The fictional superhero team Fantastic Four featured in Marvel Comics publication has appeared in four live-action films since its inception. The plots deal with four main characters, known formally as Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, and how they adapt to the superpowers they attain.
Constantin Film bought the film rights for the characters in 1986. A low-budget film was produced in 1992 by New Horizon Studios owned by Roger Corman. In 2004, after Constantin sub-licensed the film rights to 20th Century Fox, a second Fantastic Four film entered production. Fantastic Four was released in 2005 and the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released in 2007. Both films received mixed to negative reviews from critics, yet earned a combined US$635 million worldwide at the box office. Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment with the box-office return of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, a potential third Fantastic Four film and a Silver Surfer spin-off film were canceled.
A reboot of the series, Fantastic Four, directed by Josh Trank, was released in 2015 and received largely negative reviews from both critics and audiences, as well as from Trank himself and became a box office bomb. A sequel was scheduled to be released in 2017, but was canceled.
In March 2019, Marvel Studios regained the film rights to the Fantastic Four and associated characters, along with the X-Men and Deadpool after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox. A new film featuring the team, part of Phase Six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is currently in development for a scheduled release on May 2, 2025.
After the acquisition, the 20th Century Fox-produced Fantastic Four films were rebranded as "Marvel Legacy" films on Disney+ alongside the studio's X-Men films, thus separating them from MCU titles produced by Marvel Studios. They were then retitled "Fantastic Adventures" in July 2023 (alongside two Fantastic Four animated series), with X-Men becoming "Mutant Legacy".
Main article: The Fantastic Four (unreleased film)
The plot follows four astronauts on an experimental spacecraft who are bombarded with a comet's cosmic rays, whereby they acquire extraordinary abilities.
Bernd Eichinger of Constantin Film acquired the film rights of the Fantastic Four from Marvel Comics in 1986. In order to maintain the rights, Eichinger hired Roger Corman in 1992 to produce a low-budget film. The 1994 adaptation The Fantastic Four had its trailer released to theaters, while the cast and director went on a promotional tour; however the film was never officially released. Some accused the film of being an ashcan copy, made only to retain the license. Stan Lee and Eichinger stated that the actors had no idea of the situation, instead believing they were creating a proper release. Marvel Comics paid in exchange for the film's negative, so 20th Century Fox could go ahead with the big-budget adaptation. While released neither to theaters nor home-video, bootleg copies did surface.
|Directed by||Tim Story|
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Main article: Fantastic Four (2005 film)
The story features Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Victor Von Doom getting hit by a space storm after boarding a space station. As a result of the radiation from the storm, they gain new abilities and powers that they have deal with in their own ways.
Chris Columbus was hired by 20th Century Fox to write and direct the film in 1995. In 1997, Peter Segal was attached to a script which had been written by Columbus and Michael France. Segal later left the project in the same year. Phillip Morton worked on the script, and Sam Hamm did rewrites in 1998. The following year, Raja Gosnell signed on as director. The film was announced in August 2000 as being aimed for a July 4, 2001 release date. Gosnell decided to leave the project to film Scooby-Doo. Peyton Reed served as replacement in April 2001. Reed contemplated making the film as a period piece set in the early 1960s during the space race. He later dropped out from the film. In April 2004, Tim Story was hired to direct and principal photography began in August in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with re-shoots carried on until May 2005. Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon, the film was released on July 8, 2005.
Main article: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The story, both inspired by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four comic-book storyline "The Galactus Trilogy" and Warren Ellis's comic-book Ultimate Extinction, features the Silver Surfer, whose cosmic energy has been affecting the planet Earth and leaving craters around the planet. Set against an impending wedding between Reed and Susan, the U.S. Army recruits the Fantastic Four to help stop the Silver Surfer, and separately gain help from Doom.
With Fantastic Four grossing $333.5 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox hired director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost in December 2005 to return to work for the sequel. Don Payne was also hired to write the screenplay. Principal photography began on August 28, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The film was released on June 15, 2007.
Due to 20th Century Fox's disappointment in the box-office performance of the film, a potential third Fantastic Four film and a Silver Surfer spin-off film were cancelled.
Main article: Fantastic Four (2015 film)
The story, loosely based on the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic-books, features four people teleporting to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form and grants them new abilities. They must learn to harness their abilities and work together as a team to save the Earth from a familiar enemy.
