Matt Shakman, the veteran TV director who ushered Marvel Studios into the television era, is in talks to make the leap into MCU features with fantastic four, tell sources The Hollywood Reporter.
Shakman became a Marvel favorite with the Emmy-winning WandaVision, the first MCU series released for Disney+. He came on as director of the comedy It’s Always sunny in Philadelphia before graduating from event storytelling with Game of Thrones. In July 2021, Paramount tapped him to direct the next one Star Trek film, which is currently dated December 22, 2023. It is unclear if he will remain involved.
Other filmmakers who met during the project included Love and monsters director Michael Matthews and Dog filmmaker Reid Caroline. The two finalists ended up being Matthews and Shakman, according to sources.
Fantastic four will kick off Phase 6 of Marvel’s storytelling, with the film set to release November 8, 2024. No cast has been announced, but longtime fan of the role John Krasinski appeared as a version of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness, released in May. However, this was an alternate universe version of the character, meaning it’s unknown if he will continue with the character.
Writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby introduced Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and the Thing on the pages of Fantastic four Number 1 in 1961. The comic reinvented the publisher, then known as Timely, launching the Marvel universe as a shared canvas for stories.
The Fantastic Four is a cornerstone of the Marvel mythos, but no big-screen adaptation has ever been embraced by the public. In the 1990s, Roger Corman produced a cheap film that was never released, while 20th Century Fox released films in 2005 and 2007 starring future Captain America actor Chris Evans as the Human Torch. (In 2010 there was even talk of a Paul Greengrass helmeted Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men crossover film). Filmmaker Josh Trank spearheaded the disastrous 2015 Fantastic four reboot, plans for more sinking. A few years later, Disney acquired the rights to the superteam when the company bought 20th Century Fox.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige first announced a Fantastic four film in December 2020 during a Disney investor day, with Spider Man director Jon Watts at the helm. (Watts later announced his departure in April 2022.) Feige has said this won’t be an origin story, telling THR at San Diego Comic-Con in July, “A lot of people know this origin story. A lot of people know the basics. How do we go about that and bring something they’ve never seen before?”