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Jon Watts Will No Longer Direct ‘Fantastic Four’ for the MCU

The 'Spider-Man' trilogy director is taking a break from superhero movies.
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Director Jon Watts has stepped down from directing ‘Fantastic Four’ for Marvel. Watts, who helmed the MCU’s ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy, was originally announced as the director in December 2020, but has decided to take a break from comic book movies. And you can hardly blame him: Watts has devoted the last 7 years of his life to delivering the critically and commercially successful Tom Holland ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy which have collectively grossed nearly $4 billion worldwide.

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“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,” Watts said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito released a statement saying, “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.”

It’s unclear if Watts will remain on the project in a producing capacity. The Fantastic Four has has been adapted for film, first with Tim Story directing Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), starring Jessica Alba and Chris Evans. 20th Century Fox tried to reboot the series in 2015 with Josh Trank’s gritty and humorless Fantastic Four, which was a critical and commercial flop. The film starred Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.

But ever since the Disney-Fox merger, both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men have been reabsorbed by Marvel. Feige plans to move ahead with a Fantastic Four reboot, tentatively scheduled for 2024. The film will either end Phase Four or begin Phase 5 of the MCU. The big question now is, who will take the reins on the film?

If the internet has its way, that director would be John Krasinkis. The A Quiet Place director and star has already established his cred as a director and a box office draw. Krasinski has hinted at his interest over the years, and fans have been eagerly campaigning for Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt to play Reed Richards and Sue Storm. In an interview with Cinema Blend, Krasinksi said “I would love to do it. I think to be a part of the Marvel world would be amazing anyway and the fact that people would even consider me for that level of a part would be amazing.”

The fandom is so eager for the pairing that Krasinski began trending on social media once Watts’ departure was announced. Still, we’ll have to wait and see what Feige and Marvel have in store. Marvel is currently on a corporate retreat, where its said they will be planning the next decade of the MCU.

(image: Marvel)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.