Brad Pitt and George Clooney — both stars of the successful 2001 Ocean’s Eleven remake and the subsequent films — haven’t had much to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The closest Pitt has gotten to Marvel so far has been getting electrocuted as the Vanisher in 2018’s Deadpool 2. And now a new movie starring both Pitt and Clooney may be slamming the brakes on the Fantastic Four’s MCU debut.
Last Friday, THR reported on the bidding war raging in Hollywood for an upcoming thriller starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney. A title hasn’t been released nor have many other story details, though it’s apparently at least part of the premise will involve the two lead actors playing competing hitmen assigned the same job. Reportedly the big contenders for the project are Sony, Lionsgate, Netflix, and Apple. So what does any of this have to do with Fantastic Four? Well, the thriller is written and is set to be directed by Jon Watts, the same filmmaker who brought us the first two MCU Spider-Man films as well as this December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
As ScreenRant elaborates, when Marvel announced Fantastic Four, the studio didn’t give a firm release date. However, with Jon Watts attached to direct, many Marvel fans assumed the filmmaker would begin working on Fantastic Four as soon as he was done with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now with the news that he’ll instead be working on a thriller with Brad Pitt and George Clooney — one which, according to THR, could give him a “career-high payout and creative freedom” — it seems likely Marvel’s First Family will have to wait a bit.
The very fact that Brad Pitt and George Clooney are once again starring in a film together may be the cause for celebration for many Hollywood watchers. The leading men’s friendship was once legendary, but gossip columnists claimed the pair grew apart. In May, other rumor sites like Suggest started reporting that the pair were bros once more, in part due to a video spot Clooney did for the fundraising platform Omaze. In the video, Clooney pretends to be stuck during quarantine with a random guy he sells a Batman action figure to off Craigslist, and he hilariously decks his entire new bedroom with Brad Pitt’s face. Suggest and sites like it, described the moment in the spot as an olive branch to Pitt. You can watch the spot below.
Whenever Brad Pitt and George Clooney’s thriller will be released, it will make it the their eighth movie together. Along with the Ocean’s trilogy, both were in 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the Coen brothers’ 2008 black comedy Burn After Reading, the 2011 documentary His Way, and the 2012 TV movie 8.
As for how Brad Pitt and Clooney’s new film will impact the filming and release of Fantastic Four, it’s far too early to say for sure. As ComicBook.com points out, Marvel Studios is believed to not be very far along in developing the film. If true, then even without the Pitt/Clooney thriller, Watts would probably still have to wait a while before he could get cameras rolling regardless. The site predicts with the upcoming Pitt/Clooney movie on the way, we should expect to see Fantastic Four either in late 2023 or sometime in 2024.
One might argue it would be a good idea to simply give Jon Watts as much time as he wants on the film, no matter how long Brad Pitt and George Clooney keep him distracted. Considering both 2007’s Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and 2015’s Fantastic Four regularly make appearances on online “Worst superhero movies” lists, it may be time to just get this property right rather than worry about release dates.