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Marvel’s Fantastic Four Reboot Has Taken Another Big Step Forward After Signing On New Director Matt Shakman

Fantastic Four logo
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The days of the Fantastic Four no longer being available to use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are long gone. In July 2019, several months after Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox was completed, it was announced that an MCU-set Fantastic Four movie was in development, and at D23 earlier this month, it was confirmed that WandaVision’s Matt Shakman has taken over as the project’s writer. Now Fantastic Four has taken another big step forward by scoring its writers.

Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer are attached to write the Fantastic Four reboot, with Deadline reporting that they have actually been involved with this upcoming Marvel movie “for some time,” even before Matt Shakman came aboard. While Kaplan and Springer are new to the Hollywood writing scene, they’ve apparently already made quite a splash by selling numerous spec scripts over the last year and penning the forthcoming Warner Bros. comedy Disaster Wedding, which is being directed by Palm Springs’ Max Barbakow. Kaplan and Springer will meet with Shakman to make they’re all on the same page with Fantastic Four, and from there the duo will start putting the script together.

Now that Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer are preparing to write Fantastic Four, Matt Shakman and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, are next set to start looking for the actors who will lead the reboot. While John Krasinski did appear as Earth-838’s Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mister Fantastic, earlier this year in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there’s no guarantee that he’ll reprise the main version of the stretchy superhero. After all, as we’ve seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Loki, variants/doppelgängers don’t always look alike.

This will be the first Fantastic Four movie since the 2015 reboot starring Miles Teller, Kata Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell, which ended up being a critical and commercial disappointment, resulting in plans for a sequel being scrapped. As far as the next reboot goes, originally the plan was for Jon Watts, the director behind the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movies, to helm Fantastic Four. However, in April 2020, Watts announced he was exiting the project, and he has since signed on to work on the Jude- Law-led Star Wars series Skeleton Crew.

Matt Shakman’s potential involvement in Fantastic Four was first reported in late August, and while we only just recently got confirmation that he is indeed taking the directorial reins, it looked like this was a done deal when it was also revealed that Shakman had stepped away from the next Star Trek movie due to “scheduling issues.” That’s not to say something couldn’t happen later down the line that leads to Shakman departing Fantastic Four for his own reasons, but for right now, with him being officially hired and working with Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, we’re one step closer to finally meeting the MCU’s main incarnations of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm.

Fantastic Four will kick off the MCU’s Phase 6 on November 8, 2024. Fingers crossed we get some casting news before the year is over, but in the meantime, break out your Disney+ subscription to watch nearly of the MCU content that’s been released.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.