Josh Friedman is rewriting the Fantastic Four MCU debut.
Fantastic Four seems to be a property that is cursed when it comes to a live-action adaptation; from the maligned 2000s version from Fox starring Jessica Alba and Chris Evans to the recent Josh Trank remake starring Miles Teller and Micheal B. Jordan, they can’t seem to get it right. Fans have gotten some good news: last year, they were hit with the revelation that Marvel‘s first family will debut in the coming phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is not out of hot water as the upcoming film needs a rewrite, and the studio tapped Josh Friedman.
Friedman comes to the Fantastic Four project after bringing James Cameron’s Avatar 2: The Way of Water to the screen with his work on the script. He is also responsible for some TV work as he adapted Snowpiercer from the Ed Harris, Chris Evans, and Tilda Swinton film to a series for TNT and worked on Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. His film credits include Tom Criuse’s War of the Worlds and Terminator: Dark Fate, seeing the soft reboot of the franchise with Emile Clarke taking over the Sarah Conner role from Linda Hamilton and Jai Courtney and Jason Clark joining as Kyle Reese and John Conner respectfully.
Friedman is taking over Fantastic Four from the writing team of Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, who is best known for their comedy work, writing films like Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship and The Last of the Great Romantics. They have some upcoming projects that are also comedies, including K-Pop: Lost in America and Disaster Wedding. But whether this change represents a problem with the production and means the film is in trouble or an intentional change of direction for Marvel is still being determined.
With the addition of Josh Friedman to the Fantastic Four project, the film’s tone could be switching from the typical comedic genre the MCU has been planted in for over a decade to something less common in the franchise. Two of the more recent projects Marvel sent to the theater Thor: Love and Thunder and Ant-Man: Quantumania, were heavy on comedy and didn’t resonate with the audience in the way Marvel is used to. A switch to a darker and more science-fiction-focused project may be just what the doctor ordered for a franchise that has seen its share of struggles since the close of the Infinity Saga.
With a traditional story heavy on science, and space set action, Fantastic Four is the perfect property to switch gears for Marvel. Not to mention, one of the most terrifying and formidable villains in all of Marvel Comics is Dr. Doom; this is a film that can’t miss if Marvel wants to remain at the top of the game over DC. With former Marvel wunderkind James Gunn helming DC’s new effort to compete, Josh Friedman has his work cut out for him to make Fantastic Four succeed.