What's Next For 'Fantastic Four'?

Fantastic Four is poised to join X-Men and Ant-Man in superhero movie history, but after the reboot is released on Friday, what's next? Well, Marvel and 20th Century Fox have already given a sequel, tentatively titled Fantastic Four 2, a green light and a release date — July 14, 2017 — but if anything is certain in Hollywood, it's that plans can change pretty quickly. So how many Fantastic Four movies will there be, in total? Right now, it looks like the number could be infinite; unless there's an overwhelming box office disaster that causes the studio to cancel plans for a sequel (unlikely), Fantastic Four movies could just keep coming.

Here's what's known so far: with a sequel pretty much guaranteed, a third Fantastic Four film is a possibility, but up in the air. First, actors Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B Jordan have to have signed a contract for a third film. Luckily, when an actor signs on to do one Marvel movie, they typically sign on to do at least three or four, so contract negotiations shouldn't hold up a potential third film. During an appearance at CinemaCon in April, Teller, who plays Reed Richards in Fantastic Four, revealed that he had signed on to "three [or] four" movies. Co-star Mara, who plays Sue Storm, was more coy, saying only that she had signed a contract for "more than one."

As for what fans can expect from a Fantastic Four sequel, executive producer Simon Kinberg said in an interview with Comic Book Resources that he hopes future films will explore what it's like for the Fantastic Four to be "a public celebrity superhero group."

"There are a lot of places to go with these characters, because they are young and are just starting to embrace who they are. There's a lot of room for them to grow, emotionally. That's really what excites me about the potential for future movies, to explore stories and love and deeper conflicts and to just keep going deeper into their inner personal relationships," Kinberg added.

But, as Marvel movie history has taught us, the potential Fantastic Four movies are probably not the only ways fans will see the characters in the future. Even if Fantastic Four 2 is the last of the Fantastic Four films to star Mara, Teller, Jordan and Bell, there's still a chance the actors could appear in other superhero films, like an X-Men movie. (Because, let's face it, who wouldn't want more of THIS?)

Bryan Singer, the creative mind behind X-Men: Days of Future Past, confirmed the rumblings of a possible Fantastic Four crossover movie, when he admitted in July that there were discussions being had, saying, "That would be a natural match-up because they're both ensemble films and there is a natural mechanism by which to do it."

However, Fantastic Four executive producer Simon Kinberg recently stressed that Fantastic Four does not take place in the same universe as the recent X-Men movies, saying simply, "The Fantastic 4 live in a world without mutants. And the X-men live in a world without the Fantastic 4."

So, if the Fantastic Four don't exist in X-Men films, and the X-Men don't exist in Fantastic Four , how would a crossover work? Speaking about the potential crossover, Singer revealed that the idea being tossed around "deals with time." And, given the convoluted time traveling antics Singer used in X-Men: Days of Future Past to align the arc of X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003) with that of X-Men: First Class (2011), it shouldn't be too difficult to create a scenario that could propel the Fantastic Four into the X-Men world.

It also helps that in Fantastic Four, heroes Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm get their powers after teleporting to an alternate universe, paving the way for their characters to enter in whatever universe they want, including the one that houses mutants. But again, any potential for a crossover depends on the box office reception of both Fantastic Four and X-Men: Apocalypse , which is set for a 2016 release. "We'll have to see how the films turn out. To just say you're going to do it would be a mistake, you have to see how the films evolve before you make that decision to completely commit to that," Singer added.

For now, if you want to see Teller, Mara, Bell and Jordan as the Fantastic Four, your best bet is to get to a theater this weekend. As for the future, who knows? When it comes to superhero movies, it seems like everything is a possibility.

Images: 20th Century Fox, Giphy (3)