Fox's Fantastic Four 2 Receives A Mercy Killing

They say that insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. That's also the definition of 20th Century Fox's treatment of the Fantastic Four franchise.

Until now, that is. In an unexpected moment of clarity, Fox has reportedly pulled Fantastic Four 2 from its upcoming release schedule.

Cancel the meds, you guys. It looks like Fox is finally thinking straight.

For those who put your fingers in your ears and starting singing to yourself long ago to drown out any possible news of another cinematic Fantastic Four, here's a quick rundown. Despite pretty much no demand at all from fans, Fox attempted to reboot the series earlier this year under the auspices of Chronicle director Josh Trank. The result was an epic meltdown truly worthy of the Human Torch; Trank's Fantastic Four was savaged by critics and earned just $56 million domestically to become an industry loss leader.

Fox's response, naturally, was to greenlight Fantastic Four 2 and insist that the sequel was absolutely, definitely going to come out on June 9, 2017. Why? Well, it might have to do in part with the studio's ongoing feud with Marvel, which has resorted to cancelling its own long-running Fantastic Four comic book and even killing off characters related to the Fantastic Four in its attempts to wrest back control of the film rights from Fox.

So does Fox's decision to scrap Fantastic Four 2 mean there's some chance of the series returning to Marvel after all? While that would be awesome, I'm skeptical. Even though the Fantastic Four franchise itself has been dragged through the mud, ancillary characters like Namor the Sub-Mariner or The Silver Surfer could still have solo film potential.

Still, just the fact that we won't have to suffer through another Fantastic Four film from 20th Century Fox is addition by subtraction. Turns out Fox did have at least one good idea when it came to Fantastic Four: ending it.