FOX Planned a Civil War Between the X-Men and Fantastic 4
Marvel's 2016 Captain America Civil War movie at one point wouldn’t have been the only version of the story that we got.
In 2016 Marvel released Captain America: Civil War, the third instalment to the Captain America series. But rival movie studio FOX had a very similar idea and at one point was floating around with the concept of doing a version of the famous 2008 storyline for themselves.
The studio would use their two best-known superhero teams to make up their opposing sides the X-Men & Fantastic 4. This premise, according to the Hollywood Reporter was being considered around 2010. A writer on X-Men: First Class also commented on FOX planning on also involving characters like Deadpool & Daredevil. It’s not 100% confirmed which X-Men era team this film would involve but it would most likely be the First-Class era seeing as that film was released a year later.
FOX enlisted First Class screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz to pen the script, which saw Johnny Storm go nova while trying to apprehend the villain, Molecule Man. Johnny blows a hole in Manhattan and sparks the superhero registration act in response to the devastation.
The heroes are split into opposing sides, and among the key matchups was a Wolverine vs. Mr Fantastic battle that ended with Reed Richards pinning Wolverine down, extending his hands until they’re one molecule wide, and using them as scissors to cut the mutant’s arms off (!!!). Eventually, the heroes make peace … leading to a post-credits scene that teases what’s next: A Skrull invasion.
Basically, FOX was planning a similar thing to what DC and Warner Bros would do a couple of years later. Attempt to rush into an “Avengers” like movie but without any build-up. This may be why the apparent director of this secret project, Paul Greengrass, passed on it.
Besides at this point, a crossover movie would have only become more confusing for the everchanging X-Men timeline. Not to mention would it involve, the Chris Evans, Jessica Alba Fantastic 4 and Ben Affleck's Daredevil? Or would all these roles be recast and started fresh?
When on Keven Smith's 'Fatman on Batman' podcast Stentz said "when we were working at Fox and we were working on X-Men: First Class, we did a secret movie for them that — I can't tell you what the plot was — but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011," Stentz revealed. "It used the X-Men. It used the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It used Deadpool. Daredevil was still at Fox at the time."
The Multiverse and different timelines in superhero films are a relatively new concept on the big screen and while this project, had it been in development now could most likely go ahead, back then would have most likely turned out nothing more than a confusing mess.
Nevertheless, I would have loved to have seen these two teams face off especially since, for the meantime at least, both of these franchise teams are on ice until at least November 2024. When the Fantastic 4 finally join the MCU.
Imagine just how different the comic book landscape would be today had this plan been implemented and succeeded. Inhumans would most likely be running around the MCU, the Daredevil tv show and perhaps the rest of Netflix shows may have never been created. Had it worked out the MCU might actually have a rival as opposed to other failed shared-franchise universes like the DC Snyderverse, Dark Universe and the Amazing Spider-man.
It doesn't end there either, THR also reported that they hired comic book writer Warren Ellis to write a script for a separate X-Men vs Fantastic 4 movie, but details on that project are virtually non-existent. Although, with both franchises now joining the MCU we may end up with a variation of this if they were to pull from storylines such as Avengers vs X-Men