Comic book fans can be brutal when it comes to adaptations of beloved properties. The prime example of this is Josh Trank's failed reboot of Fantastic Four, which was maligned pretty much from the announcement of its cast all the way through to its disappointing box office haul. Following on from the earlier Fantastic Four films, which rather than being critically mauled were gently dismissed, 20th Century Fox knows that they're running out of chances with the foursome. In fact, Simon Kinberg has now admitted that he thinks they only have one more opportunity to get a Fantastic Four film right.
Simon Kinberg was asked about the future of the Fantastic Four franchise by Collider while out promoting Logan, which he has produced. After insisting that he wasn't sure if Fox needed to make another Fantastic Four film to hold onto the rights, while also revealing that he still has full faith in the cast from the original, Simon Kinberg admitted that they'll only proceed with another movie when they know that it's ready to shoot. Because if they fail with the next Fantastic Four outing, then the damage won't be reversed. Simon Kinberg remarked:
I think the truth is we would not make another Fantastic Four movie until it was ready to be made. One of the lessons we learned on that movie is that we want to make sure we get it 100% right, because we will not get another chance with the fans.
I'd go as far as to say that 20th Century Fox has left it too late to save the Fantastic Four franchise, after they butchered all three versions that they've overseen so far. Sony's decision to allow Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't helped matters, as it has provoked comic-book diehards to envision a similar scenario with 20th Century Fox and the Fantastic Four. There's every chance that fans will belligerently reject every new film of the foursome until that's a reality, too.
It also doesn't help that 20th Century Fox are caught in a no man's land with their comic-book universe. Their alleged plan to crossover the X-Men with the Fantastic Four had to be put to bed once the latter had flopped. Sure, Logan is set to follow Deadpool by being a resounding triumph, but the fact that Hugh Jackman is adamant that he's now leaving the Wolverine role leaves them in a bit of a bind. Plus, after Apocalypse, the X-Men franchise has gone stale, leaving Ryan Reynold's Merc With A Mouth as their only saving grace.
Even if a new Fantastic Four film was greenlit, the studio would need to establish the quartet first before even considering expanding them into a fully-fledged universe with Deadpool and the X-Men. There have been rumblings over the last few weeks that 20th Century Fox has finally figured out their next port of calls with their superhero properties, as Deadpool 2, New Mutants, Gambit and even a new X-Men film are set to enter production over the next year. Their success could then set-up a solid foundation to even reboot or try and rebuild the Fantastic Four. But it would still need to be just right to appease and please the long-suffering fans.