Marvel Studios will need to find another Mr. Fantastic (filmmaker).
Director Jon Watts has left the company’s reboot of “Fantastic Four.” Watts directed all three of Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man” movies with Tom Holland and Zendaya, including the $1.9 billion dollar–grossing “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and he wanted to step away from superhero filmmaking.
“Making three ‘Spider-Man’ films was an incredible and life changing experience for me,” Watts said in a statement. “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.”
In a separate statement, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said collaborating with Watts on the “Spider-Man” movies “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,” Feige continued. “We are optimistic that we will have the opportunity to work together again at some point down the road.”
Feige first announced that Watts would direct a “Fantastic Four” reboot for Marvel Studios in December 2020 during the Disney Investor Day presentation. But the studio has yet to announce any release date information about the film, let alone who is writing it.
Watts’ plate certainly isn’t empty. He’s set to write and direct a film reuniting George Clooney and Brad Pitt as rival fixers that Apple Studios won in a high stakes auction last fall. And he’s producing a new film in the “Final Destination” horror franchise for New Line Cinema and HBO Max.
Known as the original Marvel comics superheroes created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Fantastic Four were part of 20th Century Fox’s stable of Marvel superheroes prior to Disney’s acquisition of the studio in 2019. Director Tim Story made two movies about the superhero team for Fox, 2005’s “Fantastic Four” and 2007’s “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” starring Ioan Gurffudd as the super-stretching Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic), Jessica Alba as his wife Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Woman), Chris Evans as Sue’s hot-headed brother Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Michael Chiklis as the giant stone lunkhead Ben Grimm (aka the Thing), and Julian McMahon as the villainous Victor Von Doom.
In 2017, Fox mounted an ill-fated reboot with director Josh Trank, starring Miles Teller as Reed, Kate Mara as Sue, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny, Jamie Bell as Ben, and Toby Kebbell as Victor.