The 2012 edition of Comic Con officially kicks off today in San Diego, with fans, creators, and the media descending upon the Southern California city to learn about all the latest and greatest developments in the world comics, TV, movies, and more. Most of the major movie studios have already made their presence known at the convention this year (read about what Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. have in store here), and are prepped to showcase all of their upcoming genre offerings. But there's one name that is noticeably absent from the con's panel schedule this year: 20th Century Fox.
Fox is no stranger to the world of comic book movies. You might have heard of the "X-Men" franchise, or "Daredevil," or the "Fantastic Four" movies. The studio has the film rights to a number of Marvel Comics properties, and have numerous projects related to Marvel characters currently in development, like the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" spin-off "Deadpool," starring Ryan Reynolds.
For various reasons, the studio has mostly opted out of Comic Con this year. However, their physical absence from the convention didn't prevent the studio from making some Comic Con related announcements on the eve of the event.
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According to Deadline, "Chronicle" director Josh Trank has been brought on by Fox to helm the reboot of "Fantastic Four." Trank has been circling the job since his debut feature became an unexpected box office hit. After two somewhat lacklustre films, "Fantastic Four" and "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," Fox has indicated that it wants to take the Marvel superteam in a different, more mature direction - think "The Dark Knight" only with a stretchy guy, a rock monster, an invisible woman, and a flaming man. Adapting the comic book will be no small task for Trank, as the Fantastic Four have long been relegated to the status of a Marvel B-team, and are known for their comparatively campier story lines, a fact that was replicated in their two previous big-screen outings.
The "Fantastic Four" reboot will likely be fast-tracked by the studio and slated for release some time after the new X-Men movies "The Wolverine" and "X-Men: First Class 2." Those two films will start filming in August and January, respectively, which means there probably won't be much news on the "Fantastic Four" front until early next year.
But there's another Marvel Comics project that Fox was hoping to get off the ground during all of this: A reboot of "Daredevil." However, due to the recent departure of director David Slade ("The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"), Fox has come down to the wire on the project. Slade had to drop out because he is busy directing the pilot for the "Hannibal" TV series, and the studio must find a new director and begin production on the project before the fall, or else the film rights will revert to Marvel - and in turn to their parent company Disney.
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The house that Walt built would be only too happy to have another major Marvel character back in their stable, and if Fox hesitates on "Daredevil" that's precisely what will happen. Here's hoping they don't rush ahead with the project just to keep the rights, though. The last thing audiences need is another terrible "Daredevil" movie, though fans can take some solace in the fact that Ben Affleck will have nothing to do with it this time.