Is Fox Going The <i>Ultimate</i> Route With <i>Fantastic Four Reborn</i>?

Word has circulated for nearly a year now that 20th Century Fox will reboot its Fantastic Four franchise, tied to the expectation that the rights will revert to Marvel if a new film isn't put into production within a prescribed period. It's the same ticking clock that reportedly has Sony-owned Columbia Pictures pushing for a Ghost Rider sequel -- with or without star Nicolas Cage.

But now comes word from AICN that the third film supposedly has a name: Fantastic Four Reborn, which will probably evoke memories of Marvel's 1996-1997 "Heroes Reborn" crossover.

Harry Knowles also says he hears the movie will be "a complete reboot" of the franchise which, really, comes as no surprise. Chris Evans, who was easily the best thing about the first two films, is now playing Captain America. It's almost as unlikely that the rest of the cast would return (or maybe they were never asked).

What's more, it seems like the season for superhero-movie reboots, with Sony sending Peter Parker back to high school for Marc Webb's untitled Spider-Man (in 3D!), and Fox exploring the beginning of Marvel's mutant universe in the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men: First Class. Perhaps just as Webb's film is said to draw inspiration from Ultimate Spider-Man, Fantastic Four Reborn will turn to Ultimate Fantastic Four, with its much younger team of adventurers.

As best as I can recall, Fox has yet to confirm the Variety report from last August that it's even rebooting the franchise. However, according to that article, the ubiquitous Akiva Goldsman will oversee the film as producer, while Michael Green, co-executive producer of Heroes and co-writer of Warner Bros.' Green Lantern, will pen the script.

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