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MCU Fantastic Four Reboot Receives Big-Name Director Update

Marvel Studios Fantastic Four
By David Thompson

Seeing fan casting online for the upcoming Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four movie has been a regular occurrence for years. Many have been pining for big names, like real-world couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as Reed Richards and Sue Storm, respectively.

After the critical and monetary disaster of 2015's Fan4stic, which featured a cast highlighted by Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, there's an added layer of pressure to really get this right. There have been three Fantastic Four movies made this century and none have reached $160M at the domestic box office. Only one MCU movie hasn't reached that same mark; 2008's The Incredible Hulk made $134M domestically.

Casting famous actors wouldn't be new for Marvel Studios; in Phase 4, it's already utilized well-known talents like Angelina Jolie, Harry Styles, Oscar Isaac, and Hailee Steinfeld. But what about famous directors? The studio has already brought award-winners Chloé Zhao, Sam Raimi, and Taika Waititi into the fold for Phase 4.

Fantastic Four just recently lost its director after Spider-Man: No Way Home's Jon Watts departed the project. Now, the search is on to replace him.

Kevin Feige Searching for Next Super Team

Kevin Feige, Fantastic four
Marvel

According to Deadline's Justin Kroll, there's a "large mix of candidates" in the search to replace Jon Watts as director of Fantastic Four, following his recent departure. Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige and his team "are taking a lot of shots at some big names."

Kroll refers to Fantastic Four as "easily Marvel's top ODA (Open Directing Assignment)," but reports that this will not be a quick decision. One source stated they would “be shocked if a choice is made before Labor Day” - which takes place on September 5.

Fantastic Four quickly became Marvel's priority to fill the ODA after Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts recently left the project.

No names have currently surfaced for who could be cast or hired as director. However, regarding the production of Fantastic Four, one source told Kroll that “Kevin [Feige] doesn’t want to oversee the entire shoot, and after not having to worry about that with Raimi, he is very game to the same outcome with this shoot.”

Actor Bruce Campbell shared his thoughts about Marvel Studios looking for a Raimi-level director for Fantastic Four, tweeting "Why not Sam Raimi himself?"

Fantastic Four's New Director Possibilities

Jon Watts' departure from Marvel Studios (the director is signed on to lead the upcoming Star Wars: Skeleton Crew) opens up endless possibilities for who could take over Fantastic Four

Jeff Sneider from The Ankler suggests that the next choice will "be an Oscar-winning director". He goes on to speculate on how many offers Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski is currently receiving after the success and acclaim of his recent Tom Cruise-led blockbuster.

The latest Oscar-winning director by Marvel Studios was Chloé Zhao, who helmed the Eternals. A director with an Academy Award isn't a sure-fire for success. Eternals wasn't a critical or monetary success by MCU standards. In fact, it has the lowest Rotten Tomatoes critics score and earned the second-fewest at the box office of any MCU film.

Feige is reportedly swinging for the fences with this directing choice. Two director choices that have Oscars on their bookshelves are Denis Villeneuve and Brad Bird.

Villeneuve probably will be too busy with the Dune franchise, but he is proven to create mesmerizing films with great scope and can juggle a lot of characters. A Villeneuve MCU film could possibly be the best looking to date. Unfortunately, Villeneuve was recently critical of Marvel movies, which likely shoots down his chances of coming on board even further.

Bird is often fan cast as the ideal Fantastic Four director because of his success with Pixar's The Incredibles. The family featured in The Incredibles share a lot of traits and similarities to Marvel's first family, so it seems like a no-brainer that Bird could be an incredible choice.

Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four is on pace to be released in 2024 or beyond.