20th Century Fox has confirmed to ComicBook.com that the film rights to the Fantastic Four remain at the studio, despite rumors to the contrary.
The rumors followed yesterday’s announcement that two X-Men television pilots were being developed for Fox networks as a co-production between Fox Television and Marvel Television. The rumors implied that the Fantastic Four rights were traded to Marvel in exchange for the X-Men’s television rights. The rumor went on to suggest that one of Marvel Studios’ recently announced, but still untitled, 2020 films would be a new Fantastic Four film.
The rumor was flawed to begin with. The X-Men television rights have rested at Fox for years already, so no trade was necessary, and the deal to bring the X-Men to television has been in the works since well before the Fantastic Four’s most recent box office disappointment. Transferring rights would also be a much more involved process than simply “trading” one for another, as rights arrangements such as the Fantastic Four’s usually involve hundreds of legal document pages and a similar number of characters, both formally listed and implied. Finally, Marvel Studios and Marvel Television are two separate entities within the larger Disney Corporation, so it is possible that Marvel Studios had no active involvement in the X-Men television deal.
As of now, Fox still plans to release a sequel to Fantastic Four.