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Fantastic Four director and plot details may have leaked

Updated Sep 22nd, 2022 5:40AM EDT
Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

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Reports claimed a few weeks ago that Marvel will announce its Fantastic Four director during the D23 Expo in mid-September. At the time, an insider said that Marvel zeroed in on a favorite, a person who has already directed episodes of an MCU Disney Plus show. We now may have a name for the would-be Fantastic Four director and the plot details that won Marvel over.

We can tell you the Fantastic Four director’s name is Matt Shakman, according to reports. He directed all of Marvel’s WandaVision episodes, a fan-favorite MCU TV show. But we can’t share details about his purported Fantastic Four plot pitch before warning you that major spoilers might follow below.


Before we get to the Fantastic Four plot details that leaked from Shakman’s pitch to Kevin Feige and Co., it’s important to remember the recent developments concerning the film’s director.

Fantastic Four lost its director in late April, before the Doctor Strange 2 premiere. Jon Watts exited the project, with rumors saying that Marvel would need until Labor Day to make a decision. Watts was the only confirmed detail about the highly anticipated movie at the time.

Save for Watts, Marvel has not offered any sort of info about Fantastic Four since announcing the project at Comic-Con 2019. Then, Marvel revealed the film’s release date at Comic-Con 2022 a few weeks ago. Fantastic Four will premiere on November 8th, 2024.

Fast-forward to Friday and a flurry of reports claimed that Marvel had chosen Matt Shakman to helm its Fantastic Four reboot. The Hollywood Reporter said that Shakman also dropped out of the next Star Trek movie due to scheduling issues.

Paramount confirmed that Shakman will not direct the next installment of Star Trek. The movie has a December 22nd, 2023, release date.

It was recently announced who would be writing the new Fantastic Four as well.

Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Image source: Marvel Studios

First Fantastic Four plot details

Well-known Marvel insider Grace Randolph addressed the Matt Shakman rumors in a clip on YouTube even before reports of Shakman’s Star Trek exit were confirmed.

She speculated that the two movies are too big for Paramount and Disney to share Shakman. They might be about a year apart, but the production schedules of Star Trek and Fantastic Four will likely overlap.

Randolph claims the WandaVision director convinced Feige with his pitch. According to her, the Fantastic Four plot will be true to the comics. But the film will be light-hearted and have a focus on exploration.

Moreover, Randolph learned from her sources that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania might tease the Fantastic Four in some way at the end of the film. The third Ant-man movie could be a perfect entry for the four Fantastic Four members.

Randolph did not offer any cast details but speculated that John Krasinski might not play the MCU’s main Reed Richards. Krasinski had a shortlived cameo as Richards in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. But the Fantastic Four movie will likely focus on heroes from a different MCU timeline.

While we can’t confirm these Fantastic Four plot details at this time, it’s worth noting that Randolph was right about Shakman’s exit from Star Trek.

That said, Fantastic Four director and cast announcements seem very likely for the D23 Expo next month.

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.