In August 2009, the development for the reboot of the Fantastic Four film franchise was announced by 20th Century Fox. In July 2012, Josh Trank was hired to direct. Michael Green, Jeremy Slater, Seth Grahame-Smith and Simon Kinberg were hired to write the screenplay with Slater and Kinberg receiving credit. Casting began in January 2014 with the announcement of the cast occurred in the following months. Principal photography began in May 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and ended in August the same year. Starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell, the film was released on August 7, 2015. The film was a box office bomb, received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and is often considered to be the one of the worst films ever made. A sequel was originally planned for 2017, but was removed from the studio's schedule in November 2015. This was also the last Fantastic Four film produced by Fox before 20th Century Fox was sold to Disney and the rights reverted to Marvel Studios.
Main article: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
An alternate version of Reed Richards appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), played by actor John Krasinski, a popular fancasting choice for the character. This version of the character, originating from Earth-838, is both a founding member of his reality's Fantastic Four team, as well as a council member on the Illuminati alongside other superpowered individuals, who observe and apprehend potential threats to the wider Multiverse. He is initially present at the trial of the displaced Stephen Strange from "Earth-616" (Benedict Cumberbatch), whom he warns for potentially causing an incursion as his reality's Strange did. However before he and his colleagues could decide on Strange's consequences, they would be confronted by the corrupted Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch from 616-Strange's reality, who possessed a body of her own variant to infiltrate their headquarters. In spite of Richards' attempts to reason with Wanda without resorting to physical conflict, he is killed alongside most of his associates. Additionally, the Earth-838 Christine Palmer is mentioned to be a member of the Baxter Foundation as a Multiverse analyst and researcher.
Prior to the film's release, Disney and Marvel Studios had attempted to retain secrecy surrounding both the inclusion of Mister Fantastic and Krasinski's involvement in the film. However, his appearance in the film alongside the other then-unrevealed Illuminati members would be leaked just prior to the film's wide release on May 6, 2022, through the circulation of footage and pictures depicting his character.
Main article: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Elements from Fantastic Four volume 1 #16 and volume 2 #19 were adapted in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).[clarification needed]
Further information: Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Six
The Walt Disney Company agreed to a $52.4 billion deal to acquire 21st Century Fox in December 2017, including its subsidiary 20th Century Fox. Disney's CEO Bob Iger stated that they planned to integrate the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), alongside the X-Men and Deadpool. The $71.3 billion deal was officially completed in March 2019. At the 2019 Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con presentation, Kevin Feige announced a Fantastic Four film set in the MCU. By December 2020, Jon Watts was attached to direct the film; Watts previously helmed the Spider-Man films set in the MCU. In April 2022, Watts stepped down as director to take a break from directing superhero films. Later in July, Feige revealed that the reboot will not have an origin story. In August, Matt Shakman was in early talks to direct the film, which was confirmed in September during the Disney event D23. The same month, Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer were hired as writers for the film. By March 2023, Josh Friedman was hired to rewrite the script. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in January 2024, in London.
Fantastic Four is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 2, 2025, as part of Phase Six of the MCU.
This section includes characters who will appear or have appeared in more than two films in the series.
|Character||The Fantastic Four||Tim Story films||Fantastic Four||Marvel Cinematic Universe|
|Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
in the Multiverse of Madness
|Alex Hyde-White||Ioan Gruffudd||Miles Teller
|Jessica Alba||Kate Mara||Referenced|
Phillip Van DykeY
|Chris Evans||Michael B. Jordan|
|Michael Bailey Smith||Michael Chiklis||Jamie Bell
|Victor von Doom
|Joseph Culp||Julian McMahon||Toby Kebbell|
|Alicia Masters||Kat Green||Kerry Washington|
|The Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four:
Rise of the Silver Surfer
|Fantastic Four||Fantastic Four|
|Director||Oley Sassone||Tim Story||Josh Trank||Matt Shakman|
|Producer(s)||Steven Rabiner||Bernd Eichinger
|Executive producer(s)||Roger Corman
|Stan Lee||Louis D'Esposito|
|Writer(s)||Craig J. Nevius
|John Ottman||Marco Beltrami
|Director of photography||Mark Parry||Oliver Wood||Larry Blanford||Matthew Jensen|
|Editor(s)||Glenn Garland||William Hoy||William Hoy
Peter S. Elliot
Stephen E. Rivkin
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Fantastic Four (2015) on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. The films were also released on DVD and Blu-ray box sets:
|Fantastic Four 2-Movie Collection||DVD||October 2, 2007||Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|The Ultimate Heroes Collection||October 16, 2007||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|Marvel Heroes||May 13, 2008||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand|||
|Blu-ray 3-Pack||Blu-ray||November 18, 2008||Daredevil, Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|20th Century Fox Triple Feature||DVD||June 1, 2010||Daredevil, Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|October 5, 2010||Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four (2005)|||
|20th Century Fox Double Feature||Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men|||
|Fantastic Four / Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||Blu-ray||May 15, 2012||Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer|||
|Fantastic Four Double Feature||Blu-ray/Digital HD, DVD||March 8, 2016|||
For more details on the reception of each film, see the "Reception" section on each film's article.
