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Fantastic Four Alex Ross artwork

Ever since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, it’s been expected that the Fantastic Four would be added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed as much at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, and today brings are biggest update yet on the project, as the Fantastic Four reboot has secured a director.

Already familiar with the MCU through his work on Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home and the upcoming Spider-Man 3, Jon Watts has been tapped to direct the next Fantastic Four movie. Kevin Feige announced this hiring during the Disney investor call, and this brief tease was shared:

This is the second time that filmmakers already established with the MCU has jumped over to direct a different film series within the gigantic franchise. Joe and Anthony Russo first tackled Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, and then they helmed Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Given how Thor is the first solo superhero in the MCU to have a film series stretching past the conventional trilogy, it’s entirely possible the same could happen with Spider-Man. However, given that Jon Watts is now busy with the Fantastic Four, it looks like a different director will have to guide the Web-Slinger in this hypothetical scenario.

Ignoring their unreleased movie from 1994, the Fantastic Four have been hanging out in the cinematic realm since 2005. The original duology of movies centered on Marvel’s First Family starred Ioan Gruffud as Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Elba as Invisible Woman, Michael Chiklis as The Thing and Chris Evans as The Human Torch. Then in 2015, the franchise was rebooted, with Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan bringing the heroic quartet to life. However, following that movie’s critical and commercial failure, plans for a sequel were scrapped.

Which brings us to now, where, just like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four are primed to become major players in the MCU. Alas, we still don’t know yet how Marvel Studios’ depiction of the characters will differ from their predecessors… outside of their traditional power-sets, of course. It also remains to be seen who the team will battle, whether it’s the familiar Doctor Doom or a villain we haven’t seen adapted for film yet, like Mole Man or Diablo.

Finally, if you’ll indulge me in some speculation, back when Marvel Studios and Sony worked out a new arrangement for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, it was announced that in addition to Spider-Man 3, this version of the Wall-Crawler would appear in a separate Marvel Studios movie. So even though it’s unlikely Jon Watts will direct a fourth Spider-Man movie, perhaps the fact that he’s directing the Fantastic Four reboot means that Spidey could show up in that feature. After all, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four are closely connected in the comics, and the former could easily be used as an anchor of sorts to help audiences become familiar/reacquainted with the latter.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the Fantastic Four reboot’s progress. For now, look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else this superhero franchise has coming up.

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