Fox Planning a Shared Movie Universe For 'X-Men' and 'The Fantastic Four'

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With Marvel building towards future 'Avengers' films, Warner Bros. building 'Batman vs. Superman' towards a 'Justice League' movie and Sony expanding 'The Amazing Spider-Man' universe, you knew it was only a matter of time before Fox announced some big plans for their superhero films. With 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' melding the two 'X-Men' franchises, now it looks like they're going to also combine the 'X-Men' films with the new 'Fantastic Four' reboot into one big universe.

Yesterday, Fox announced the contract renewal of writer Simon Kinberg, in and of itself, not huge news. But, Kinberg wrote 'Days of Future Past' and is currently rewriting the 'Fantastic Four' film and part of Kinberg's new three-year deal for Fox will be to develop each of those franchises into one universe that would crossover with both superhero teams.

Fox is not trying to hide their desire to copy Marvel's secret to success; the movie is blatantly described as an attempt to follow the Marvel formula. Said Kinberg to The Hollywood Reporter:

I have a lot of ideas on how to built those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel.

The question is whether Kinberg is actually the man for the job. Prior to his two current writing gigs, Kinberg is the credited writer on 'XXX 2,' 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 'This Means War.' Joss Whedon, this is not. But, it is a step up from Mark Millar, who was hired as a "superhero consultant" by Fox and thought to be the godfather of their upcoming films. With Kinberg's new deal, it likely means that Millar is out.

We do like the idea of The Fantastic Four and X-Men sharing a universe (why not, right?), but it's important to remember that the current 'X-Men' contracts don't call for that many additional films and it will be interesting to see if they can keep A-list actors like Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence around for additional crossovers.

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