In an apparent attempt at studio one-upmanship, media conglomerate 21st Century Fox is looking to cross its licensed Marvel Comics properties The Fantastic Four and The X-Men into a film to rival Warner Bros.' upcoming Batman vs. Superman project.
Investment site The Motley Fool reports that Fox is looking to combine the two largest properties still remaining at the studio in an Avengers-style epic that should make their shareholders happy. The article describes the movie's plot as "Based on a 1987 four-issue comic called Fantastic Four vs. [the] X-Men, the movie will see the characters against each other because of secrets regarding the Fantastic Four's origin."
In the four-issue limited series by writer Chris Claremont and artist Jon Bogdanove, X-Man Kitty Pryde loses control over her phasing abilities, and the atoms of her body begin drifting farther apart. Magneto turns to Fantastic Four leader Reed Richards for help, sending the two groups into conflict with one another after a journal supposedly written by Reed claims that he deliberately planned the accident with cosmic rays that gave the Fantastic Four their superpowers. The journal, naturally, turns out to be a fake, planted years ago by the FF's archenemy Doctor Doom and used in an attempt to make the X-Men indebted to him by saving Kitty's life.
Fantastic Four vs. X-Men would presumably be a sequel to Fox's Fantastic Four reboot by Chronicle director Josh Trank currently slated for release on June 19, 2015. With the movie now less than eighteen months away, there still hasn't been any official confirmation of the cast, with Michael B. Jordan possibly having the role of Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. In addition to Jordan's involvement, the rumored plot synopsis for the film has also been somewhat controversial for diverging from the original source material:
'The Fantastic Four' will tell the tale of two very young friend, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. After an even transforms the boys, they find themselves empowered with bizarre new abilities. Reed becomes a scientific genius who can stretch, twist and re-shape his body to inhuman proportions. Ben becomes a monstrous, craggy humanoid with orange, rock-like skin and super-strength. However, the two end up being owned by the government and used as weapons. But after they mature, two others with powers come into the picture -- Sue Storm 'The Invisible Girl' and Johnny Storm 'The Human Torch.'
Meanwhile, the X-Men films are still chugging along, with Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past scheduled to arrive on May 23, 2014 and another sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, planned for May 27, 2016. If the Fantastic Four reboot does well enough to justify Fantastic Four vs. X-Men, you can probably expect that sometime in 2018.
*** UPDATE AS OF 12/30/13 ***
Earlier today, I received the following message on Twitter from The Motley Fool, saying this report was an error from an overzealous writer. The Motley Fool has since corrected their article.
@CharlesSkaggs FYI, Fox isn't making an X-Men/FF crossover movie. That was an overzealous report from a freelance writer. #weregrettheerror
— The Motley Fool (@themotleyfool) December 30, 2013
Ah, well. Nothing to see here, I suppose. Move along...