Leaked Sony emails hint at Fantastic Four/X-Men movie crossover

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

How would that even work?

Is 20th Century Fox planning to link the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises for an Avengers-style team-up?

As we already know, it’s well-nigh impossible to set up a superhero movie crossover unless both sets of film rights are owned by the same studio. That’s why Wolverine doesn’t show up in the Marvel Studios franchise, and why Sony’s Spider-Man/Avengers crossover talks fell through. The most likely crossover is one where both properties come from the same studio—like the Fantastic Four and X-Men, both of which are owned by 20th Century Fox.

According to the Daily Beast, one the leaked Sony emails includes some discussion of a Fantastic Four/X-Men crossover. In an email to Sony exec Amy Pascal, Michael De Luca of Columbia Pictures mentions a conversation he had with X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg.

“Kinberg told me fox is steering Xmen and Fantastic Four into an eventual team up film,” De Luca told Pascal. “Seems to me maybe, since the Spider-man universe itself is deep, you guys should look at sinister six, new spidey, female movie and venom as linked pieces leading to eventual mega movie ala Feige and Fox and not stand alone single films.”

Obviously this is just a single email, so it can’t be taken as solid proof that Fox is planning to go ahead with a crossover. But this kind of megafranchise idea is very popular right now, mostly inspired by the success of Marvel’s Avengers—masterminded by Kevin Feige, who is namechecked in De Luca’s email.

If Fox is aiming to connect the Fantastic Four reboot and X-Men franchise, it would take some wrangling. The X-Men concept is heavily reliant on worldbuilding, based on the core idea of the conflict between humans and mutants. It could be difficult to introduce the Fantastic Four as a “real-world” superhero story like Spider-Man or Batman, and then backtrack and say mutants had existed in the same universe all along. For one thing, the new Fantastic Four movie is all about a group of young adults gaining superpowers, and if they existed in the X-Men universe, they’d immediately be subjected to anti-mutant prejudice. 

De Luca’s email may turn out to be idle Hollywood gossip, but it’s plausible enough. Days of Future Past proved that the X-Men franchise can be impressively ambitious, trusting its audience to follow a complicated (and fairly ridiculous) story without further explanation. If it can tackle that kind of comic book timeline reset, it can probably introduce some kind of alternate universe crossover with the Fantastic Four.

Photo via X-Men Wikia

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor