Back at the start of the millennium, “Ant-Man” filmmaker Peyton Reed was a very hot commodity following the success of films like “Bring It On” and “Down with Love”.
At the same time, 20th Century Fox was trying to get a “Fantastic Four” film going and in a recent lengthy Q&A following an IMAX screening of “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Reed revealed to Collider that he pitched for that incarnation with something quite different to what we got:
“I actually developed Fantastic Four when it was at Fox, and this would have been about 2002 or 2003. I was doing a movie at Fox at the time and they were gonna do Fantastic Four, and I went in and pitched to Tom Rothman. I developed it for about a year and we went through some different permutations and some different writers, but yes, one of the big ideas was a set-in-the-’60s thing that at the time was structurally gonna be basically like A Hard Day’s Night, where we were not going to even deal with the origin story.
It was just going to be like you’re in Downtown Manhattan and they’re there. It was a pretty exciting idea. At the time, again this was 2002 or ’03, early on, way pre-MCU, I felt like Fox was not gonna make it. Fantastic Four, for those of you who aren’t avid Marvel Comics readers, they are the royal family of the Marvel Comics universe, right? The first family of Marvel. And it felt like they sort of wanted to make a B-movie out of it. So we parted ways.”
Subsequently, Fox hired Tim Story to direct the 2005 film starring Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon. That version was followed by a sequel, and then more recently a reboot. All three were set in contemporary times.
With the rights to the franchise returning to Marvel and Disney shortly, Reed could well end up back at the helm in the near future.