X-Men vs Fantastic Four

Recently, we learned that around about a decade ago, 20th Century Fox was developing a movie that would have featured high-profile superheroes like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and Daredevil (before that character’s rights reverted back to Marvel Studios). X-Men: First Class writer Zack Stentz, who was hired to write this ambitious superhero movie, teased the project’s existence but wouldn’t reveal what the film would have been about.

Now some actual plot details about that abandoned project have emerged, whisking us into a fascinating alternate timeline in which Fox could have beaten Marvel Studios to the full-scale crossover concept before The Avengers hit theaters. And this scrapped superhero movie would have been an X-Men vs Fantastic Four film, pitting two groups of heroes against each other in their own Civil War.

The Hollywood Reporter has a breakdown of what this crossover movie would have been about:

In 2010, according to our secret sources, Fox considered building toward a crossover movie that would have pitted the X-Men against the Fantastic Four (think of it as a Civil War for the Fox/Marvel characters). The studio enlisted First Class screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz to pen the script, which saw Johnny Storm go nova while trying to apprehend the villain Molecule Man. Johnny blows a hole in Manhattan and sparks the superhero registration act in response to the carnage.

The heroes are split on opposing sides, and among the key matchups was a Wolverine vs. Mr. Fantastic battle that ended with Reed Richards pinning Wolverine down, extending his hands until they’re one molecule wide, and using them as scissors to cut the mutant’s arms off (!!!). Eventually the heroes make peace…leading to a post-credits scene that teases what’s next: A Skrull invasion.

What in the ever-loving hell? If you asked thousands of comic book fans to imagine a Wolverine vs. Mr. Fantastic battle, I don’t know if any one of them could have conjured the image of Reed Richards using his own body to slice off Wolverine’s arms. That’s the level of bonkers, go-for-broke creativity that the Fox movies were sorely lacking; if this movie could have pulled that off, just think about what delightfully insane visuals that may have followed it if that universe became the dominant one in the comic book movie sphere.

Oh, and did we mention that Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, Captain Phillips) was considering directing this film?

THR also says Fox once commissioned a treatment for a totally different X-Men vs Fantastic Four movie from comics writer Warren Ellis, so there’s yet another alternate timeline for fans to imagine.

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