UPDATED: A new report at Deadline Hollywood denies that Fox is interested in a rights swap revolving around Daredevil and the Fantastic Four, citing the studio's prime placement of an FF reboot on its incoming schedule from "Chronicle" helmer Josh Trank. Read the full report here, and see CBR's original story below.
When the cosmic titan Thanos was revealed at the end of Marvel Studios' "The Avengers," an expansion to the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe seemed inevitable -- and with the announcement of "Guardians of the Galaxy" as the next film, Marvel's exploration beyond Earth is a sure thing. However, two major aspects of the Marvel Cosmic Universe don't currently belong to Marvel: Galactus and the SIlver Surfer. The Devourer of Worlds and his silver herald are stuck firmly in the "Fantastic Four" universe, which 20th Century Fox currently owns the rights to. However, according to Variety, Marvel may soon have the opportunity to nab the rights to the "Fantastic Four" universe in exchange for a rights extension on "Daredevil."
Currently, Fox owns the rights to both the "Fantastic Four" and "Daredevil" circle of characters. However, time is running out for the studio to put a "Daredevil" film reboot into production before the rights revert back to Marvel -- and Variety reports a deal may be going down between Fox chairman Tom Rothman and Marvel to extend "Daredevil's" time at Fox beyond the October 10 cutoff. Sources state Marvel would be willing to give Fox more time to get its "Daredevil" reboot off the ground in exchange for the rights to use characters from the "Fantastic Four" cast of characters, including Galactus and the Silver Surfer, who would no doubt play a huge role in future Marvel films considering the current direction of its "Phase Two" slate of movies.
Variety further reports that Fox has good reason for keeping the "Daredevil" rights. The studio is reportedly in discussions with director Joe Carnahan to direct a "Frank Miller-esque, hardcore '70s thriller" version of the Man Without Fear, which would most definitely be at odds with the family-friendly tone of Disney/Marvel. While Carnahan hasn't yet received an official offer, Variety cites a number of sources who say he is the studio's selection to helm the reboot.
Whether the trade happens or not, fans certainly have a lot to look forward to with Marvel super hero films in the future.