Marvel Comics fans will forever hold out hope that someday a massive, inter-studio superhero movie crossover (bringing together the likes of Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and others) will happen.
But according to “Fantastic Four” star Michael B. Jordan (“The Wire,” “Fruitvale Station”), such a crossover doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards at the moment — and a recent move by Marvel seem to indicate that it might not ever happen.
“I have no clue, I have no idea about any of that,” Jordan recently told ABC News when asked about a potential “Fantastic Four”/”Avengers” crossover. “From a personal standpoint, it would always be cool to collaborate with other talented actors in that franchise. But I just have no clue whatsoever what Marvel has up their sleeve.”
While it may seem like a fair question for the future Human Torch (aka Johnny Storm), the ABC interviewer ignores the elephant in the room when it comes to Marvel comic book properties. With different studios controlling the respective film rights to Marvel’s comic book characters, a lot of pieces would have to fall into place for such a mega-crossover to even take place.
Here’s what you need to know: Marvel Studios owns “The Avengers” characters, Fox controls the “Fantastic Four” and “X-Men” characters, and Sony controls “The Amazing Spider-Man” characters. As cool as a crossover that featured the Human Torch, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Thing, and Wolverine battling side by side would be, none of those studios are terribly inclined to work with their rivals — even if there are potentially billions of dollars to be made.
Since actors are rarely involved in high level negotiations between studios, it’s unlikely that Jordan would know if a “Fantastic Four”/”Avengers” crossover was in the works, anyway. Jordan is clearly a fan of the actors who portray the Avengers, but just because he’s in “Fantastic Four,” doesn’t mean he knows what’s cooking behind the scenes. Marvel fans shouldn’t put too much stock in what he’s saying one way or the other.
For those really interested in a possible collision of the Marvel movie universes, what should be getting more attention is the recent news that Marvel Comics is probably cancelling the long-running “Fantastic Four” comic book series — just in time for the release of the Fox-produced reboot. While nothing has been officially announced, Comic Book Resources has confirmed that the superteam will be taking a hiatus on the comic book page for an indeterminate length of time. Marvel itself has listed a “final issue” of the “Fantastic Four” comic is due out some time next year, but has refused to comment on the future of the characters.
The move was rumoured to have been the result of Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter’s anger with Fox over negotiations about the “Fantastic Four” film rights. It could also be a reprisal of sorts for Fox’s plans to develop their own contiguous movie continuity that will include the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other characters like Deadpool.
In the past, when a movie featuring Marvel-created superheroes hit the big screen, Marvel’s publishing arm usually gave a push to comics featuring those characters regardless of which studio produced it. But as Marvel has become more of a movie studio than a comic publisher over the past several years, their strategy has changed.
Despite new movies featuring two of Marvel Comics most popular franchises (“Spider-Man” and “X-Men” both had movies out in 2014), Marvel’s major comic book tie-in push went not to two of their bestselling books, but to “Guardians of the Galaxy” – a movie that they produced in-house. The move to cancel the “Fantastic Four” comic book does not bode well for any kind of future cooperation between Marvel and Fox. Though Marvel ultimately owns all of these characters, they’ve clearly begun to realize that betting on your own big screen horse just makes more sense.
The “Fantastic Four” reboot (directed by Josh Trank and starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell) arrives in theatres on August 7, 2015.