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Simon Kinberg Discusses Future GAMBIT and FANTASTIC FOUR Movies

Simon Kinberg Discusses Future GAMBIT and FANTASTIC FOUR Movies

Simon Kinberg is the mutant guru at Fox, and the man is at least partially responsible for films like X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Deadpool (to be fair, he also co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand and the reboot of the Fantastic Four, so not everything has been a home run). Now there are rumors he’s going to be directing X-Men: Supernova, a re-do of the classic Dark Phoenix Saga from the comics, which X-Men: The Last Stand botched (by Kinberg’s own admission). On top of all that, he’s also a producer on future installments of Deadpool, and the Gambit movie starring Channing Tatum. Yes, according to a recent interview with Kinberg (at ComicBook.com, via Uproxx), he updated fans on the status of the troubled Gambit movie, saying the following:

It’s in active development. It’s a movie that we hope will be ready to go by the end of this year and shoot next year. We have two or three X-Men related movies this year so it can wait for a moment. The process has been that Channing [Tatum] is as determined about getting the character right as Ryan Reynolds was about Deadpool and Hugh [Jackman] was about this Logan movie. We know that when we get those right, the movie succeeds so we want to make sure we get Gambit right because we want him to be the beginning of a whole new franchise.

So it seems that reports of the death of the Gambit film have been exaggerated, if only somewhat. Gambit lost its director and release date, leading many to believe that the project was dead in the water. But then, the Deadpool movie had just as many fits and starts on its way to eventually getting made and becoming the blockbuster it was. It was a long road for Wade Wilson to superstardom.

But can Gambit really be compared to Deadpool? Deadpool as a character has a huge fanbase, on that transcends actual comic book readers (he’s the male Harley Quinn in this sense). Thousands of young men love Deadpool from video games and a kind of cultural osmosis, and long before the movie came out, Deadpool symbolized a kind of crazy irreverence embraced by many. It was poised to be a blockbuster regardless of quality. It’s just nice that it also happened to be great.

Gambit, on the other hand, has barely been able to hold his own solo comic book series for an extended period of time. You don’t see Gambit merchandise on the level of Wolverine or Deadpool, or other characters. He’s not even starring in any X-Men comic book titles at the moment. I wouldn’t say the character is unliked, but he’s not a breakout character in the way Marvel (and probably Fox) has always hoped he would be. A successful solo Gambit movie is a huge gamble, and a lot more of its potential success has to do with Channing Tatum’s power to draw in audiences, vs. the draw of the character itself. I have a feeling this one is a bit longer away from getting made than they’d like us to believe.

In the same interview, Kinberg also updated fans on the status of any kind of Fantastic Four sequel. To say that the Josh Trank directed reboot failed to meet expectations is me being polite. The FF reboot was the kind of bomb the superhero genre hasn’t seen since the glory days of such ’90s comic book fare as Barb Wire and Steel. And yet Kinberg, God bless ‘im, remains hopeful about the future of Marvel’s first family on the big screen, saying the following:

We love that cast. Obviously, the movie wasn’t what we wanted it to be and it wasn’t received the way we wanted it to be…we would love to make another Fantastic Four movie. We feel like there’s a great Fantastic Four movie to be made and I think it would hue closer to the tone of the original, the source material, the comics, but we want to make that movie.

He’s not wrong, there is a great Fantastic Four movie to be made. But Fox has dropped the ball with these characters three times now. Sure, there are arguably just as many bad X-Men films, but that franchise got off on the right foot back in 2000 with the original movie from Bryan Singer, and has had several great films in the franchise since then, along with the turkeys. FF by contrast has only had turkeys, with the last one being the biggest and juiciest. Fox has about five years to make another FF movie before the rights revert to Marvel, and chances of getting the movie going public to pay money for another reboot so soon are very slim, and the studio (and Kinberg) have got to realize that.

So what’s the solution? The ice between Fox and Marvel Studios has recently been cracked, although not outright shattered. Both Legion and the upcoming X-Men universe TV series are co-productions between Marvel and Fox, as Fox does not have the sole TV rights to the Marvel universe characters they own. A Fantastic Four “event series”, similar to what Marvel is doing right now with Inhumans, is totally the way to go. If the budget exists to make a high quality, effects driven series with an Imax theatrical premiere, then the FF deserve the same chance. And we know that television redeemed Daredevil after a less than stellar movie debut.  When it comes to the X-Men universe joining the MCU, well…we should not hold our breath. But a TV co-production with Marvel on the FF seems like a no-brainer at this point — and maybe the only solution that can benefit both companies.

What do you think of Kinberg’s comments on the Fox/Marvel franchises? And how would you deal with potential Gambit and Fantastic Four projects? Let us know down below in the comments.

Images: Saban Entertainment, Hanna Barbera, Marvel Comics 


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