Marvel Studios is currently preparing its Fantastic Four reboot for a November 2024 release after two previous attempts from Fox to adapt Marvel's First Family to the big screen. With production expected to commence next year, the search is underway to find the right cast and crew to bring the popular heroes to the MCU.
The discussion has been fierce regarding which actors are best suited to the four starring roles, but among the toughest chairs to fill is that of the director. Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts was originally placed to tackle the reboot, until departing the project to take a break from the superhero genre.
Over recent months, names such as John Krasinski, Peyton Reed, and Steven Spielberg have all been thrown around to direct Fantastic Four. Rumors claimed that Marvel Studios was eyeing a familiar face to helm its biggest reboot yet, and now it seems a decision has been made.
Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four Director
According to The Direct's sources, WandaVision director Matt Shakman is signed on to direct Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four, hitting theaters on November 8, 2024.
Shakman will replace Spider-Man director Jon Watts at the helm following his departure from the project in April 2022.
While Disney and Marvel Studios have yet to confirm Shakman's rumored involvement, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige could make it official during the studio's D23 Expo presentation on Saturday, September 10.
Why Matt Shakman is Directing Fantastic Four
After Watts departed Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios reportedly began to pursue a "large mix of candidates" for the highly-anticipated reboot, including some big-name directors. That decision stemmed from Feige's desire to avoid having to oversee the production, just as he was able to do by leaving Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in Sam Raimi's capable hands.
The reboot was said to be "easily Marvel's top ODA (Open Directing Assignment)," with Marvel Studios taking its time on the decision. One of Deadline's sources claimed they would “be shocked if a choice is made before Labor Day,” which doesn't take place for almost two weeks on September 5. The director being recruited weeks before that date would indicate the studio was quickly confident in Shakman being the right choice for Fantastic Four.
Shakman already proved his talent with WandaVision in delivering one of the MCU's most popular Disney+ series, and clearly, Feige was equally impressed. The reality-bending sitcom was ultimately a story all about family, and as The Fantastic Four are Marvel's First Family, Shakman seems like a clear choice.
The WandaVision director largely has a television background, having also tackled episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Fargo, Game of Thrones, and Succession. Shakman has clearly made an impact on Hollywood after his first Marvel Studios work, as the filmmaker is also slated to direct Star Trek 4 and Apple's Godzilla and the Titans.
The Star Trek sequel was initially reported to start production this spring but has yet to actually get the cameras rolling, indicating delays in development. Nonetheless, Shakman should have his schedule wide open to begin filming Fantastic Four next year in time for the 2024 release that will kickstart Phase 6.
Fantastic Four will hit theaters on November 8, 2024.