Team-ups are the wave of the future in the realm of comic-book movie adaptations. Joss Whedon’s The Avengers gets credit for starting the craze – bringing Marvel’s Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk together in screen for a massive mash-up – but every other studio has been looking for ways to get heroes to share screen time in the wake of that movie’s success. Contract negotiations tend to stop any such progress (explaining why we can’t see Spider-Man in an Avengers movie, as an example). But when one studio owns the right to multiple heroes, some deals are possible. Like this one.
X-Men producer and writer Simon Kinberg has been doing a lot of press for the DVD release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. But because he has deep ties to all of the comic properties at Fox, he has laid out information regarding X-Men, Deadpool, the Fantastic Four, and – in some instances – the ways that those universes might connect. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Kinberg addressed the possibility of an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, and admitted:
I love the characters, I love the characters in Fan Four, and I love the new cast. Obviously I love the characters and cast of X-Men. So, hypothetically, the notion of putting them together is really intriguing, and there’s some really fun stuff that the comics have done in the past. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility."
Simon Kinberg has to be reading the tea leaves from fans, realizing that the blending of worlds is the way to go. It’s not just Marvel characters. Warner Bros. and DC are moving mountains to get Batman and Superman together on screen in 2016. And in that mash-up movie, we’ll also get Wonder Woman (for certain) and possibly Flash or Aquaman. All of that will lead to a Justice League movie, which Zack Snyder will direct.
I’m not trying to say that the era of a standalone superhero action movie is over. But it’s harder to get very excited for a single story of, say, Thor when we’re now used to seeing the God of Thunder fighting alongside Iron Man and Hulk in films like The Avengers: Age of Ultron. "More" is the key to the future of superhero franchises. And yet, when they get too big, we crucify them. (Hello, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.)
There’s precedence for an X-Men/FF crossover. The characters have shared adventures in the pages of the Marvel comic books, and they all live under the roof of Fox. So it’s possible. But Kinberg realizes, as well as we do, that the time line would be YEARS from now. The X-Men team is prepping for X-Men: Apocalypse. We haven’t even SEEN the retooled Fantastic Four team… and they have a sequel planned for 2017. A crossover film wouldn’t happen until long after that. But at least Simon Kinberg’s admitting that the idea is on the table.