While details on the project remain scarce, a few tidbits have trickled over the past year or so. Last fall, it was finally confirmed that WandaVision director Matt Shakman would be taking on directing duties for Fantastic Four as well.
Aside from Shakman's involvement and a few casting rumors here and there, things on the F4 front have been fairly silent; however, the director behind the blockbuster is finally ready to speak about the title publicly.
First Fantastic Four Plot Details Teased
Speaking with The Wrap, Fantastic Four director Matt Shakman broke his silence on the upcoming MCU reboot, speaking about the project publicly for the first time.
While breaking down his journey over the past few years in Hollywood, Shakman compared Fantastic Four to his past work on the Star Trek franchise. He revealed that they "both were launched in the ’60s" and are both "about optimism and looking to the stars and technology:"
“It’s really a family there and to be able to go back and tackle something that I truly love, and they’re very similar in some ways: they both were launched in the ’60s at the same time, they’re both about optimism and looking to the stars and [how] technology can solve everything, and they’re about family too — the family you have, the family you make. So they’re aligned in many ways and speak to my heart and equally, so I’m excited to be working on ‘Fantastic Four.'”
The filmmaker remarked that he had a great time working on Star Trek, and "it would have been an unbelievable pleasure to work" on a potential fourth film in J.J. Abrams' reboot of the franchise:
“I had a great time working on ‘Star Trek’ for a little over a year, working closely with J.J. Abrams and everyone at Paramount, and I love that franchise, and I love that cast that J.J. put together, and it would have been an unbelievable pleasure to work with them on the fourth installment there.”
Shakman, who also worked on WandaVision with Marvel, noted that moving away from Star Trek and getting the chance to do Fantastic Four was like "[coming] back home:"
“But movies have different journeys and momentums and and schedules are a little bit mercurial, and so when the ‘Fantastic Four’ opportunity came up, it was just too hard to pass up, and to go back home to Marvel, a place that I worked on ‘WandaVision’ at, with those people who are wonderful collaborators.”
What To Expect in Shakman's Fantastic Four?
Even though the Fantastic Four are no strangers to getting the blockbuster treatment, it should be relieving for fans to hear this Shakman is leaning into the "optimism" of the team's early comic stories.
The three previous Fantastic Four films (from 2005, 2007, and 2015) have featured elements of this optimistic storytelling, but all of them only dipped their toes on the surface of that. That trio leaned into either edgy or darker tones that were products of the time in which they debuted.
In the same way that early Star Trek or Superman stories featured this "look to the stars" sense of wonder, it seems that Shakman's Fantastic Four vision will focus on that much more than ever before.
That "optimistic" tone makes sense for the MCU that the film will join. This is a franchise that has made its name on bringing these colorful comic characters to life, usually being a little lighter in tone than some of its competitors (i.e. the SnyderVerse).
And casting will be the first indication of what that looks like. When fans finally know what this team is going to look like on screen, it will become abundantly clear what Shakman means when he makes a comparison like the one he did above.
Fantastic Four is set to debut in theaters on February 14, 2025.