Fantastic Four 2?

Discussion in 'Fantastic Four World' started by Havok83, May 14, 2016.

  1. Hypestyle Registered

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    Tentatively, I can see Fox trying to insert select FF main characters into some of the near-future X-Men features, though I don't know if that counts towards keeping the redevelopment rights.

    Doesn't Neue Constantin and/or Chris Columbus's 1492 Productions still have some legal claim over feature rights? This would have to be dealt with as well.
     
  2. Kahran Ramsus Super Moderator

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    The real problem is that neither will the general audience.
     
  3. Zarex Registered

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    There's been no evidence whatsoever that FOX has the ability to merge their two separate Marvel licensing agreements together without the Mouse's approval. If they could have, they would have done so already.

    And neither Constantin or 1492 Productions played a role in the behind the scenes expose on FFINO in the Hollywood Reporter or in the Negasonic/Ego swap. Constantin may get a producer credit and a check for their role as the original producer, but the German production house has no legal claim on the FF.
     
  4. Spiderine Sho nuff

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    " What the fans want is almost entirely irrelevant" 🤣

    This was the attitude Fox had that led to FFINO in the first place. We live in a world now where the bar has been raised like never before. This aint 2007.

    If you believe that massive outcry from die hard fans wont poison the box office of the product your naive.
     
  5. metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    Technically speaking, "what the fans want" *is* mostly irrelevant. There are too few fans to matter.

    The "problem" for Fox is:

    1. A lot of the time, the stuff the fans want is things like "Put effort into making a good movie"

    2. It doesn't help to ignore the fans if you make a movie that no one *else* wants, either
     
  6. Panacea Registered

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    Random movie-goers who like comic book movies and are familiar with the Fantastic Four. The average person doesn't know or care which studio is making these movies, all they care about is if they look any good or not.
     
  7. Darepool Registered

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    The fans are what let these studios know what property is popular, or what made them so. In the case of a lot of these comic properties, evidence as to why it's endured for 50+ years.... Irrelevant is not the word I would use.
     
  8. Kahran Ramsus Super Moderator

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    The franchise completely lost all those people due to the poor quality of the previous films. They aren't coming back.
     
  9. I SEE SPIDEY Registered

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    I agree that the fans alone can't make a film a hit (as Scott Pilgrim and Dredd showed us) but they are not completely irrelevant. Most of the time pleasing reasonable fans means pleasing the average filmgoer.
     
  10. Kahran Ramsus Super Moderator

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    The big issue is that fan complaints are too often dismissed as being nitpicking over minor details. And while that does happen, a lot of the fan complaints are about major character and story concerns and those very much do matter and are things that the general audience cares about as well. Not all fan complaints are equal. Not by a long shot.

    The fans aren't always overreacting. They were dead on about Fant4stic, after all. Virtually everything that fans complained about regarding Fant4stic prior to the film coming out are things that the critics and general moviegoers also complained about after seeing the final product.
     
  11. Zarex Registered

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    Fan complaints against the Ninja Turtles reboot in regards to their alien origin and Shredder's ethnicity were also spot on. To his credit, Michael Bay addressed them and was able to get one successful movie out. Trank and Kinberg ignored the complaints and ended up with FFINO.

    The most successful long running film franchises take extraordinary effort to make sure that installments appeal to the core fan base. The idea that these folks don't matter has been proven incorrect so many times it baffles me that some folks are still clinging to this notion.
     
  12. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    You assume way too much. There is no evidence to suggest that Fox can't and in my mind, that would be the operative legal fact when interepreting the contract.

    Being as it would've probably been reported at some point if the contract covered crossovers, the contract is probably silent on the matter. As such, I'd say that Fox can do whatever it chooses to do. That is to say, if I am the judge, and I am reading the contractual language and the contract is silent as to crossover movies, I'd rule that Fox is free to do with the characters whatever they so choose. If Fox owns the general rights to make films with these characters, then Fox is free to make whatever films Fox so chooses and include whichever characters it so wishes to include in said films. Marvel sold the film rights. It does not get to dictate how said films are made or what form the films take. If Marvel sold general film rights, I would find that crossovers are included.

    That said, I am sure some judges would find that if the contract is ambiguous, crossovers were beyond the intent of the parties at the time of formation and therefore outside of the scope.

    That being said, I wouldn't take Fox not doing something as evidence that it can't. There is no reason to believe a Fantastic Four/X-Men crossover would be even slightly profitable or worth the investment. The Fantastic Four has simply failed to catch on in the cinema. Fox isn't going to risk that franchise tainting one of the few viable properties that it has.
     
