Nearly a decade ago, 20th Century Fox had more comic book movie rights than any other non-Marvel Studios entity. This is almost hard to believe now, especially given the studio’s recent absorption by Disney. But regardless of Fox’s mixed success with superhero films, the studio once had big plans for their stable of characters. According to screenwriter Zack Stentz, they even considered a massive crossover film featuring the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and more.
Stentz shared this info during an appearance on Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin’s Fatman Beyond podcast (via ComicBook.com). Although Stentz didn’t divulge many story details, he mentioned that he and another writer started developing the project while crafting the script for X-Men: First Class. According to Stentz, Fox came pretty close to hiring a big-name director to helm the movie.
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“My ex-partner and I, when we were working at Fox and we were working on X-Men: First Class, we did a secret movie for them that, I can’t tell you what the plot was, but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011,” said Stentz. “It used the X-Men. It used the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It used Deadpool. Daredevil was still at Fox at the time. We almost had Paul Greengrass directing it which would’ve been so cool but he had another project to do instead. It didn’t end up going, but it was a script I was really proud of and it would’ve been really good.”
Fox lost the Daredevil rights in 2012 after scrambling to produce a reboot that ignored the 2003 film. The studio did make a new Fantastic Four movie in 2015, but it was a critically-panned box-office bomb. Surprisingly, Stentz revealed that he and First Class co-writer Ashley Edward Miller were originally going to write that film as well.
“The other thing that’s never going to happen is the version that Ash and I did of the Fantastic Four,” added Stentz. “Josh Trank, who ended up doing the Fantastic Four that we saw in the theaters, we were supposed to be writing the script for him, but nobody told him that we were doing it. So, when he officially signed on he was like, ‘Why are you imposing these other writers on me? I want to use my own writer. I wanna do my own script.’”
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“And he did his version instead,” continued Stentz. “It was one of those hammer blows to our career at the time, even though we had gotten paid, because I was so freakin’ proud of that script. It was how the Fantastic Four were almost the Fantastic Five except a young man named Victor von Doom was just too damaged and f***ed up to be part of them. It was a script I was very proud of. Josh Trank didn’t wanna do it. Even though it hurt like a motherf***er that they didn’t use our script, I don’t blame him.”
Stentz’s latest screenwriting effort, Rim of the World, is currently available to stream on Netflix. What do you think of his plans for a 20th Century Fox-produced Marvel crossover film? Would you like to see Marvel Studios revive the project now that they own Fox’s IP? Let us know in the comment section below!
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