Several months ago, after seeing the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War and hearing Disney was trying to acquire 21st Century Fox, I texted my buddy Shawn with speculation about what might happen if Marvel Studios regained the rights to the Fantastic Four.
Since the FF are Marvel Comics' flagship team, I felt it would be necessary to establish that not only should their existence pre-date the events of Iron Man in 2008, but should also explain where they've been for the last ten years of the cinematic universe.
I sent Shawn a very brief version of what I'd like to see--what I'd need to see--after the Infinity War credits have rolled. This is the full version.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT
It's the night after the conclusion of the Infinity War.
The CAMERA pans across the dark, smoking skyline.
Despite the late hour and devastation, lower Manhattan is alive with activity. Working by generator-powered klieg lights, FIRST RESPONDERS are pulling SURVIVORS from collapsed buildings. CITIZENS young and old are supplying blankets to VICTIMS and coffee to weary FIREMEN.
A MAN IN A HARDHAT with a "Department of Damage Control" logo, is talking into a walkie-talkie.
Let 'er rip.
EXT. HIGH ABOVE NEW YORK - NIGHT
Power is restored to the grid, block by block, as far as the eye can see. Manhattan is glowing.
EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT
CHEERS fill the air. Excited CITIZENS clap the Damage Control worker on the back.
The camera moves through the streets, capturing moments of celebration...and despair.
A large CROWD of several thousand people, all carrying candles, has gathered around the now-abandoned Avengers Tower, mourning the deaths of [REDACTED]. People are weeping, comforting one another.
The camera pans around. In the distance, not far away, is a 35-story building which remains dark. The camera zooms toward it.
EXT. BAXTER BUILDING - NIGHT
The camera approaches the building located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue. An engraved plaque near the building's entrance reads "BAXTER BUILDING - 1961."
The camera rises, floor after floor, past one unlit window after another.
One floor from the top, on the 34th floor, the camera slows and stops. It passes through a black window.
INT. BAXTER BUILDING - NIGHT
Despite its outward appearance, the interior is futuristic.
We are in a dark hangar bay, the only light coming from glowing exit signs. We move past vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Some are planes. One is cross-shaped, its four bathtub-shaped sections joined together and fitted with pilot seats.
The camera continues moving from the hangar bay into another large room.
Set in the far wall is a massive floor-to-ceiling metal vault door. A variety of consoles and dormant instrumentation surround it.
The camera stops at a work station with a blank monitor. It blinks to life. A cursor appears at top and words trail behind it.
*** H.E.R.B.I.E. online ***
Negative Zone docking: INITIATED
Mission time (relative): 7 DAYS
Mission time (actual): ERROR
Close on the word "error."
Mission time (actual):
There is a pause, then the camera moves with the words as they scroll across the display.
10 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 5 DAYS
A thunderous THUNK fills the room. A HISS comes from the vault. The door splits into four sections and opens.
Life signs detected: 4
It is pitch black inside the vault, which seems to be an airlock. Otherworldly mist flows into the room, spilling across the floor. Overhead lights begin flickering to life.
A MALE FIGURE emerges, obscured by the mist. A second figure, a WOMAN, appears at his side. Then a third, a YOUNGER MALE. And finally, a LARGE one.
The one in the lead has a circular "4" emblem on his chest.
SMASH CUT TO BLACK
Note to fellow nerds: Don't come at me with what you feel are errors. Rest assured I know the Baxter Building was built in 1949. It's called dramatic license. Settle down. This includes you, Shawn.-->