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Marvel Studios Loses ‘Fantastic Four’ Director

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Marvel Studios revealed back in the summer of 2019 at SDCC that a Fantastic Four film was being developed as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Then in December 2020 we got word that Spider-Man series director Jon Watts was going to take up a Fantastic Four film after completing his work on Spider-Man: No Way Home, though a break was expected between the projects.

While no formal date was for the film, it’s now been revealed that Watts has amicably exited the project, citing the need to change things up for a bit. Which really makes sense as he was initially hired after his small-budget 2015 film Cop Car and has spent the last six years working on a trio of Spider-Man films that have made a couple of billion dollars. From a creative standpoint, just looking to shift gears for a bit is a pretty smart thing to do.

Watts has an untitled film that Apple Studios picked up late last year with George Clooney and Brad Pitt that doesn’t look to be a huge special effects project and is exactly the kind of thing that he needs to work on.

Deadline had comments from both Watts and Marvel with:

Said Kevin Feige, president, Marvel Studios and Louis D’Esposito, co-president, Marvel Studios: “Collaborating with Jon on the Spider-Man films has been a true pleasure. 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. We are optimistic that we will have the opportunity to work together again at some point down the road.”

Watts said that “Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life-changing experience for me. 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.”