  13. I SEE SPIDEY Registered

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    I agree, it's time to stop ignoring the truth. A lot of fan complaints are not nit picking and we would infact get better films if studios and filmmakers heeded those real big complaints more often.
     
  14. Zarex Registered

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    I'm getting deja vu here. I'm pretty sure we've had this argument before.

    Though I work in real estate and not motion picture licensing, I can tell you that ambiguous contracts in my field are a big no no. If the terms of the agreement are not spelled in exacting details -and I very much doubt crossovers are covered - FOX and Disney/Marvel are going to have reopen the deal. A judge is not going to rule for one or the other party. They are going to tell them to put on their big boy pants and work it out. Just like they recently did with the X-Men TV deal.

    As character crossovers were never intended in the original agreement - and have proven to be quite lucrative - Disney would be well within their rights to ask for a big piece of the crossover film nobody is asking for. So as far as I see that would kill the idea in the womb.
     
  15. Willie Lumpkin Trophy Husband

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    We have had extensive discussions on this and reviewed many statements from many sources and there absolutely IS specific evidence that crossovers are not allowed including, but not limited to, this statement from Zak Penn:

    http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=32928651&postcount=298

    "I was also misquoted regarding Fox and the Fantastic Four. To clarify, I simply pointed out that other studios can't do crossovers like they had in the comics, but Marvel Studios can. I never asked Fox to do anything, nor did they stop me, those legal issues are not even up for debate."
     
  16. Spiderine Sho nuff

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    It took the Batman franchise 8 years and a superbly written and directed film to help it recover from a colossal failure of a film. And even with that said its not like Batman Begins did insane numbers but it did something very important for its survival.......earn the trust of the fans and the general audience back. All this after just one reboot from the Burton/Shoemaker franchise. Bats was already extremely popular and had a record grossing film under its belt.

    FF has one hell of a mountain to climb. No box office hit. They already rebooted. No memorable films. Its most well known popular villain reduced to rubble. No popular cartoons to help sell it. No part of the MCU which is at its height. Good luck to FOX trying to sell this a third time around.

    And who the hell here would want to see an Xmen/FF crossover? Please speak up........
     
  17. Zarex Registered

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    There was also an interview around the ASM2 release date in which Avi Arad specifically mentioned that an X-Men / Spidey crossover - brought up due to the DOFP clip played in the front of the film - would require the Mouse's approval. So clearly studios don't have unlimited rights in regard to these character licensing agreements.
     
  18. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    Well, just practically speaking, and perhaps I have this viewpoint because I am a litigator, if it is a matter of contractual interpretation and it does reach that point, a judge (or perhaps more likely an arbitrator, as I am guessing there is an arbitration agreement) would have to interpret the contract at some point if neither parties could reach an agreement.

    Of course it would be preferable if all aspects were addressed in the contract. But being as it is very likely that crossovers are not, we have a contract that covers general film rights. So the question becomes, what is included in that? I'd say general film rights would cover whatever the industry standard of a superhero movie is. Considering that crossovers are now the industry norm, I think its covered.

    Of course, then there is the question as to whether you would consider the industry standard at time of formation or present. Come to think of it, that is actually a fascinating legal question, a good law school case...I'm not quite sure that it has ever come up as I cannot think of a situation in which it would.

    Obviously the idea of a contract is to effectuate the intent of the parties. The intent of the parties to be bound by the agreement can only exist at time of formation. So you'd think industry standard at time of formation would govern. However, is that really practical precedent? Especially in the ever evolving world of IPs and new formats and contexts in which IPs can be used?

    I'm thinking back to how my mind worked to analyze this stuff during my clerkship (since we all know that the clerks do the real work :funny:). If this came across my desk...I may very well have advised the judge to simply ascertain who the principle drafter was and rule against that party. Lord knows judges love to dodge the tough questions. Interpreting an ambiguity against a drafter is an easy canon of interpretation that lets the question be dodged with no real room to argue. :funny:

    At any rate, perhaps I am getting overly academic. I tend to agree that this would ultimately be resolved through mediation and arbitration and likely result in some sort of profit sharing agreement or payout to Disney to avoid litigating it.

    Although, if I were advising Disney, I may not agree to such a payout or agreement. I may want to litigate or go through with the binding arbitration. It was one thing with X-Men. Fox isn't going to let those rights revert. May as well make some money off of Fox having the rights. But with Fantastic Four, Disney's goal is pretty clear. It has been attempting to undermine the value of the Fantastic Four for awhile. Cancelling the comics, slowly phasing the characters out of marketing and crossover appearances...Disney is trying to cut down the value of the characters and minimize potential hype and profitability so as to disincentivize Fox from investing in another movie and ultimately putting Fox in a position in which the profitable thing to do would be to simply let the rights revert. So Disney may be incentivized to litigate to stall and further drive down the value of the franchise.

