Simon Kinberg Talks Fantastic Four: Origins, Tone, And FF/X-Men Crossover Potential

It's been fun trying to guess what director Josh Trank and the rest of the team at Fox have planned for the Fantastic Four reboot. With Simon Kinberg on board as a writer/producer on both the Fantastic Four movie and the X-Men series, it seems inevitable, for example, that the films will connect in some way, at least eventually.

And while we know that this new Fantastic Four film will jump off from the Ultimate series, we don't know much about how the backtory will weave together elements of the Ultimate and classic story lines. WonderCon wasn't a place for answers, but in a few interviews Kinberg did give many new hints about the film.

Simon Kinberg spoke to a couple sites at WonderCon, and explained a few things about The Fantastic Four. To Den of Geek he said,

We're definitely telling a younger story that the original films did... They're older than high school, but they're not quite grown into the world. If anything, this is a coming of age story. It depends on what books you look at. There are some, like the Ultimate books, that tell this story. So it is an origin story of the Fantastic Four, and it does follow them before they really know what a superhero is... There is archetypal imagery of how they get their powers, for sure, and it does involve some sort of scientific travel.

And then to Crave Online he said,

It's a much more grounded, gritty, realistic movie than the last couple movies. If I had to say, the tone of it would be somewhere on the spectrum between Spider-Man and Chronicle. The other movies were even further on the spectrum of being goofy and fun than Spider-Man – Raimi Spider-Man, yeah, not Amazing Spider-Man. Josh Trank's instincts are to be as realistic and grounded and real with this stuff as possible. In many ways I would say it's definitely more of a drama than comedy. It's still in the direction of Spider-Man. It's not like Dark Knight. And even Chronicle has a lot of fun in it. We're treating this as the origin of the Fantastic Four so in future movies you'd have them on sort of splashier adventures to some extent but in this one we tried to ground the science as much as possible and make it feel like it could take place in our world before it cantilevers into other worlds.

Finally, speaking to ComingSoon, Kinberg talked a bit about the idea of building an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover. While Avi Arad says Spider-Man won't join up with these characters any time soon, an FF/X-Men crossover seems like a better chance, given that both reside under the Fox banner.

I'm the writer and producer of "Fantastic Four" and I write and produce the "X-Men" movies. I'm very involved. Fox has been very generous with letting me be one of the main authors and voices in the process. I mean, there's other people involved, too, of course. There's Lauren Shuler Donner, the original producer of the franchise and others. But yeah, they've really entrusted me to help craft the story that would have it make sense how these things can coexist and ultimately, maybe, cohabitate in movies.

That "maybe" is a pretty big one — it's the most important thing there. It says "we know you want this, and we do, too, but there are other people making those decisions." Those other people are the corporate controllers at Fox, who seem to want at least one or two FF movies before even thinking about mixing in any other characters. Indeed, SchmoesKnow, via Badass Digest, reports that Fox doesn't want to integrate the two character sets:

According to our source, Fox REALLY wants FANTASTIC FOUR to stand on its own without having to bring in some X-Men to help the movie along. Our source confirms there's not even a whisper of this happening because, as mentioned, Fox wants FF to do well enough to warrant another sequel and then another and so on and so forth.

That seems like a smart play — establish the Fantastic Four in at least one film, and probably two, before bringing in the X-Men. By that point the story elements that lead to Apocalypse in the X-Men series will be worked out, and Fox can get around to introducing Franklin Richards. With the first FF film set for release on June 19, 2015 and a second penciled in for July 14 2017, that means it could be 2019 before Michael B. JordanKate MaraJamie Bell and Miles Teller have to worry about any of their characters having kids or dealing with X-Men.