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 seem ready 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.
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.
Who Is Directing?
In another onslaught of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe news, Marvel dropped another detail about the new film. 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.
Jon Watts has a solid reputation within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having already brought another studio’s property into the fray. Watts made his Marvel debut with 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, and 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Watts has proven that he can take a character that already has an established history and integrate them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with ease, which will be perfect for Fantastic Four.
Before his work with Marvel, Jon Watts also made 2014’s horror film Clown, and 2015’s indie thriller Cop Car. In addition to working on Spider-Man 3, scheduled for release in 2021, and Fantastic Four, Watts has also shot the pilot for the upcoming FX series The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow.
When Will the Fantastic Four Be Revealed?
Phase Four is already packed with an incredible amount of films and television series, yet even without a release date at this point, Marvel has Fantastic Four announced as a Phase Four film. As of right now, that means Phase Four will be at least eleven films, with it seems likely that Fantastic Four might be the film to conclude this next phase. Considering Spider-Man 3 is currently filming, it seems likely Marvel would want to wait until that film is concluded before getting Jon Watts to work on another project. At this point, it seems like it will be 2023 at the earliest before we get Watts’ latest series.
Yet that doesn’t mean the team won’t be introduced before that. With WandaVision set to open up the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the idea of multiverses, many have theorized that the way to bring Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be simply by plucking them out from another universe. But considering Watts already works on the Spider-Man franchise, it would make quite a bit of sense for the Fantastic Four to make their debut in Spider-Man 3.
On the other hand, there are a few other options that would likely be closer to the Fantastic Four’s own film. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness implies the multiverse insanity right there in the name, and while Spider-Man 3 will bring characters from the past into the present, the film may already be too packed to also include the Fantastic Four.
But at this point, it seems likely that we will be introduced to the Fantastic Four in some capacity prior to 2022’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marvel has announced that Jonathan Majors, star of HBO’s Lovecraft Country and The Last Black Man in San Francisco, will be playing Kang the Conquerer in the third Ant-Man film. Considering Kang the Conquerer was introduced in a Fantastic Four comic and was a major enemy of the foursome, it would seem strange for the Fantastic Four to not be around close to the time that Kang is introduced.
When Is Fantastic Four Coming Out?
While there’s no set release date for Fantastic Four, the film is set for Marvel’s Phase Four, which currently looks to stretch from 2021 to 2023. Since Jon Watts’ Spider-Man 3 won’t be released until 2021, it seems like a 2023 release would be the earliest bet. However, with Spider-Man 3 coming out December 17, 2021, and Watts also making Fantastic Four, it’s theoretically possible we could at least get the first hints about the Fantastic Four joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe by next year.