In a new interview with Den Of Geek, X-Men and Fantastic Four producer Simon Kinberg has a number of things to say about Fox's continued inability to get a successful Fantastic Four franchise off the ground. Some of these things are easy to agree with...
“We didn't make a good movie, and the world voted, and I think they probably voted correctly. And you can't make a good movie every time out - not everybody does. We actually have a pretty good batting average, all things considered. But I think we made many mistakes when we made that movie - mistakes that we learned from and we wouldn't repeat.”
...while others, well, not so much:
“We want to make another Fantastic Four movie."
Kinberg claims that Fox is interested in giving the series another go - he says they're even willing to give it a shot with the same cast Josh Trank used last year - but that, should a Fantastic Four 2 come to pass, it will likely eschew the darkness of Trank's film.
"We'll try to be truer to the essence of the tone of Fantastic Four, which is completely - well, not completely, but largely - distinct from the X-Men, which is brighter, funner, more optimistic tone. I think we tried to make a darker Fantastic Four movie, which seemed like a radical idea but we were kind of messing with the DNA of the actual comic instead of trusting the DNA of the comic.”
That quote is worded in a way that makes it sound as though Kinberg's calling the X-Men a "brighter, funner, more optimistic" franchise, but I think we can go ahead and assume that's just a sentence in need of a little editing-via-transcription. What Kinberg almost certainly means is that Fantastic Four is the "brighter, funner" property, and that both he and Fox would be angling to take Fantastic Four 2 in that direction...should someone bite the bullet and greenlight the project.
I dunno, guys. Admittedly, I'm largely ambivalent about the Fantastic Four in general, but even setting that aside: how many at-bats does this property get before you accept the fact that you're not the right studio to make it happen? Considering the history here, wouldn't it make far more sense to try and play ball with Marvel (a la what Sony's done on Spider-Man: Homecoming)? Hey, here's a conspiracy theory: maybe all this "brighter, funner" talk is Kinberg subtly extending an olive branch in Marvel's direction, hoping they'd have the interest.
Of course, this is not my area of expertise, and maybe Kinberg's just stating the obvious: "Dark didn't work, so let's try light".
Here's an even bigger question: would you be interested in another Fantastic Four? And how would Marvel's involvement (or lack of involvement) impact that opinion?