MCU: Why a ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie Is Not Part of Phase 4

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is approaching Phase 4, as fans everywhere cling to social media and an array of digital publications searching for casting rumors, narrative spoilers, and more. However — when it comes to the superheroes responsible for defending earth and other planets across various galaxies — fans were quick to notice that the Fantastic Four reboot is not coming down the pipeline anytime soon

Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four | Mario Tama/Getty Images

The MCU will release a second Doctor Strange, a WandaVision series, a She-Hulk show, Blade, and more; however, the familial and dysfunctional group of four will not receive their reboot just yet. 

Considering past attempts to bring the Fantastic Four to the silver screen have failed to achieve greatness, the pressure to finally hit this nail on the head is only growing by the day. We all remember the two-dimensional Sue that was Jessica Alba and the misguided and humor-deficient attempt of 2015. So, why did Marvel choose to hold out on The Fantastic Four? Why let the pressure build? Why not give fans the well-developed Fantastic Four movie they have wanted for decades!?

The MCU must redevelop a core group of Avengers first

If you look back on the Infinity Saga, several of the heroes didn’t join the party until after the first Avengers installment, which hit cinemas in 2012. Thus, by the time Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more came around, fans already knew who the core leaders were. Meaning, fans knew who would function as the Avengers who occasionally assemble, as opposed to those who consistently assemble; whether consciously aware of the fact or not, a divide was in place.

Marvel has yet to release a movie featuring the New Avengers, yet the process for cementing core heroes has already begun. Mighty Thor is soon to take the reigns from Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. Captain Marvel has been prepped for leadership. Sam Wilson’s Falcon is becoming the next Captain America, and so on. 

Once this core group of heroes becomes the new Avengers, adding new teams becomes more plausible. Why? Fans will digest the addition as related to the MCU timeline, but independent from Avengers’ leadership. 

The Fantastic Four must be a separate and respected entity, joining in for the assist

Think about the Guardians of the Galaxy: the team members feature in the major mash-ups but boast standalone installments integral to developing their dynamics and character arcs. 

The Fantastic Four will require multiple standalone installments, as multiple characters constitute the group; throwing them into a film or show currently in the making would feel out of place and rushed.

If a Fantastic Four movie comes out once the core group of new Avengers exists, they could be called upon to assist the Avengers as an independent unit. Reed Richards will lead his team to help, as opposed to the Fantastic Four reporting to an Avenger, which would strip the saviors of their dignity and minimize their value.

Because Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) is a leader, his team should not (and likely will not ) join on as part of an existing Avengers movie. Leadership must be delineated clearly. In short, the timing is not right. Similar to Marvel’s earlier approach, we must first know who will take charge of the Avengers before we bring in other teams, with other leaders, and other motivational factors to consider. Timing is everything. The way in which you add a hero plays into how they are interpreted, and Kevin Feige knows this.