While most people thought the original Fantastic Four sucked the big one, 20th Century Fox still managed to pull off a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Whether it was the Surfer's character or something else, the sequel seemed a decent step up, though it pulled in a smaller $288 million worldwide compared to the original's $330 million. I'm not certain what the actual profit margin is here considering these figures, but I would hope that both installments turned a profit. Another sequel seems pretty much a given, right? Not if you believe the Human Torch aka Chris Evans and other cast members.
Evans told MTV today, "I'm pretty sure we won't do [another] one…I'm assuming that one is a closed book." Evans continued, "After the first one was released we got wind of potential titles and plots [almost immediately], and I've heard nothing from anyone at Fox [yet]…We had all planned on doing [another] one but if there were going to be a third I think a week after the second one was released we would have heard."
Interestingly, Moviehole posted news from an insider in mid-2007 indicating that Fox had already greenlit a third installment. That news made the rounds of various sites, though it seems there wasn't much to the claim than what the "insider" had to offer; there's been no hard news since. In that same article, Moviehole mentioned the greenlit sequel to Transformers as well. Transformers 2 is already on the radar. So where's Fantastic Four 3?
It seems no one really knows. Evans' comments are born out of a lack of information, which seems to be shared among other cast members. Jessica Alba, who played the Invisible Woman, told press earlier this year that she didn't know what was going on. "I have no idea. I know the writers strike and the impending actors strike has kind of put a wrench in everything production wise. That film takes a lot of prep, a good six months of prep and about six months to shoot. With the strike, I think, maybe it's put on hold."
Michael Chiklis, who played The Thing, followed Alba's sentiment in a quote from February. "I'm not gonna call the guys like, 'Hey, what are we doing?' I'm kinda moving on and doing other stuff, which is great."
So is the franchise dying a slow, passive death? Sounds like Fox needs to step in and clear the air. And from the looks of it, it doesn't seem like the cast is interested in proactively seeking out a third go-around. Given the Fantastic Four universe of characters, it's hard to believe Fox can't drum up another film. At least we can look forward to the Silver Surfer spin-off and Galactus.