Petition gains traction for Stockton to be featured in MCU's "Fantastic Four" film
STOCKTON — Visit Stockton is rallying residents with the goal of bringing an iconic team of superheroes to the city. They are campaigning for Marvel Studios to feature Stockton, dubbed the birthplace of the Fantastic Four, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe "Fantastic Four" film. Their online petition has already garnered thousands of signatures.
Will the petition work? If history repeats itself, it just might.
Stockton wasn't always the birthplace of the supergroup—earning the title was a team effort.
In 1985, comic book shop owner Al Greco of Al's Comics led a petition to get Stan Lee to come to his shop in Stockton for a meet and greet. At this time, the original birthplace of the Fantastic Four was a fictional place called Central City.
Radio announcer Joe Field heard about the petition and added to the idea. He campaigned that the Fantastic Four should have a real-life city of origin in Stockton, Calif. The duo's ambitious goals paid off.
"The city council got on board and they agreed to petition Marvel Comics to do this... and it worked," Visit Stockton CEO Wes Rhea said.
History was made in February 1986. Comic book legend Stan Lee stood on the steps of city hall and solidified Stockton as the official birthplace of the group.
The proof is in the pages; months later, the Fantastic Four Vol. 1 Issue 296 was released and featured Stockton as the group's home in the storyline.
In 2023, residents are channeling their "superpowers" to do it all again.
Rhea says a dream scenario would be for the city to be used as a filming location. This wouldn't be the first time Stockton made an appearance on the big screen; major motion pictures like "Cool Hand Luke" and "Fat City" were filmed there in the past.
"We have a filming history," Rhea said. "We're an affordable destination, so we're going to roll out the red carpet for Marvel and make sure they have a positive experience."
However, he adds that an opportunity for Stockton's name to be included or acknowledged in the film would still be a "win" for the city.
"Every city could use some heroes, and we would love the Fantastic Four to be our superheroes here in Stockton," Rhea said.
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