When Will 'Fantastic Four 2' Be Released? Start Counting Down, The Sequel's Release Is Speeding Up
Fantastic Four is coming, which can only mean one thing: it's time to talk about a sequel. So when will Fantastic Four 2 be released? There's no doubt that a follow-up film is on its way; the studio has already confirmed it, and in any event, try imagining a superhero movie starring Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell not get immediately green-lit for a sequel. But how soon will it be until fans can get to see Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and The Thing take the big screen once more?
Not long; in March, 20th Century Fox announced that Fantastic Four 2 would be hitting theaters July 14, 2017. That's less than two years away — it may seem long, but it's pretty fast for a big-budget movie. Unfortunately, no other details on the project have been released, so as fans await the release of Fantastic Four and the studio awaits the box office returns, it's hard to say what fans will or won't see in the proposed sequel. That doesn't mean no one can theorize, though; even the cast has expressed some hopes for Fantastic Four 2. Jordan told ComicBook.com that he wants the villain Namor to make an appearance in the sequel, while Bell revealed he favored the Silver Surfer.
Now, when it comes to Fantastic Four sequels and the Silver Surfer, Marvel doesn't have the greatest track record. 2007's Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer got a ton of flack upon its release, and is generally considered one of the lesser superhero movies — and that's despite starring Chris Evans!
Whether or not the creative minds behind Fantastic Four 2 go with the Silver Surfer as their villain or not, here are a few things the sequel should avoid:
1. Filling The Movie With Too Much Mythology
Here's the thing: comic-book movies — whether you're a DC Comics or Marvel kind of girl — are all going above and beyond to create a cohesive, connected universe. Marvel has already done an excellent job, as evidenced by the culmination of its independently connected movies in The Avengers. But even Marvel is not immune to the pitfall of overloading on mythology. Even Guardians of the Galaxy (I know, I know) is guilty of this potentially fatal flaw. Chris Pratt's disarming charm is distracting enough to keep the audience from realizing it, but that movie made no sense, and was way too packed with Marvel lore, clearly meant to pave the way for eventual crossovers.
Sure, mythology is interesting, and it helps create a massive and fun franchise of connected films, but I think everyone can agree that there is a line between fun connections and connections so convoluted they take 30 minutes of exposition to explain in the middle of a film (I'm looking at you, Collector).
2. Forgetting Your Hero's Core Values
Sometimes, sequels can be so focused on reinvigorating a franchise or hero that they either forget about all the character development done in the first film, or almost completely alter a character's driving principles. One example of a sequel getting this issue extremely right is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America (played by former Human Torch Chris Evans) never loses his sense of duty and honor, not even for the sake of plot. The movie kept Steve Rogers grounded in who he was before he became Captain America, and that's what makes watching his story continue so compelling. That's not to say that Marvel sacrificed a fun story to keep the character honorable, but instead of manufacturing a crisis of character, the film put Captain America's character at odds with the complexities of the modern world.
3. Doing The 'I Love You But I Can't Be With You' Speech
OK, this is one superhero trope I think we can all agree needs to go. I get it, balancing saving the world and a romantic life is hard, and it has the potential to stir up some great drama. It also has the potential to make millions of fangirls roll their eyes and walk out of the theater. (JK...we would never walk out, we would just watch in silent agony and resentment.) Recently, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made the crucial mistake of making the tortured-hero-in-love plot point one of the main sources of conflict. It didn't work. It also cost the franchise one of their most compelling actors and arguably ended the era of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.
At this point, audiences have seen the 'I Love You But I Can't Be With You' trope so many times that it not only feels lazy and stale, it also feels incredibly forced. (Besides, if all these superhero movies are somehow connected, wouldn't they have all learned from each others' mistakes?!)
If I could leave the people behind Fantastic Four 2 with one word of advice, it would be this: listen to Jamie Bell, who recently expressed his hopes that the sequel would continue to explore the family dynamic at the root of Fantastic Four :
"I'd like to see more of how the characters interact with each other famously from the comic. It would be appealing to me. This one very much is to get them to that point, to take them from people you don't know, to transition into characters you can recognize. The job of the next film is taking it further and having the characters already established, seeing them interact in the very famous kind of way. ... More of a family dynamic."
Now that'd be a movie I'd want to see.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy (4)