The Fantastic Four movies made a fair amount of money and, while not exactly The Dark Knight, were a fair amount of fun. So of course two years after the debut of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 20th Century Fox is scrapping them all and starting over. I guess they’re hoping no one will notice that this franchise has been done before?

Variety cites this move as proof that the Fantastic Four franchise has an “enduring lifespan”. I say let’s see how much money it makes, then we’ll talk about enduring lifespan. The last time someone attempted one of these close proximity reboots it was with The Incredible Hulk and, though it’s often glossed over when discussed, it actually made less money than the movie it was rebooting. In this case, we’re not just rebooting one movie, but a movie that was good enough and popular enough to actually spawn a sequel. So seriously, what’s the excuse for doing this again?

My guess is that Fox is bitter than their previous attempt didn’t turn into The Dark Knight. It’s being written by Michael Green, one of the co-exec producer of Heroes. Forget those fun movies you saw last year, now they’re doing it all over again and this time it’ll be full of angst and empty promises of action which never happens! Fox wants to be Warner Bros. Except Warner Bros. has Batman and they have the Fantastic Four. No matter how many times they remake it, no matter if they make it darker and grittier, no matter how they handle it, the Fantastic Four will never, ever be as successful as Batman for one simple reason: They aren’t as popular. They aren’t the X-Men, they aren’t Superman, they aren’t even Iron Man. They’re the Fantastic Four, a mid-level superhero team with a marginal fanbase. Fox was lucky the first two movies did as well as they did. Now they’re throwing money in a lava pit.

UPDATE! Though a possible Fantastic Four reboot has been rumored for some time, the genius folks at Dark Horizons have suggested that Fox might be doing this as a way to hang on to their rights to the franchise. That actually makes a lot of sense. It wouldn't be the first time a Fantastic Four movie has been made merely to secure the franchise's copyright. Whatever Fox's true motives here, the timing of their announcement seems reactionary, in light of Disney's recent announced acquisition of Marvel.

Here's what happened the last time someone made a Fantastic Four movie for legal reasons. Thank you Roger Corman:

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