    Keep in mind, Disney can afford years of litigation. Fox can't. And Fox has a clock. Disney doesn't.

    Let's say for the sake of discussion that the rights revert in 10 years if no film is made. Come 2024, Fox says "you know what, its not really profitable to make another Fantastic Four movie and deal with the backlash and negative PR and probably end up losing money...so lets just do a crossover with X-Men." Along comes Disney's lawyers and they say "time out! No way!" Lawsuit commences. Disney has two options. Negotiate, reach a deal, take a cut. Or just drag it out for two or three years and wait for the rights to revert. It wouldn't be that hard to stretch litigation of this nature out for a few years and Fox would certainly be enjoined from attempting to make said crossover during litigation. At that point, Fox would have two choices: sit on the rights and helplessly watch as they revert or invest in and make a Fantastic Four movie out of spite.

    The downside there is that Disney is opening itself up to tort liability and arguably dealing in bad faith. But never-the-less, the franchise has proven to be so unprofitable with Fox that the damages would be a drop in the frying pan (if said damages can be proven at all...future rights of a film franchise would be awfully speculative).

    But again, I may be getting overly academic and I am definitely thinking like a litigator. But yeah, if Disney were my client and their goal is to devalue the franchise and run down the clock...I see no reason to settle in mediation or work something out.
     
    #193 Matt, Mar 11, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  19. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    Eh...Arad speaks out of his ass a lot. Plus, that analogy is distinguishable as it has the complications of Sony and Fox basically swapping rights (to some extent). I am guessing the Spider-Man and X-Men contracts (owned by Sony and Fox respectively), while silent on crossovers clearly prohibit the studios from selling or leasing the rights. Sony or Fox would have to rent the rights of one to the other studio to make that movie. My guess is an attempt to sell would mean automatic reversion. I know that JK Rowling has something along those lines in her Harry Potter contract (to avoid Warners liquidating or even being bought out and the rights transferring without consent). I'd imagine that is in Spider-Man and X-Men's contracts. That seems pretty standard.
     
  20. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    Considering the quotes contradict one another and the source of the quotes, forgive me if I don't take Zak Penn's legal expertise as gospel. Fox bought these rights in the 90s. NO ONE would've ever anticipated crossover movies at the time. I would be absolutely stunned if the contract addresses crossovers. And if the contract is silent, there is room to maneuver.
     
  21. Willie Lumpkin Trophy Husband

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    I'll take his opinion over yours any day.:cwink:

    And your presumption that the contract is silent makes no sense. The various rights to various characters were sliced up and distributed between several licenses even though most characters cross multiple properties (such as Dr. Doom, Galactus, Ego etc) and crossovers have been a mainstay of Marvel comic books from the start. The question of crossovers would have been obvious.
     
  22. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    In the legal profession, there is a saying: a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. I think we have just found a new one: When a person takes legal advice from the guy who wrote X-Men 3 over an attorney, Zak Penn has a ****ing idiot for a client. :oldrazz:

    In the 90s, film crossover was unheard of. Hell, the only thing even comparable was the old Universal movies from the 30s like Frankenstein vs Wolfman. Marvel changed the game in the late 2000s. Prior to that, this was not viewed as a real possibility. There would be no reason to incorporate it into a contract. I don't know how many contracts you have written but I have done several. If I am writing a contract to buy a car, I am not going to write in there "if flying cars become a possibility in the next ten years, seller will reimburse buyer for costs of flying car upgrade." Why? Because it would be stupid to contract for something that does not exist. That may seem like an absurd example, but that was what crossover films were until 10 or so years ago. Crossovers did not really exist at the time (at least not in any mainstream sense that would give a studio cause to think that it would invest hundreds of millions of dollars into crossover films). As such, it would be silly to bog down a contract talking about rights to something that wasn't seen as a realistic possibility in the 90s.
     
  23. R_Hythlodeus Nerd Supreme

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    I can't be the only one remembering Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993), written by David S. Goyer
     
  24. Willie Lumpkin Trophy Husband

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    And what does the legal profession have to say about attorneys who give legal advice on contracts they haven't read?
     
  25. Matt IKYN Guy Groupie

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    Actually, the Rules of Professional Responsibility lay out quite clearly what qualifies as legal advice and nothing I have said comes even close. I am speculating as to what would likely be encompassed in a standard contract in that time period. That doesn't even come close to the line of advising. Nice try though. :yay:
     

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