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So, Marvel Apparently Got the FANTASTIC FOUR Rights Back

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We’re not gonna waste time going over what happened with Fantastic Four. You know it was a flop. You know everybody hated it. You know that director Josh Trank pretty much abandoned it on the day of release. It was a complete and utter disaster for all parties involved, only generating a slight silver lining for one camp: Marvel Studios.

The attempted origin story was the third time Fox fucked up, and this latest rumor explains how it may have been the last as well. Last night news broke that the two companies had reached an agreement regarding the X-Men TV rights and gave Fox full control, prompting them to put two brand new live-action shows into development(!!), which had been talked about previously. They are Legion and Hellfire – I bet you can guess what one of those will be about.

X-Men DOFP

FX Networks has ordered the pilot for Legion, the story of a troubled young man who may be more than human, it was announced today by Nick Grad  and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions.

The pilot introduces the story of David Haller: Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.

Noah Hawley (Fargo, Bones) will write the pilot and serve as an Executive Producer along with Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Superman Returns), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Martian), Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Daredevil), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Daredevil) and John Cameron (Fargo, The Big Lebowski).

Fun fact: if it weren’t for me then you’d all think Simon Kinberg produced The Martain.

Read some more about Legion here

FOX is in development on an action-adventure series HELLFIRE (working title), it was announced today by David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

Set in the late 1960s, the series — which will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television, with 20th Century Fox handling the physical production — follows a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires – known as “The Hellfire Club” – to take over the world.

HELLFIRE is a co-production of 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. Evan Katz (“24: Live Another Day”), Manny Coto (“24”), Patrick McKay (“Star Trek 3”) and JD Payne (“Star Trek 3”) are co-creators. McKay and Payne will write the pilot script, based on a story by Katz, Coto, McKay and Payne. Lauren Shuler Donner (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Wolverine”), Bryan Singer (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Fantastic Four”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, “Marvel’s Daredevil”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Marvel’s Daredevil”) will executive-produce the pilot, alongside Katz and Coto, who will serve as showrunners.

…and read some more about Hellfire here.

That press release is also kinda holey. The threequel’s been called Star Trek Beyond for months. C’mon, guys.

The news marked a significant change in relations between Marvel and Fox. For years, the two companies have been cold and distant, with Fox famous for their white-knuckle grip on comic book properties as well as heavy-handed management with other movies. A few years ago Marvel proposed letting the studio keep the Daredevil rights in exchange for the use of Silver Surfer and Galactus. Fox said no, and now Marvel have a mega-hit Netflix show on their hands, while Fox has a $100m+ write-off to make thanks to Fantastic Four. Bet they wish they made that dal now.

Point is, they hate each other, so for Marvel to sign off on these two lucrative shows of which they’ll get nothing in return is a pretty odd move. It could just be them trying to be the better (wo)man, but this is also business.

What could they POSSIBLY get in return?

Hmm.

I wonder.

Fantastic Four Reborn

Den of Geek reported that the deal was made in exchange for the Fantastic Four rights back, with a movie slotted in for 2020. It seemed like true wish fulfillment – and both camps have now issued a denial to the site. Oh, yay.

I believe Marvel and Fox are telling the truth, however I still believe two things: 1) those rights are heading home sooner rather than later. 2) Marvel got something in return for Hellfire and Legion. They clearly have some creative involvement, as Jeph Loeb and other folks from their TV division are executive producers on ’em, and as a result they’re probably getting some profits. It’s not as exciting as movie rights, but it’s something.

The bright side of this denial, though, is that we’re still getting two (hopefully) kick-ass TV shows. FX is the home of critical darling Fargo – imagine if they could work the same magic with mutants?

Oh, boy.

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