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Fantastic Four delay in the cards as Marvel searches for a new director

Published Jun 3rd, 2022 10:18PM EDT
Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Image: Marvel Studios

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Fantastic Four is one of the most anticipated movies in Phase 4 of the MCU, but we don’t know much about it. There’s no release date for the film, and we haven’t gotten any news about the Fantastic Four cast. What we do know is that director Jon Watts dropped out of the project about a month ago. New reports indicate that Marvel is searching for Watts’s replacement. But the rumors aren’t particularly exciting. It sure looks like we won’t get a Fantastic Four release date anytime soon.

The exciting rumors

Back in January, we saw exciting Fantastic Four reports that prompted us to speculate that some sort of announcement would be coming soon. Some of those reports suggested that Jon Watts might soon start work on Fantastic Four, as he was done working on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Separately, leakers said that Marvel was already casting for Fantastic Four.

Weeks turned into months, but we did get hear anything about Fantastic Four. Various leakers claimed that Mister Fantastic would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Not only that, but it would be John Krasinski playing the film’s Reed Richards. And those rumors turned out to be accurate.

Fantastic Four teaser from Marvel movies promo clip
Fantastic Four teaser from Marvel movies promo clip. Image source: Marvel Studios

With just a few days left until the Doctor Strange 2 release, we heard that Jon Watts had backed out of Fantastic Four. This wasn’t a rumor but a confirmed fact. Marvel commented on the matter, and so did Watts.

Even then, some made lemonade of the news. Watts’s departure wasn’t necessarily heralding an imminent Fantastic Four release delay. We saw rumors claiming that Marvel already has a plan B in place to prevent it from wasting additional time searching for directors. Krasinski would direct and star in the Fantastic Four reboot, those reports said.

The search for the Fantastic Four director continues

Fast-forward to early June, and Deadline’s Justin Kroll says that a source revealed Marvel is looking at a long list of Fantastic Four director candidates. The person said they’d be shocked if Marvel picks a name before Labor Day.

Apparently, Marvel is looking at a large mix of candidates, with Feige & Co. “taking a lot of shots at some big names.”

Feige appreciated the Sam Raimi experience making Multiverse of Madness, and he’s looking to replicate it. “Kevin doesn’t want [to] oversee [the] entire shoot, and after not having to worry about that with Raimi, he is very game to same outcome with this shoot,” an unnamed source said.

That’s excellent news for the movie but not great for the Fantastic Four release. Any big names Marvel might want to direct the film are probably working on other projects. And if that Labor Day estimate is accurate, Marvel has several months to decide. Therefore, we don’t expect any Fantastic Four release news soon.

What about Disney Plus Day?

We will point out that Disney Plus Day takes place on September 8th. That’s after Labor Day. And that’s when Marvel might drop additional details for the next batch of MCU movies and TV shows to hit cinemas and streaming. But don’t hold your breath for a Fantastic Four director and/or cast announcement.

Finally, there’s one more report to mention. A leaker who goes by the name of Greatphase on Twitter implies that delays might be in order. Feige apparently wants to make Fantastic Four in a “very Star Trek inspired way.” And the movie is the most important franchise he’s ever worked on.

With all that in mind, we won’t even wonder whether Krasinski passed the Reed Richards test in Doctor Strange 2. Because Marvel sure isn’t ready to announce anything about the MCU’s Fantastic Four team.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.