Matthew Vaughn’s filmmaking resume is packed with comic book adaptations. He kicked off this part of his career with 2010’s Kick-Ass, and in recent years he’s been the driving force behind the Kingsman film series. But Vaughn also has some experience working in the Marvel realm by directing X-Men: First Class and producing the Fantastic Four reboot.
Thanks to Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox, both properties now reside under Marvel Studios and are expected to be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point. With that in mind, Matthew Vaughn suggested that Marvel bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU as soon as possible, but not to rush featuring the X-Men in this franchise. He explained:
As the man that produced the last terrible Fantastic Four - and I will say that because I said it from day one, but no one listened to me -- I think Fan Four is, for me, it’s the live action version of The Incredibles. It’s probably the most, I think, commercially viable Marvel Comic. Kevin Feige will get ahold of that and probably make a masterpiece. And the X-Men world, I imagine that might get put on ice for a little bit. I think it needs a little bit of breathing room. They made a hell of a lot since First Class, if you think about it. Fan Four would be the thing I'd like to see them do next. Disney and Fan Four and Marvel is a really potent combination.
Matthew Vaughn has a point. Critically speaking, the Fantastic Four movies have never been hits, with the 2015 reboot being almost universally panned and bombing at the box office, which resulted in the sequel being scrapped. The X-Men franchise, on the other hand, has been going steadily since 2000, with next month’s Dark Phoenix wrapping up the main film series and The New Mutants finally arriving next year.
The Fantastic Four haven’t had the opportunity to shine like the X-Men have, so if one must be prioritized over the other, Matthew Vaughn's call of introducing the Fantastic Four first seems reasonable. It’s only a matter of time before the X-Men are brought in too, but considering that the Fox era of X-Men movies is will soon finish, it’s not a bad idea to let that property sit on the proverbial shelf for a bit before reintroducing these characters to the public.
During his appearance on the ReelBlend podcast, Matthew Vaughn also talked about how well making a period piece Fantastic Four movie would work, specifically one set in the 1960s, as Marvel’s First Family and many of the comic book company’s most famous characters were introduced that decade. In Vaughn’s words:
That’s what I did with the X-Men, though. These ideas were born -- sort of the Fan Four and the nuclear family and the dysfunctional family and science -- it's an easier time. I mean, superhero films in the modern world … everything in the modern world, it's harder and harder to do. Because you know, the technology, it's all out there. You know, Iron Man’s suit doesn't seem that far away anymore. It’s sort of odd. The Iron Man suit when Iron Man came out [in the comics] was awesome. That was probably late sixties, early seventies. Iron Man, I don't know when that came out. It's easier because everything was sort of black and white, everything was more bad versus good. You knew what was what was what by then because there were boundaries and clearer horizons. So yeah, I love a period piece. I've just done another period movie [in the Kingsmen prequel]. It's really good fun.
The MCU has dabbled in period pieces with the 1940s-set Captain America: The First Avenger and the 1990s-set Captain Marvel, plus various flashbacks, so it’s not like a 1960-set Fantastic Four movie would be dismissed right out the gate. That being said, obviously whatever creative team is working on such a story would need to find a way to bring Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Thing and The Human Torch to the present day so they can interact with all the other MCU heroes.
You can listen to Matthew Vaughn’s full ReelBlend appearance below:
As things stand now, there are no official plans for an MCU-set Fantastic Four or X-Men movie, but rest assured, when a concrete announcement about either of the two is made, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. For now, there are plenty of other upcoming MCU movies to look forward to, from Black Widow and The Eternals to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Black Panther 2, as well as the various Disney+ series in development.