Roger Corman, the legendary B-movie producer who once oversaw a $1 million production of Fantastic Four which was never intended to see the light of day, says he does not expect the film to make its way out of limbo anytime soon.
During a recent interview with The Marvelists podcast, Corman dismissed the idea, using much the same explanation that he gave ComicBook.com a couple of years ago.
"I don't think so," Corman said. "I think there's a signed contract with Bernd, where he agreed, if they gave him the $60 million to make the big-budget picture that he would step away from the $1 million picture."
This is, more or less, exactly what Corman told ComicBook.com back in 2016 -- albeit with a little of his certainty shaved off, maybe as a result of the Fox/Disney merger that now makes anything seem possible as it pertains to Marvel.
"It can't get an official release," Corman told ComicBook.com (you can see the video above). "It really started with Bernd Eichinger, a German producer who had the rights to the Fantastic Four. He came to me, I think, in October of one year and said his option on the rights was going to expire if he didn't start shooting by the end of the year, and he had a $30 million budget and he didn't have the $30 million. Could I make it for less money? I said, 'how much do you have?' He said, 'I've got a million dollars.'…Cutting $29 million out of a $30 million budget is pretty extensive surgery, but we ended up making the film. Part of the deal was, he would have a certain amount of time to see if he could make a deal with a major studio. If he didn't, I would release it, but if he did, he would pay me some additional money. He came almost up tot he period where I was going to release it, and he made a deal with I think it was Fox, and part of the deal was that he would not release the million-dollar picture because it would interfere with what eventually became a $60 million picture. So simply by contract, that picture cannot be officially released, but there are bootleg copies around."
The future of the Fantastic Four is unclear at this point; the Fox/Disney merger will give the characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there is no official word on what's next for any of the Fox-licensed characters at present.
As for the Corman film? Well, it might not get a release right away, but since the same people stand to profit from both franchises at this point...well, that might bring us a few inches closer.
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