Earlier today, Marvel fans around the world were treated to some exciting news: months after the developing Fantastic Four movie lost director Jon Watts, it is now being reported that WandaVision's Matt Shakman has come aboard to helm the project. That's obviously huge news for the highly anticipated MCU movie, but what's good news for that production is bad news for another, as the move has resulted in Shakman stepping away from the upcoming Star Trek film to which he has been attached since July 2021.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that "scheduling issues" are the cause of Matt Shakman stepping away from the next Star Trek movie, and the trade points directly at the news from this morning about Fantastic Four. Paramount Pictures has released an official statement about the development, which reads,
While the next Star Trek movie is still in the early stages of development, Paramount has announced their plans to have the film ready for a December 22, 2023 release date. Fantastic Four isn't scheduled to be released until November 8, 2024, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe project is expected to be a major part of the franchise's developing plans, and Matt Shakman would have been forced to work on the two massive blockbusters simultaneously had he not dropped one. When you consider the fact that Shakman has only directed one feature before – the 2014 crime thriller Cut Back – it's understandable that he didn't want to be in that position.
This is definitely a setback to the production of the next Star Trek film, which is being planned as a sequel to Star Trek Beyond that will reunite the Enterprise crew including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldaña, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, and John Cho. The trade report says that Paramount Pictures will immediately start the search for a director to replace Matt Shakman, and at present it is unclear if the project will have to push back its release plans. As of right now, late December 2023 is a busy time for blockbusters, with James Wan's Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom recently moving to that month and the developing Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel set for December 20, 2023.
The good news for Star Trek fans is that there isn't exactly a content drought happening right now. Paramount+ has become a huge home for the franchise, with multiple shows airing throughout the calendar year now – including Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Prodigy, and Picard. You can keep track of everything on the way with our Upcoming Star Trek TV guide.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.