In Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, audiences met the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Reed Richards (John Krasinski), leader of the Fantastic Four… well, a version of the Fantastic Four from a realm known now as Earth-838. And while that version of Mister Fantastic didn’t last very long against Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) – dying in one of the sequel’s most gruesome moments – Marvel clearly has plans for the family of superheroes. There’s a movie coming, despite some bumps on the road to production, and new rumors suggest that Kevin Feige is seeking a big name to helm the feature centered around the Fantastic Four.
This news comes from the Twitter account of Deadline senior film reporter Justin Kroll, who quotes a source saying that Marvel’s list of potential Fantastic Four directors remains long, and that this person would be “shocked” if the replacement for Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts was revealed before Labor Day. And the reason given for this lengthy deliberation is that Marvel President Kevin Feige, thrilled with the collaboration with Raimi, wants another big name in the director’s chair for Fantastic Four. As Kroll notes:
One source close to process, “Kevin doesn’t want oversee entire shoot and after not having to worry about that with Raimi, he is very game to same outcome with this shoot.”June 2, 2022
Kevin Feige will always have his input. But given the fact that Marvel Studios is juggling so many projects between planned sequels for Deadpool, the re-introduction of Blade, the multiple Disney+ programs, and whatever the future plan is for mutants, we can understand his unwillingness to commit to a younger filmmaker like Watts or Destin Daniel Cretton, and commit to proven directors such as Chloe Zhao, Raimi, or James Gunn. With that in mind, we’ve selected seven possible directors who’d fit that bill, and also be fantastic choices (pun intended) to lead the MCU’s FF into the future.
This one’s easy. John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place movies established him as a tentpole director, particularly with the way the second installment raised the stakes and played with more budget. Krasinski just played Reed Richards in the Doctor Strange movie, and he and his wife Emily Blunt have been fan-favorite choices to play Reed and Sue for years. Hand this power couple the keys to the franchise, and let Krasinski make the sci-fi Amblin family picture he’s been chasing.
This would be a fun callback for Marvel historians, as well as a reward to Peyton Reed for a “job well done” on the Ant-Man series. Before he stepped in and replaced Edgar Wright on the first Ant-Man, Reed had a pitch for a Fantastic Four movie that would have been set in the 1960s and blasted past the team’s origin story to begin with them as celebrity superheroes. He has a passion for the material, he’s a proven MCU guy… so is it time for his shot?
Bryce Dallas Howard
The Jurassic World co-star is hearing her name attached to this franchise in two forms. Some would like her to be in contention for Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, and after her time in the Jurassic franchise concludes, she could transition over. But others (myself included) want to see her direct Fantastic Four for Marvel Studios, especially after the outstanding work she has been delivering in the Star Wars realm. Maybe Star Wars is her passion? But she has proven her talents as a filmmaker, and I’d love to see what she could do with the FF.
Bert & Bertie
This choice flies in the face of the theory that Kevin Feige wants a director with a name, but I so enjoyed the action work that Bert & Bertie did on the Disney+ series Hawkeye that I’d love to see them transition to Marvel features. Watch the Hawkeye episodes “Echoes” and “Ronin” to see what they are capable of, as well as their work on the pirate adventure series Our Flag Means Death. They’d be an exciting hire.
Again, this would be Marvel giving someone a second chance – similar to the way they brought James Gunn back into the fold after hastily firing him from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Edgar Wright developed Ant-Man for Marvel, then left the project over creative differences. He’s only improved as a filmmaker and storyteller, and his most recent Last Night in Soho proves he can do 1960s kitsch if that’s still in the cards for Fantastic Four. Also, we’d probably get Nick Frost as Ben Grimm, and that sounds excellent.
Could the Fast & Furious’s loss be Marvel’s gain? Apparently after failing to see eye to eye with Vin Diesel, Justin Lin walked away from Fast X, and should drive right over to Marvel Studios to take on Fantastic Four. Lin delivered some of the best installments of the Fast franchise. He’s a skilled action director who also hit one out of the park when he helmed Star Trek Beyond for Paramount. A franchise filmmaker with loads of experience in action and science-fiction? That sounds exactly what Kevin Feige is looking for, so give Lin a call.
Some argue that Brad Bird already made the best Fantastic Four movie, but called it The Incredibles. The powers used by the Parr family in the two Pixar movies absolutely resemble those of the Fantastic Four, especially Elastagirl’s stretching and Violet’s force fields. So, would Bird want to retread old ground and do FF in live action? His filmography suggests a deep interest in sci-fi (Tomorrowland, The Iron Giant) and action (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol). And his announced feature 1906 lingers in development, meaning he might have time to transition to Marvel and give the FF a shot.
How about you? Who do you want to see bringing Marvel’s first family to the big screen? Contemplate the question, and plan your trip to the theater for the other upcoming Marvel movies, starting with Thor: Love and Thunder in multiplexes on July 8.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.