|Film||U.S. release date||Box office gross||Production budget||Ref.|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide|
|The Fantastic Four (1994)||$1 million|
|Fantastic Four (2005)||July 8, 2005||$154,696,080||$178,839,854||$333,535,934||$87.5–100 million|||
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)||June 15, 2007||$131,921,738||$169,991,393||$301,913,131||$120–130 million|||
|Fantastic Four (2015)||August 7, 2015||$56,117,548||$111,765,333||$167,882,881||$120–155 million|||
The Fantastic Four film series has grossed over $342 million in North America and over $803 million worldwide.
Each film is linked to the "Critical response" section of its article
|The Fantastic Four||27% (11 reviews)||—||—|
|Fantastic Four (2005)||28% (214 reviews)||40 (35 reviews)||B|
|Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||37% (172 reviews)||45 (33 reviews)||B|
|Fantastic Four (2015)||9% (262 reviews)||27 (40 reviews)||C−|
Critics' reception of all Fantastic Four films has been generally negative. Scott Weinberg of eFilmCritic called the 1994 film "[a] painfully silly film, one with more heroic intentions than actual assets".
Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald gave negative reviews to the Fantastic Four films directed by Tim Story. Regarding Rise of the Silver Surfer, he said that the "story does the same sort of efficient, impersonal job he did on the first film, keeping things at such a basic, almost childish level that it seems the movie is aimed squarely, if not exclusively, at the 12-and-under set". However, Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel gave Story's Fantastic Four films good reviews. He called the first film a "popcorn popper" and a "cinematic sugar buzz" and the second film an "entertaining film that doesn't overstay its welcome".
The 2015 Fantastic Four film was the most weakly reviewed in the series; it was criticised for its dark, humorless tone, its character arcs, designs (especially that of Dr. Doom), bland acting, and poorly written story. Director Josh Trank was himself not satisfied, posting a message on Twitter stating he had envisioned a better version of the film, but it was ruined by Fox; he later deleted the message.
At San Diego Comic-Con International 2017, Noah Hawley said that he was developing a film centered on Doctor Doom. Dan Stevens was also said to be involved with the film. In June 2018, Hawley said that the script was almost finished, but that there was "a little uncertainty" about whether it would be filmed due to his upcoming film Pale Blue Dot and the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney. In 2019, Hawley revealed that he was still unsure about whether he would be continuing the project, as it had not been officially greenlit, but that he had spoken to Kevin Feige about it. That August, Hawley told Deadline that the movie "is done", implying that he was no longer working on it.
In 2007, after the release of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, 20th Century Fox hired J. Michael Straczynski to write the screenplay for the Silver Surfer spin-off film. Straczynski said his script was a sequel, but also delved into the Silver Surfer's origins. It was later cancelled after Fox decided to reboot the Fantastic Four film series.
In February 2018, a Silver Surfer film was in development with Brian K. Vaughan attached to the script.
Before Fantastic Four began filming, 20th Century Fox announced plans for a sequel with a scheduled release date of July 14, 2017. Fox then rescheduled the release for June 2, 2017, with War for the Planet of the Apes taking its place on the July 14, 2017, slot. It changed the release date again to June 9, 2017, to be two weeks after Star Wars: The Last Jedi's initial scheduled release date of May 26, 2017. Due to Fantastic Four's poor box office performance of and negative reviews, Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter said that it "throws into question whether Fox will move ahead with a sequel". In November 2015, the sequel was removed from Fox's release schedule. When asked by Collider whether they would make another Fantastic Four film, Kinberg stated: "I have no idea. I think the truth is we would not do another Fantastic Four movie until it was ready to be made. One of the lessons we learned on that movie is we want to make sure to get it 100% right, because we will not get another chance with the fans".
Concept artist Alexander Lozano revealed that Trank's iteration of the Fantastic Four were considered for cameo appearances in Tim Miller's take on Deadpool 2.