Comics are king on the big screen, and it looks like Fox are looking to bring its twin superhero franchises X-Men and Fantastic Four to the small screen.
In an interview with Collider.com, longtime writer/producer Simon Kinberg said that television series are definitely an option Fox has plans for with.
“We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all of these characters,” Kinberg told Collider. “And also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV. Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story.”
In addition to the Marvel projects Kinberg mentioned, DC is also heavily expanding their television line-up – some would say even more so than their film franchises. In addition to current series Arrow, filming is underway on three additional series (Constantine, The Flash and Gotham) with several others in development.
Kinberg has worked with Fox and the X-Men movie franchise going all the way back to 2003, and says that the recent change to a “different regime” at the studio opened the door to Fox understanding “what they have”.
“…Fox does understand that they are sitting on this massive universe with the X-Men, also with Fantastic Four obviously,” Kinberg explains. “ But they definitely have a sense of it and there’s a real interest and appetite for how to explore and expand that world into other movies, into spinoffs, into different time periods, the whole gamut.”
At the end of the day, the primary challenge according to Kinberg for expanding the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises from the big screen to the television screen is the cost of filming superhero-style action on a television series budget.
“I think what they’re seeing now,” say the writer/producer,” is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that don’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie.”