A Fantastic fresh start

ffEven Fox knows it botched the two Fantastic Four movies its made, but it’ll be damned if that’s not going to keep it from trying again (and again and again).

According to Variety, Akiva Goldsman is set to produce, and Michael Green (a co-executive producer on “Heroes,” and co-screenwriter of DC’s upcoming Green Lantern) has scripting duties. Of course, they’re calling it a “reboot.” There is no word on whether any of the cast will return.

Apparently there’s a little clause in Fox’s deal with Marvel for the Fantastic Four that relates to how today’s big news of Disney buying Marvel affects the FF’s film franchise: it doesn’t. You see, Fox has the rights to Fantastic Four forever — as long as it keeps making movies. And it has the same arrangement with X-Men, Daredevil and the Silver Surfer. (facepalm)

Exactly how “keeps making movies” translates wasn’t spelled out in the article (one every four years per property or one film every two years for the whole line-up) but the words “in perpetuity” just keep boggling my mind. Granted, Marvel probably didn’t have the slightest intention of making its own movies at that point, but “in perpetuity”? How do you not give yourself an out clause?

Posted on August 31, 2009 at 22:28 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News

8 Responses

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  1. Written by Matt
    on 2009-09-01 at 06:28
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    But what does Pamela have to do with any of this horrible news?

  2. Written by gmcalpin
    on 2009-09-01 at 08:51
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    She's appeared as Invisible Woman/Girl in Superhero Movie.

    I was Googling Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman and that came up instead, and I figured, what's the difference? With a reboot, it's not like Alba is likely to be in the new film, either.

  3. Written by LiamK
    on 2009-09-01 at 09:47
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    Hm. This feels a little like territory-marking, more than anything else.
    It's been noted that most of Marvel's character rights were given out 'in perpetuity' – it'll be interesting to see exactly what the means against Disney in the months to follow.

  4. Written by BJ
    on 2009-09-01 at 12:33
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    I don't think “in perpetuity” is as crazy as you are making it out to be. As long as Fox is making movies then Marvel is making money with each new sequel from the agreement at whatever rate was negotiated. If the sequels are bad they should lose money and Fox will stop making them and the deal will expire. And Marvel can take them elsewhere, or more probably do them in house.

    To not have an “in perpetuity” clause would almost be in bad faith, because if FOX does a great job and the movie finds a huge audience then they have no rights to the sequel and would then have to pay a king's ransom to Marvel to do a sequel, but if they do a bush league job and the movie makes little money they could do a sequel for cheap, though Marvel would probably not want to work with them again if it means hurting the Marvel brand. So not having the “in perpetuity” clause incentivizes FOX to make a mediocre movie that makes good not great money and can be sequelized ad infinitum. The clause helps ensure that as long as it is profitable for both parties, both will be making money, and as if FOX keeps greenlighting more movies and trying to figure out what works i'm sure they'll figure it out eventually.

  5. Written by gmcalpin
    on 2009-09-01 at 17:28
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    I'm not sure I'm following your logic, because in MY opinion: HAVING the 'in perpetuity' clause incentivizes Fox to make a mediocre movie that makes good not great money but can be sequelized ad infinitum — simply so that the license never, ever expires. Same exact reasoning, but with the opposite conclusion.

    And I don't see how having an expiration date — or at least SOME method of revoking the license after a set term — would be in bad faith, because… that's pretty standard in intellectual property licenses.

  6. Written by BJ
    on 2009-09-02 at 09:26
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    All I am saying is that if Fox sees the property as worth keeping then they must believe it should have an audience if done correctly, so they should invest the time and money into doing it right, at least once, because then the franchise would become huge and the sequels would be more profitable, and Fox has the rights to make those sequels. Whereas if they make mediocre movies just to keep the rights, the box office will be less and less and they will be hurting their own brand and the brand of the properties whose rights they control.
    I agree that there would probably be some fluff mixed in there just to ensure the deal doesn't expire, but at some point Fox would have to make something that resonates with the audience and makes big profit, and Marvel would share in that profit.

  7. Written by vaderwalks
    on 2009-09-02 at 17:50
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    Can't say I care too much about Fox holding the rights to Fantastic 4 or Daredevil (although it would make a Civil War movie, if it ever happened, a bit more difficult), but Silver Surfer and the goddamn X-Men? In Fox's hands? Forever?

    Ugh.

  8. Written by vaderwalks
    on 2009-09-02 at 21:50
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    Can't say I care too much about Fox holding the rights to Fantastic 4 or Daredevil (although it would make a Civil War movie, if it ever happened, a bit more difficult), but Silver Surfer and the goddamn X-Men? In Fox's hands? Forever?

    Ugh.

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