The Fantastic Four, Marvel’s “First Family,” have been done dirty on the big screen not once, not twice, but three times. Four times if you include the infamously never-released film from the ’90s. However, Marvel Studios is looking to polish this gem of a superhero team with a new take set firmly within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fifth time’s the charm, as Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige announced during Disney’s Investors Day presentation that Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts will direct the new Fantastic Four movie.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four are a found family of misfits who gain super-powers after an expedition into space goes terribly wrong. There’s the super-genius Reed Richards, who gains the ability to stretch to impossible proportions and becomes Mr. Fantastic. There’s Sue Storm, who can turn invisible and create force fields, and becomes the Invisible Woman. Her hot-headed brother Johnny Storm becomes the Human Torch, who can take flight and become empowered with flame. And there’s Reed’s old buddy Ben Grimm, a blue collar pilot who gains super-strength and skin of stone, transforming him into the Thing.
It’s a motley crew, but that’s the point. They’re a family unit with disparate powers who act as scientists and adventurers as often as they are traditional superheroes. Their best stories are high-concept science fiction tales powered by heart and humor. All of that was missing in the previous film adaptations, and knowing how much humor and pathos Watts brought to his Spidey movies, he seems like a solid fit for the material.
So, how do the Fantastic Four, the “first” family in the Marvel comics, fit into an MCU that is over a decade into its storytelling? We shall see. But I have a good feeling about this one.
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