Marvel’s Fantastic Four: The Director Quits, Fans Know Who They Want As Replacement
With Marvel confirming Fantastic Four is in the works earlier this month, let's take a look at everything we know about the upcoming Fantastic Four so far.
The Fantastic Four have had a strange history at the movies. After 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the franchise remained dormant, until 2015’s Fantastic Four, which was both a critical and commercial failure. But with The Walt Disney Company acquiring 21st Century Fox in 2017, Disney and Marvel Studios now have the rights to Fantastic Four, and are ready and prepared to introduce them into their Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the Fantastic Four now on the way, let’s take a look at everything we know about Marvel’s Fantastic Four.
PER MARVEL BOSS, FANTASTIC FOUR WILL NOT BE AN ORIGIN STORY
When Marvel boss Kevin Feige took the stage at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con, he imparted all Marvel fans with the many updates concerning where Marvel stands today and what the future looks like with Phase 5 and Phase 6 in the Marvel timeline. One of those updates included the Fantastic Four, though he didn’t announce who might be playing Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm. He did say, though, that their story will not be an origin one.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, bossman Feige explained that the new Fantastic Four film, which will be a collaboration between Marvel and Sony, much like what they’ve done with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, will catch the Fantastic Four after they have been turned. “A lot of people know this origin story,” Feige said to THR. “A lot of people know the basics. How do we take that and bring something that they’ve never seen before? We’ve set a very high bar for ourselves with bringing that to the screen.”
MARVEL HAS FINALLY GIVEN THE FANTASTIC FOUR A RELEASE DATE
Along with announcing that Fantastic Four will not be an origin story, Feige also dropped this bit of knowledge about Marvel’s first superhero team – they have found it a release date. Per Feige, he said that the Fantastic Four movie will be the opening number in Marvel’s Phase 6 and they plan to kick it off on November 8, 2024. Between now and then you can expect Marvel and those involved with the Fantastic Four will be working overdrive to make sure the general public is ready, willing, and able to jump into Phase 6.
But this new news isn’t the only news that has surrounded the early pre-production of Fantastic Four. Although no names have been officially released (only speculation and fan casting), there had been movement on the choice of directors but then that all came crashing down. How did we get here from there?
Fans Want John Krasinski To Replace Watts
In May 2022, in the wake of the news that Jon Watts was leaving Fantastic Four as director, fans began petitioning to get John Krasinski to replace him. Along with being the acclaimed director of the A Quiet Place films, Krasinski has long been fan cast as Reed Richards. At least one fan posted an interview clip that seemed to indicate The Office star was open to working for Marvel.
Fantastic Four’s Director Bows Out
During The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day Presentation on December 11, 2020, Kevin Feige revealed that the director of Fantastic Four would be Jon Watts. With Watts’ great reputation among fans as director of all three MCU Spider-Man films, that was good news to most. Unfortunately, there was bad news on the way.
At the end of April 2022, Watts announced he was leaving Fantastic Four. The director said his departure had nothing to do with any creative disagreements between himself and the studio. Instead, after directing three Spider-Man films including the hugely successful Spider-Man: No Way Home, he said he was burnt out on superhero fare and needed a break from the genre.
Marvel’s Fantastic Four Reveal
At their 2019 San Diego Comic Con presentation, Marvel and studio head Kevin Feige announced a ton of projects. Feige unveiled the majority of Marvel’s Phase Four plans, unveiling huge revelations about films like Thor: Love and Thunder, Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Marvel’s upcoming slate of Disney+ television series. While the big reveal seemed to be that Mahershala Ali would be playing Blade, the major surprise was Feige mentioning he didn’t have time to get into the studio’s plans for mutants or the Fantastic Four.
The comment was quickly thrown off, but Kevin Feige knew that fans that had been eagerly anticipated another Fantastic Four film would latch onto this tiny nugget. No other news would be made about Marvel’s plans for the Fantastic Four for almost a year-and-a-half, but that hasn’t stopped the Marvel Cinematic Universe audience from fan-casting and making their own predictions, right down to hoping that John Krasinski and Emily Blunt might be playing Reed Richards and Sue Storm, respectively. That seems unlikely to happen, as Emily Blunt called the genre “exhausted” and said that superhero movies were not for her.
When Will the Fantastic Four Be Revealed?
So, now we know when the Fantastic Four will be ready for public consumption. What we don’t know is when Feige, Marvel, and Sony plan on selecting the actors who will be playing the famous four. Fans have their choices in mind and they are hoping dearly that Marvel and company avoid the disaster casting that was the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot.
Fans were virtually apoplectic when John Krasinski turned up as Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but that apparently was a one off, and not because his character met a gruesome end. The appearance was more fan service than anything else, or so the story goes. But was it?
Sometimes it’s hard to get a good read on Marvel and their intentions. Take for instance the recent Deadpool 3 announcement from Ryan Reynolds. For the longest time it had only been a giant wish that, first there would be a Deadpool 3 in all its R-rated glory, and second that fans would finally get to see Ryan Reynolds back together again with his BFF Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, when for years Jackman claims Logan was his final go-around as the adamantium-filled superhero.
But here we are and Krasinski has made his first appearance as Mister Fantastic. Will it be his one and only or will he be donning his FF4 costume one more time? Maybe we will get some answers with the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The sequel to the 2018 Black Panther looks to be a touching and emotional tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2020. Along with a tribute, the film also will be introducing another Marvel fan favorite, Namor the Sub-Mariner. There has been plenty of crossover in comic book past that Namor’s presence could also lend itself to the introduction of the Fantastic Four.
With the Illuminati having been teased in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Namor finding time in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could mean something because Namor has teamed up with Reed Richards on the Illuminati. There is also the chance that a potential Wakanda Forever storyline could bring about the arrival of the Fantastic Four. This storyline has the world wanting Wakanda to share its wealth of vibranium.
Now, while the Fantastic Four would not be one to want to take possession of the rare and powerful material, there is one who would love nothing more than to get his hands on it. This would be Doctor Doom. It is expected that at some point, his presence is going to be felt in a big way.
Of course, all of this is speculation. What we do know is that we may get some answers soon as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will premiere on November 11, 2022. If we don’t get any hints about what’s to come with the Fantastic Four movie, you can be sure we’ll start getting news from Feige and Marvel soon after.