen. The previous films, both directed by Tim Story, are not very highly regarded, relying on heavy-handed dialogue and routine set pieces. The first film performed well at the box office, but the second, 2007’s “Rise of the Silver Surfer,” fizzled, leaving the franchise seemingly dead in the water.
Based on contractual stipulations, Fox had to make the decision to use or lose its rights to the franchise. The studio opted to maintain its hold on the FF rights, turning to “Chronicle” director Josh Trank to reboot the franchise. But is there room for another superhero franchise in such a saturated market? And how can Fox avoid comparisons to the first two attempts at big screen FF glory? With the lead roles cast earlier this week and the filming of the new “Fantastic Four” creeps closer to reality, we have some suggestions that could help make the film a rousing success.