The biggest movie news from San Diego Comic Con yesterday came not from a film panel, but from a television one. Noah Hawley, creator and showrunner of FX’s Fargo and X-Men-inspired series Legion announced that he was working on a Fantastic Four spin off film for 20th Century Fox.
“I’m working on a new movie for fox that you might be interested in, “he teasingly told the crowd. “I’ll just say two words. The first one is Doctor and the next one is Doom.”
Doctor Doom, of course, is the mortal enemy of the superhero team the Fantastic Four. Fox owns the rights to the character and Doom has appeared in both film iterations of the comic from the studio.
Perhaps spinoff is not quite the right word to use here. Fox has had two failed attempts to get a Fantastic Four franchise up and running and have stumbled badly both times. It seems an easy bet that this film will not star either Julian McMahon, who played the Doom in Fox’s 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films or Toby Kebbell, who appeared in the 2015 reboot. I dare say that the studio will want this to be a fresh take.
It is odd that the studio can’t seem to get the right take on the classic superhero family given that it has had great success with its other franchise of Marvel characters, the X-Men, and plan on having three films based on the property in theaters next year.
The move does feel similar to what Sony is doing in developing a number of films featuring secondary characters that they have in their package of film rights for Marvel’s Spider-Man. But whereas Sony is still using the Spider-Man character himself through their sharing deal with Marvel Studios while creating these stand alone features, Fox seems to be abandoning the use of the core Fantastic Four in favor of just exploiting the surrounding characters. This news follows a previous rumor that the studio is in development on a Fantastic Four-themed film that would focus on the children of team members Reed and Sue Richards.