Jon Watts has stepped away from Marvel Studios’ highly-anticipated Fantastic Four movie. It appears that after orchestrating the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man trilogy with Tom Holland and Zendaya (and creating the unprecedented spectacle that was Spider-Man: No Way Home) The director has decided to personally step away from superhero movies for the time being.
“Making three ‘Spider-Man’ films was an incredible and life changing experience for me,” Watts said in a statement. “I’m eternally grateful to have been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for seven years. I’m hopeful we’ll work together again and I can’t wait to see the amazing vision for Fantastic Four brought to life.”
This leaves Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige in need of a new director as the third attempt to launch the Fantastic Four is part of his now-decade-long plan for more superhero storytelling. But there appear to be no qualms between the two moviemakers on the matter.
“We were looking forward to continuing our work with him to bring the Fantastic Four into the MCU but understand and are supportive of his reasons for stepping away,” Feige said. “We are optimistic that we will have the opportunity to work together again at some point down the road.”
When The Walt Disney Company completed the acquiring merger with 21st Century Fox, it was anticipated that the collection of Marvel characters in Fox’s studio 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios), would be brought back home. Fans would finally see the X-Men and the Fantastic Four integrated with the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and everyone else already included in the MCU.
The Fantastic Four appeared on-screen in 2005 and 2007 with Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/ The Thing, and Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom.
Fox attempted a reboot in 2015 starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell. But that project flopped.
Only time will tell if this third attempt at the Fantastic Four will stick and who will commit to playing the iconic characters for as long as Feige sees fit.