October 22, 2016
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How will Fantastic Four death affect future films?

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Will they now be known as the Fantastic Three? The Terrific Trio? Something else entirely?

It is being reported that a founding member of The Fantastic Four will be killed off – and will stay dead – in an upcoming issue of the long-running Marvel Comic book. Marvel says it will either be Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch or the Thing, and that the death “will ripple across the Marvel Universe like never before,” according to The AP.

But who will it be? Readers of the current Fantastic Four storylines penned by Jonathan Hickman might have figured it out already.

Brevoort, who oversees the comic book, says plenty of clues have been offered during the course of writer Jonathan Hickman’s run, including the current “Three” story line.

“I think we’ve given plenty of hints as to who may die — perhaps too many, in that every one of our lead characters is left in a dire, life-threatening situation the month before,” said executive editor Tom Brevoort. “So, hopefully, that will help to heighten the suspense, while preserving the surprise as to which member doesn’t make it out alive.”

Fans won’t find out until “Fantastic Four” No. 587 is released in January.

The bigger question might be how a death in the Fantastic Four universe affects plans for a film-franchise reboot, which reportedly in underway at 20th Century Fox. Could the studio decide to adapt this storyline if it resonates with fans? Would that be a clever way to extend the franchise, while still shaking it up to keep things interesting?

We’ll find out. But major changes are on the way in the pages of Marvel’s books, and I’m anxious to see how that spills over into the studio’s film department.

“The surprises in this issues — and what comes next — constitute one of the biggest events in Marvel history,” said David Gabriel, senior vice president for sales and circulation at Marvel.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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