Fox was quite close to having an ensemble, crossover film of their own using Marvel characters nearly a decade ago. At the time, the studio was releasing films such as X-Men: First Class and was years away from dropping Fantastic Four or Deadpool in theaters. However, they were one scheduling conflict away from bringing all of their Marvel heroes together for an ensemble movie.
Zack Stentz, writer of Rim of the World, Thor, and X-Men: First Class had submitted a script to 20th Century Fox which pulled together an onslaught of Marvel character like nothing the studio had done before. "My ex-partner and I, when we were working at Fox and we were working on X-Men: First Class, we did a secret movie for them that, I can't tell you what the plot was, but I can tell you that it used all of the characters, all of the Marvel characters that Fox had at the time in 2011. It used the X-Men. It used the Fantastic Four. It used Daredevil. It used Deadpool. Daredevil was still at Fox at the time. We almost had Paul Greengrass directing it which would've been so cool but he had another project to do instead. It didn't end up going but it was a script I was really proud of and it would've been really good."
The reveal came on Kevin Smith's Fatman Beyond podcast, which can be seen in the video above. Stentz was a bit more at ease in revealing the film which almost happened considering the studio being purchased by Disney. "This was at Fox in 2011, which doesn't really exist anymore, so maybe they won't sue me for revealing," Stentz said. Even though, I didn't reveal what it was called."
The Fox-Marvel ensemble epic was not the only effort by the screenwriter which never came to life. "The other thing that's never going to happen is the version that Ash and I did of the Fantastic Four," Stentz said. "Josh Trank, who ended up doing the Fantastic Four that we saw in the theaters, we were supposed to be writing the script for him but nobody told him that we were doing it. So, when he officially signed on he was like, 'Why are you imposing these other writers on me? I want to use my own writer. I wanna do my own script.' And he did his version instead. It was one of those hammer blows to our career at the time, even though we had gotten paid, because I was so freakin' proud of that script. It was how the Fantastic Four were almost the Fantastic Five except a young man named Victor von Doom was just too damaged and f---ed up to be part of them. It was a script I was very proud of. Josh Trank didn't wanna do it."
Stentz did want to point out that he holds no grudge against Trank and is rooting for his next directorial effort. "Even though it hurt like a motherf---er that they didn't use our script, I don't blame him," Stentz said.
What comics would you have liked to seen adapted by Fox using the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and Daredevil characters? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram or Twitter!
Fox's X-Men: Dark Phoenix opens in theaters on June 7.