So several blogs ago I wrote about the new Star Wars films, the 7-9 of the series being done by filmmakers other than George Lucas and before that I wrote about the tangled web that is Marvel Studios and the comic book licensing rights to studios like 20th Century Fox and Sony’s various branches. Funny how all this seemingly disparate elements can all come together in a perfect storm. After this summer’s THE AVENGERS becoming the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, a lot has changed in the comic-book movie adaptation world. Warner Brothers, who own all of D.C. comic’s characters is fast tracking a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie to cash in on the same format, but they are failing to see what worked for AVENGERS were a string of successful solo movie all building up to the anticipation and awe of seeing so many characters together. Next summer’s MAN OF STEEL with participation from BATMAN’s Christopher Nolan will probably do well, but there was no setup for a group movie, and neither Nolan or Christian Bale would likely have anything to do with a team movie.
In the continuation of Marvel deals, Fox pulled the plug on a Daredevil movie from Joe Carnahan (the Grey, Narc) and intentionally let the rights lapse back to Marvel. They just announced a 2015 release date for a FANTASTIC FOUR reboot, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the first film. God, how terrible an idea is that? Ask the Amazing Spider-man over at Sony. Supposedly, Marvel cut a deal with Fox that they would extend their contract on the FF if they gave back the Silver Surfer, supposedly to play in AVENGERS 2. Aside from the fact that Chris Evans is now Captain America and was the Human Torch in both of those movies, does anyone want a Fantastic Four movie without the ability to cross over with Spider-man or the Avengers?
Fox hired a former Marvel employee to shepherd all the Fox owned Marvel movies, ala Marvel Studios and they’ve got the director of CHRONICLE to direct the new FANTASTIC FOUR movie. Supposedly, they are intended to cross over the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters in the next few years too.
Speaking of which, Bryan Singer directed X-Men and X2 which helped usher in the current fad of good Comic Book movies last decade. He was asked to come back for X-Men First Class, incorporating his screenplay for a 2nd X-Men Origins movie on Magneto. His Warner movie JACK THE GIANT SLAYER interfered with Fox’s need to get this movie in the can lest Marvel get the lucrative X-Men back, so they asked Matthew Vaughn, hot off of the comic-book movie KICK ASS. Vaughn was slated to direct X-Men 3 Last Stand, but bowed out at the last second to be replaced by Brett Ratner. With the success of the pseudo reboot of X-Men First Class, the studio wanted Vaughn back instead of Bryan Singer.
Now Bryan Singer has stepped in to fill in for Matthew Vaughn who has pulled out of yet another X-Men movie, this one a hybrid of the old cast and new based on the classic story DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The time travel elements allow characters from any of the X-Men movies to cross over. Even Hugh Jackman is now in talks to make a more substantial role as WOLVERINE, aside from the upcoming THE WOLVERINE sequel/reboot/stand alone story. No one has officially stated why, but it’s pretty obvious why Matthew Vaughn is headed and it’s a galaxy far far away.
According to reliable sources not just on the Internets, Matthew Vaughn is one of the finalists for directing STAR WARS VII. His competition? IRON MAN and IRON MAN II director Jon Favreau who put Marvel Studios on the map, and acting only in this May’s IRON MAN III. Given the announced released date of 2015, same as AVENGERS 2, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and now THE FANTASTIC FOUR, that looks to be a busy summer for movies….