There’s really no question that the Fantastic Four reboot was a massive failure. Critically panned and with a dismal performance in the box office, this movie has left the fate of Marvel’s First Family hanging in the air. Fox could try to sit on the rights again and wait a few years before trying to make another film or, as many fans have hoped, the rights could go back to Marvel so that the Fantastic Four could join the MCU. The latter still seems unlikely at this point, but it hasn’t stopped both fans and Marvel filmmakers alike from dreaming about seeing Fantastic Four characters interacting with the Avengers. James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, has been especially vocal about which characters he’d like to use.
Doing a live one-hour Q&A on his Facebook page, James Gunn was asked by fans what characters from the Fantastic Four he’d like to use in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Surprisingly, Gunn revealed that he was more interested in using the quartet’s villains than the actual heroes themselves.
I probably wouldn't add Ben Grimm to the Guardians team even if they were a part of the MCU. And of course I would love the FF to be a part of the MCU...Fox owns so many great villains and cosmic characters I would love to play around with including Annihilus -- and I think they own Kang.
In the current comic books, the Fantastic Four have disbanded. Reed and Sue Richards are off building an entire multiverse with their children, while The Thing and The Human Torch have joined new super teams. Ben Grimm, The Thing, is currently hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy in space, which is why James Gunn singled him out from the others.
Fox has sort of a hodge podge of characters that they own the rights to. While Marvel might not want to use the actual Fantastic Four, getting the rights back would mean access to big villains like Dr. Doom or Galactus. The characters that James Gunn named, Annihilus and Kang, are pretty big villains in the Marvel universe.
Annihilus is a bug-like warlord from another dimension, who rules over a massive army. He’s super strong and super crazy. While the character is most associated with the Fantastic Four, he’s caused massive problems for the Guradians of the Galaxy as well. In Annihilation, all the cosmic heroes had to team up to stop the villain from conquering the entire galaxy. It was a story that also featured Thanos, the villain of Avengers: Infinity War Part I and II. It’s a huge Marvel story, so it makes sense why Gunn would want to adapt the story into film.
Kang is a little bit trickier. He’s a time-traveling conqueror who basically manipulates other time periods to ensure that he will be a ruler in the future. There’s always at least two different versions of the guy running around, like his future self and his teenage self for example (it can get pretty confusing). He’s most associated with being an Avengers villain, but his first appearance was in the Fantastic Four.
James Gunn is hard at work filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 5, 2017.