Almost no solo movie has garnered more attention from MCU fans than the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, which was recently confirmed to be the first film of Phase 6 in 2024. Much of this attention comes from the fact that it lost its director, Spider-Man: No Way Home's Jon Watts, even though Watts' relationship with Disney wasn't affected in any way by that decision.
The vacant director's chair appears to be one of the most high-profile job openings in recent MCU memory, as the Fantastic Four finally make their way from 20th Century Fox into the same universe as Earth's Mightiest Heroes. But with the movie now just over two years away, the time is fast approaching for Marvel Studios to make a decision on who will lead this highly-anticipated blockbuster.
In recent days, The Direct reported that Marvel was close to a deal with WandaVision director Matt Shakman to take over the project, giving him his first MCU movie after helming one of the franchise's most successful Disney+ shows to date. Now, following that report, it appears that the studio is inching closer to making that hire a reality.
Fantastic Four Has Its New Director
Deadline revealed that Marvel Studios is in talks with Matt Shakman to take over for Jon Watts as the director of Fantastic Four, which will debut in theaters on November 8, 2024. Shakman previously served as the director of WandaVision for Disney+ in early 2021.
This corroborates The Direct's previous report that the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia director would be taking over from Jon Watts.
While insiders say that nothing formal has been presented yet, discussions are in place with things headed in the right direction, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige having worked well with Shakman on WandaVision.
The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit also shared in a follow-up tweet that the decision came between two people - Shakman and Love and Monsters director Michael Matthews.
Additionally, Kit revealed that Dog director Reid Carolin was also in the running for the gig, having met with Marvel Studios about the opening.
Chances are high that Disney will officially announce Shakman's hiring during Marvel's appearance at the D23 Fan Expo in September.
Phase 6 Opening Gains Familiar MCU Standout
Matt Shakman is certainly no stranger to high-profile projects, being best known for his work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia while also boasting credits on The Boys and Game of Thrones. But he now has the opportunity to take on the biggest project of his career, as he looks to bring Marvel's First Family into their long-awaited MCU arrival.
Shakman's work on WandaVision clearly impressed the top names at Marvel Studios, especially as he had the major responsibility of opening up the MCU's Phase 4 after the franchise faced a year and a half of delays. Having excelled with his work on that Disney+ show, he proved that he has what Marvel's looking for with a project that fans have wanted for years, and he's expressed a desire to work with the studio again as well.
With D23 only a few weeks away, Marvel Studios may take the opportunity to officially reveal Shakman's hire during that panel, although the movie's core cast may still be a little further out. But having a director for this movie is a thrilling update regardless, and now, Shakman will be hard at work making sure that this team shines as the Multiverse Saga's final phase begins.
Fantastic Four will release in theaters on November 8, 2024