[UPDATE] Many outlets are now denying the rumor. Anthony Breznican, of EW, states that 100%, the rights remain with Fox.
We’ve got a wonderful rumor by Den of Geek this morning, claiming that the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise have reverted back to Marvel, by way of leverage and negotiations. This is no surprise after the dismal performance of the Josh Trank directed 2015 superhero film, Fantastic Four, which took in less money over the course of its entire cinema run than the 2005 film of the same name made in its opening weekend.
With the news yesterday that Fox announced they’d negotiated the rights to bring two X-Men series to television (Legion and Hellfire), this makes sense. DoG’s source claims Marvel asked for the rights to the Fantastic Four back in exchange for the TV rights to X-Men, a franchise with a proven box office track record.
The source continues by stating that one of the three unnamed Marvel films set to arrive in 2020 (as part of Phase 4) will be a new Fantastic Four film, given the proper Marvel treatment. Keeping a 5 year distance, at least, from the 2015 disaster will certainly be a smart move. Unless of course, the superhero movie fever dies down by then. Only time will tell.