One of the biggest superhero movie bombs of all time is now streaming on Disney+. 2015’s famously failed Fantastic Four reboot is now available for subscribers in the U.S. So for those who haven’t seen it and have a morbid sense of curiosity about it, or for those who enjoyed it, the movie is now easily accessible. But it makes for something of an interesting choice on Disney’s part.
Last year, Disney closed a $71.3 billion merger with Fox. As a result, they not only regained the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, but they also inherited the studio’s vast library, which can be tapped for its streaming services such as Disney+ and Hulu. While it is understandable that Disney may want to distance themselves a bit from the previous iterations of these franchises, as they are set to be rebooted within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is still desirable content that can be tapped to benefit subscribers.
To that point, Fox produced X-Men movies for nearly two decades, as well as a couple of Fantastic Four movies in the early 2000s. Rise of the Silver Surfer was briefly available on Disney+, only to be pulled shortly after it dropped. While some of these movies are surely tied up with licensing deals that were cut before the Disney/Fox merger, it seems like a peculiar choice to make a critically-lambasted Marvel adaptation available when not a single one of the well-liked X-Men movies is on Disney+. But that is the situation we find ourselves in currently.
The movie was directed by Josh Trank, who was coming off of the hit Chronice. An A-list cast includes Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell was brought in to revamp Marvel’s first family on the big screen. The movie carries familiar beats. A young genius builds a portal to another dimension with help from friends and colleagues, which gifts them with unusual powers. They square off against Victor Von Doom, aka Doctor Doom. But the gritty approach failed to connect in a big, bad way. Fantastic Four holds an abysmal 9 percent approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The poor word of mouth spelled disaster for the movie at the box office. But maybe it’ll find a second life on streaming?
Against a reported production budget of $120 million, it earned just $167 million at the global box office. That makes it quite easily the most disastrous Marvel adaptation produced by Fox, perhaps rivaled only by last year’s Dark Phoenix. Josh Trank ended up in director’s jail for a few years as a result, making his return this year with Capone, which stars Tom Hardy. But the future is potentially bright for Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm, as Marvel Studios will produce a reboot in the not-too-distant future, which will hopefully do the beloved characters justice. Fantastic Four is streaming now on the official Disney Plus app.