kevin feige fantastic four

There may be no one more controlled at handling press than Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. He’s a total pro who’s fully aware that every word he says is going to be pored over and dissected, so he would never do anything as brazen as trash another movie in public. But in a new interview, Feige did his version of that: by which I mean he – in a subtle, classy way – dissed the previous cinematic iterations of the Fantastic Four and promised that those characters would be taken care of in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

After Saturday night’s epic Marvel Studios panel, in which Feige announced a combination of ten films and TV shows that will debut in the next three years, Variety caught up with the mega-producer to ask some follow-up questions about a project that Feige quickly mentioned as the panel came to a close: the Fantastic Four. The reporter asked what story Marvel is going to tell that hasn’t been told before, and while Feige didn’t directly answer that part of the question, his answer did reveal that he doesn’t think particularly highly of the Fantastic Four films that have already been made.

“All of that is spoilers, but I’m extremely excited about those characters and about bringing Marvel’s first family up sort of to the platform and the level that they deserve.”

It’s not like Feige’s really going out on a limb by implying that the previous Fantastic Four movies aren’t great: the 1994 Roger Corman-produced version was infamously thrown together so a company could retain the film rights to the characters, Tim Story’s 2004 and 2007 movies didn’t exactly earn the adulation of fans, and Josh Trank’s 2015 iteration was a notorious disaster on just about every level. Reed Richards, Sue and Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm are landmark characters in the world of Marvel Comics, and they haven’t been done proper justice on film yet; this is Feige’s diplomatic way of saying he’s going to make sure that finally happens.

We’re not 100% certain whether the Fantastic Four will first appear in a theatrical feature or a Disney+ streaming show, but with Marvel Studios having full creative control over the Marvel content on that platform, fans can rest easy knowing that the Fantastic Four will finally be in the same league as their comic book peers when they’re reintroduced in live-action.

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