Let’s face it, the Fantastic Four NEVER had it easy when it came to movies. Sure, comic book movies have had their misfires now and then, even to this day, but one thing that’s been consistently clear is that times have changed, comic book movies have gotten better over the years with actual thought and effort put into them, and Fantastic Four movies always SUCK. They’ve been adapted to film FOUR times, and you’d think that maybe, just maybe, the people behind them would say, “hmm, well, this clearly didn’t work the first time, so maybe instead of fucking up a few more times, let’s actually try to make a good movie out of it”. But no, they keep getting worse. I’ll admit, the Tim Story movies are kind of guilty pleasures, in a way, but really they’re just stupid, especially after what they did to Galactus (seriously, a fucking CLOUD?), the Josh Trank movie is absolute garbage, and the Roger Corman movie, which oddly enough never got an official release, from what I heard from reviews and stuff, might actually be the best one in comparison.
So what’s the solution to this problem of making a good live action Fantastic Four adaptation? Well, for one thing, the people behind the movies, that being Fox and Simon Kinberg and whoever else, want to try another crack at it, despite the disaster that was Fan4stic. Seriously, just no. Stop it. You guys tried, and failed, and it was probably the biggest failure out of all the attempts to make an FF movie, so just stop it. Give the rights back to Marvel, or at least friggin share them (along with X-Men), and maybe try to work together and make something decent. Still, even if the rights were given back or shared with, I don’t think a movie should be made, cause the other movies pretty much tainted the idea of FF ever being a good movie. My solution to this is to make a Fantastic Four television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it could be aired either on ABC or Netflix, maybe even Hulu or Freeform, if what I hear about Runways and Cloak and Dagger are true.
This is something I’ve thought about for a while, ever since Fan4stic came out and it bombed big time. If film couldn’t do the FF justice, and I’m not saying it never could, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man are examples of how the FF could be done if made into film, it’s just that the people making them have no idea what they’re doing, then the only other way is television. The comics themselves may not exactly have been big sellers, but they were very popular enough to run as long as they did, being a big influence on superhero fiction and Marvel stuff as a whole, and it’s a shame that Marvel had to cancel it because of how little they sold, but at least they went out with dignity and grace (unlike what’s being done with the X-Men), and there’s still potential for them to come back someday. The movies certainly didn’t help matters in regards to this. There are so many characters, storylines, and whatever else, that maybe the best way to do it is by making a Fantastic Four television series set in the MCU. I don’t know how many seasons it could run for, but considering how the MCU shows are done, how successful they’ve become, how many there are, no matter what network (ABC, Netflix, and possibly Freeform and Hulu), then maybe it’s possible to do it after all. I mean, if TV shows set in the MCU, based on characters and concepts like SHIELD, Daredevil, Agent Carter, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Inhumans, Damage Control, Runaways, Cloak and Dagger, The Punisher, Defenders, and whoever/whatever else, I don’t see how Fantastic Four couldn’t get the same treatment.
Basically I kinda thought of an outline for four seasons worth. After that, I’m not sure what could be done, I hadn’t thought that far ahead, but I’m sure whoever does it can make it something good. Bare in mind, these are just summaries of outlines I thought up, so not everything may sound as intricate and detailed as you’d get from a final draft, exactly, so take it with a grain of salt. Originally I thought of putting all my outlines for the four seasons I thought of on one post, but I changed my mind and decided to make them all their own posts. Here we go:
I wasn’t sure where to place the first season. It could take place sometime after the first Avengers movie, or after Infinity War, either way works. Maybe after Infinity War and its sequel depending on how they pan out. After the Earth, in particular New York City, has gone through alien attacks and whatnot, Reed Richards decides to venture out into space to get in contact with other alien races beyond the known solar system. Now, because of the attacks, no company or government would fund him (not even Stark Enterprises, exactly), so really he just relies on his own money to do it (yeah I never liked how Reed had to practically beg other people for their money in order to get his projects done, I mean in the comics he was practically his own man, right?). He then recruits some of his old college friends: Ben Grimm (pilot), Sue Storm (navigator and scientist), and Sue’s brother Johnny (engineer and co-pilot). They’d venture out into space, with plenty of supplies, and use an experimental warp drive to go to another galaxy. Unfortunately, as soon as they use the warp drive, things go crazy, suddenly they’re in the Negative Zone briefly, they manage to get out somehow, and when they return, well, they get their powers (Reed stretches, Sue is invisible and has shield powers, Johnny is on fire, and Ben is a rock monster).
As soon as they return, they try to figure out what to do. Reed wants to study their powers, Sue wants to help Reed (they’re both attracted to each other but don’t want to admit it right away), Johnny wants to go out and have fun and maybe even join the Avengers, and Ben just wants to be normal-looking again. Unfortunately, NYC is being attacked by underground “mole people”, the Moloids, with reports of missing people going around, and not even SHIELD can figure it out. So, with urging from Sue, Reed decides that he and the others must try to stop this. They venture under the surface and find out that the attacks are being done by Harvey Elder aka the Mole Man. They fight, but it soon breaks out into the surface, where everyone in NYC can see them, including the news and SHIELD. After they defeat Mole Man, his Moloids, and of course that giant creature from Fantastic Four #1, the people and the media dub them “The Fantastic Four”.
Not too long after the battle, the FF are approached at their home in the Baxter Building by a SHIELD agent (it can be Phil Coulson or someone else). They’re told that because of their powers and heroic deeds, they must register with the government due to the Sokovia Accords. However, Reed tells the agent off because while they did do a heroic deed with their powers, they are not superheroes like the Avengers and others. They are scientists, engineers, and explorers first, and the superhero stuff comes second. But in order to keep the government off their back, Reed and Sue agree to be consultants on scientific matters from time to time, only if the matter is of the utmost importance and it’s of their interests.
While celebrating their first victory as the Fantastic Four, Reed is still hard at work trying to figure out what went wrong with the warp drive (this is kind of a running subplot). He discovers that the warp drive didn’t malfunction as originally thought, but rather it was sabotaged. After he tells the others about this, they all wonder how it could’ve happened and who would’ve done it, ending the first season on a cliffhanger and leading into the second season.
Doctor Doom is the one who sabotaged the warp drive. He’ll be the main antagonist of season 2 and his reasons for doing this will be explored.
So that’s my outline for the first season of a potential Fantastic Four TV show set in the MCU. Again, like I said, this is just an outline, a summary that may not have such intricacies and other stuff you’d expect from a show that could have subplots and other stuff going on in it. Regardless, if someone at Marvel is reading this, then maybe if they want to use this idea and apply it to an actual FF TV show and make it work somehow once they get the rights back, that’s fine. It’s just something I’ve thought of in my head for a while and I hope that someday, somehow, there’ll be a good live-action Fantastic Four adaptation. But preferable television, please, I don’t think an FF movie could ever happen again, regardless of how well-made it is, due to how the others sucked so much.
Until next time, then. Excelsior!