We have good news and bad news on the Marvel movie front. According to ComicBook.com, the bad news is Marvel’s push to finally bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU may be facing a delay. The good news is that the delay is for a very good reason. Marvel’s Kevin Feige reportedly wants to hire an experienced, big-name director to helm the film, which will be the cornerstone of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the “4” here is coincidental). A decision on that director could take months, and may not even happen this year.
This development comes via a series of tweets posted early this morning by Justin Kroll of Deadline, who is citing a source inside Marvel. The source says the studio is taking their time to find the right director for the project, and Kevin Feige likes the idea of finding a big-name director familiar with making blockbusters, after the positive experience he had with Sam Raimi directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Kroll claims that Marvel is still working on cutting down their list of potential candidates, and quotes a source as saying “I’d be shocked if a choice is made before Labor Day.” No specific names were dropped by Kroll, although he did claim Marvel wants to reach out to some “big names.”
Kevin Feige first announced that the Fantastic Four were joining the MCU in 2020, with Spider-Man director Jon Watts helming the film. However, Watts, dropped out earlier this year to take on other projects, including the Star Wars: Skeleton Key series. Rumors have been swirling ever since about who would replace him. We reported just a few weeks ago that Bryce Dallas Howard was under consideration, based on her work on The Mandalorian. Matthew Vaughn, who directed the X-Men reboots, has voiced his eagerness to direct a Fantastic Four film, but no chatter arose from his statements. Focusing on signing a big-name director, however, could also delay production far longer than expected.
Most of Hollywood’s biggest directors often have projects scheduled years in advance, especially with the pandemic shutting down the industry for the better part of two years. Marvel’s first choices for directors may not be available for some time, even if they are keen to direct the film. That makes one particular name an enticing choice: John Krasinski, who just appeared as a multiverse variant Reed Richards in Doctor Strange 2. It’s highly likely he’ll reprise the role in the Fantastic Four film, but it isn’t yet official. Given his huge success writing and directing the A Quiet Place movies, however, Marvel could kill two birds with one stone and get him to direct and star. He is currently working on the third A Quiet Place film, and he is set to direct the Ryan Reynolds comedy Imaginary Friends. As fans pointed out, his wife Emily Blunt would make a great Sue Storm.
The Fantastic Four, for those of you who need a refresher, consists of Dr. Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Sue’s brother Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm. During a mission in space, the group is exposed to mysterious cosmic rays, that gives them each unbelievable super powers. Reed can stretch to outlandish lengths (earning him the nickname Mr. Fantastic), Sue can turn invisible (hence the name Invisible Woman), Johnny can self-combust and become The Human Torch, and Ben turns into a huge rock monster called The Thing. Their arch-enemy is Victor Von Doom, aka Dr. Doom, a shrouded, masked villain with a thirst for world domination. No other actors besides Krasinski have surfaced as possible cast members for the film.
The Fantastic Four has had a rocky relationship with the big screen, to say the least. Marvel Studios didn’t even have the rights to the characters until 2017, when they bought 21st Century Fox, which has held the rights for years. Most fans didn’t even see the first big-screen adaptation of the comic. A 1994 low-budget film, produced by Roger Corman, was made just so the rights could be retained, and was never officially released. Bootleg copies of the film are out there, if you dare. A 2005 film from Fox was a success, and its 2007 sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer did well. Fans, however, aren’t exactly keen on the films these days, and Marvel has no interest in using those actors. A 2015 reboot was an atrocity, as we all know. But the trailer is above to remind you anyway.