I feel like we are living in some weird Bizzaro World. In what universe could we ever have expected the people at Fox actually having not only friendly exchanges with Marvel Studios, but coming away from those discussions with two new properties and the movement of Fantastic Four to Marvel in turn.
First things first: Marvel Studios and Fox have reached a deal to bring two X-men universe properties to television on both Fox’s television network and the cable channel FX. The first, Hellfire, set to air on Fox’s traditional channel, is set during the 60s and involves a young spy discovering the eponymous Hellfire Club – a ‘clandestine society of millionaires’ with global domination ambitions. Two of the primary members of the Hellfire Club in the comics are Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost, both antagonists in the rather brilliant X-Men: First Class film. Whether these two characters would also serve as the antagonists of the series is left unknown, but one of the character bios is described as “a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities” which very much sounds like Frost (The White Queen).
The second show would be about Legion, who in the comics is the son of Professor Xavier, and would air on FX. David Haller (Legion) is introduced as a teenager thought to suffer from mental illness due to hearing random voices in his head. Hospitalized most of his youth, the write up explains “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”.
Both shows will be produced by X-Men franchise lead, and director of multiple X-men films, Bryan Singer, along with his production team of Lauren Donner and Simon Kinberg. However, of particular note is the fact that Jeph Loeb, who is the head of Marvel TV, will also serve as a producer on the two series.
Finally, that second piece of news (well currently still speculation): It is possible that Marvel will be taking the rights to the Fantastic Four under its fold at Marvel Studios. After three rather poorly received films, it seems Fox may be done trying with the longstanding foursome family. It is possible that this was part of the deal that allowed Fox to produce the two aforementioned television series. While we still don’t have all the facts of the deal, it is possible that this is either a collapsing of the F4 into the Marvel Universe while Fox retains the rights, akin to recent developments between Sony and Marvel with Spider-man, or whether Marvel will be taking full production rights of the Reeds and Co. All of this must be taken with a grain of salt, but such a turn around would be much appreciated after the hard times the Fantastic Four have received in recent months (if not years).
This is almost too much to hear at this point. Up is down, dogs are marrying cats, and Fox and Marvel look to be getting along. Or am I just really really high right now without knowing it…
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