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Saturday, May 24, 2014

EDITORIAL: How 'The Fantastic Four' & 'X-Men' Can Co-Exist in the Same Universe

Ever since the dawn of Marvel Studios laying out the platform for co-existing characters in the same universe every studio has tried to copy this formula. With DC getting their Justice League off the ground as well as Sony attempting to launch franchises based off Spider-Man's rogue gallery. The last studio to have multiple characters in the same universe would be FOX.

For the longest time it was assumed by many that with the newly release X-Men: Days of Future Past resetting the timeline of past X-Men movies. As well as the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot that obviously FOX would put these two teams together correct? I mean even in the comics Sue Storm and Reed Richards son Franklin Richards is actually a mutant and marries Rachel Summers in a dystopian future.

Then late last year FOX hired comic book writer Mark Millar was hired to what we all assumed 'godfather' this shared universe to a better future. He ended up taking to twitter though to reiterate that the future movies stand alone even if the characters live in the same universe.
Now this makes complete sense we don't want to over saturate the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot with a million X-Men references just to build a universe for the general public to understand. Looking at you Amazing Spider-Man 2. Lets get a movie for The Fantastic Four out of the way first and establish this new team to the world before crossing over Wolverine and the X-Men. We all can agree on that right? Simply wait until the sequel to get some X-Men goodies?

That was until at recent press junket's screenwriter for both X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Fantastic Four Simon Kinberg dropped the bomb that they may never actually crossover let alone even be in the same universe!
Well, it’s complicated. Because none of the ‘X-Men’ movies have acknowledged the notion of a sort of superhero team — the Fantastic Four. And the Fantastic Four acquire powers, so for them to live in a world where mutants are prevalent is kind of complicated, because you’re like, “Oh, you’re just a mutant.” Like, “What’s so fantastic about you? [...] So, I guess we’ll go to school now. We’ll go to Xavier’s school.” No, it is … they live in discrete universes.

If you think about it he is completely right. Not just that in the movie universe how would the people distinguish or even care the difference between mutants and the Fantastic Four? They all simply have super powers. In real life how would the general audience even understand the difference between Sunspot (Played by Adan Canto) and the Human Torch (Played by Michael B. Jordan)? Their powers are literally exactly the same on film... But I believe I have found the solution to this problem! The answer in not distinguishing the two teams from their powers but from their popularity in their universe.

The dynamic that Kinberg needs to look at is how the universe treats each team. He has already established with the X-Men movies that the human race hates and fears mutants. They fear mutants because mutants are an entire species that can wipe humanity off the face of the earth.  This is the reason for the events that transpire in Days of Future Past with the humans and Sentinels teaming up to send mutants to interment camps in the future. This can't be the case for the Fantastic Four....

 We have already learned that in the first film of the rebooted series the team won't even been called "The Fantastic Four" until maybe the end of the movie. This makes sense given that the team needs to come together. They need to earn that title. But to the rest of the world they were humans like the rest of us. Reed Richards and Sue Storm are world renown scientists. A freak accent in space (If Kinberg is gonna use the original origin of the team) gave them these four amazing gifts. They weren't born with power; it was thrust upon them. In the end their species is still human. The humans will accept them as one of their own. As an ally unlike the mutants.

If Simon Kinberg uses the dynamic that the world accepts the Fantastic Four and hates the X-Men it could make for one hell of a "Verses" movie. Yes, a superhero verses movie usually ends up with the the two teams teaming up to take on a more serious threat to all of humanity. Lets say like Franklin Richards and Onslaught??? But for the beginning of a possible crossover event at FOX the idea of the Fantastic Four Battling the X-Men all because of the humans could make a great film. To the humans the Fantastic Four is their saviors and in turn celebrity's. While the X-Men are hated and hunted for being what they are.

Let's hope eventually Simon Kinberg does crack the code to have these two great teams co-exist in the same universe!

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Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Superhero Movie News. A frequent collaborator with the Editors on Comic Book Movie, The Daily Superhero, Think McFly Think and Comic Book Therapy. Film Critic By Day. Fanboy By Night. Born with Mad Jedi and Ninja Skittles. And a connoisseur of fine headbanging music.