Eight years after the disappointing release of Tim Story’s Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the Fantastic Four franchise has once again found itself facing big trouble and big question marks. Josh Trank’s new film arrived in theaters this past weekend with a thud, as it was disliked by both critics and audiences, and wound up making only $26.2 million in its opening frame. This has led many to wonder what’s in store for the future of Marvel’s First Family, and the reality is that there are actually four options for them to consider at this point.

So what are these choices? We’ve conveniently laid them all out below, along with their individual pros and cons. Read on, as we paint some pictures of what the future of the Fantastic Four should look like.

Fantastic Four
Proceed With A Direct Sequel As Planned
Pro: Whether it was an act of overzealousness, or an attempt to stake a release date claim, 20th Century Fox announced a theatrical release for Fantastic Four 2 all the way back in March 2014… and one option for the studio is to just stick with that plan and just make an in-continuity sequel. The origin story is now out of the way, and a follow-up that’s good enough could help to erase memories of a shaky start.

Con: The negatives here are pretty obvious. Both critics and audiences have rejected this incarnation of the Fantastic Four in terms of quality, and folks aren’t exactly voting for it with their dollar either. And even if a direct sequel were to be made with a slashed budget, that fact would likely haunt the production and would be seen in the public eye as just another strike against it. It’s hard to argue for a follow-up to a movie that nobody really liked.

Is This A Good Idea?: Bluntly speaking, no – this is a terrible idea. An incredible number of things would need to go extremely right in order for this vision of Fantastic Four 2 to actually be successful, and it’s hard to imagine Fox making the gamble and potentially wasting a whole lot of money.

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