Marvel and Fox seem to have the mutant power of flinching when it comes to release dates for their Fantastic Four franchise. The sequel to the comic book flick with the half-accurate title will again fail to utilize the marketing synergy of the name’s numerology, shifting away from the planned July 4th 2007 opening.

The superpowered dysfunctional family is fleeing in fear of the massive mechanical metamorphosizers of Michael Bay’s megabudget Transformers project, already slotted for that weekend. F4-2 (or whatever algebraic name the marketing clowns calculate) will instead slide up two weeks to June 15th 2007 (a date now vacated by the canned comedy Used Guys), though it should be noted that neither tentpole film has actually even begun production yet.

The first FF was also planned for a July 4th weekend but ran in terror from the Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg/alien invasion trifecta War of the Worlds, a move that proved positive for the profitablity of both (I think I’ve exhausted my alliteration allowance). With nemesis Doom now a solid, in their second adventure the hunky and/or hot heroes will reportedly be contending with planet-eater Galactus and his shiny-skinned herald Silver Surfer.

Fox is gaining notoriety for scribbling in a release date for their superheroes and thereby damning the ultimate quality of the product – see the first X-Men or the upcoming third mutant opus, which was apparently so hellbent on beating former X-director Bryan Singer’s Superman sequel to theaters that it couldn’t be concerned with disappointing people who care about the characters and their comic origins.