WandaVision director in talks for Fantastic Four

WandaVision director Matt Shakman has been tapped to direct the upcoming Marvel Studios live action Fantastic Four film.

WandaVision director Matt Shakman has been tapped to direct the Marvel Studios reboot of the Fantastic Four.

WandaVision director Matt Shakman has been tapped to direct the upcoming Marvel Studios live action Fantastic Four film. (Images: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Matt Shakman helped establish the Marvel Cinematic Universe presence on Disney+ through WandaVision. The 9-episode series that followed the story of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) after the events of Avengers: Endgame helped pave the way for others like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and the most recent being She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

What could Matt Shakman’s Fantastic Four look like after his WandaVision work? Read on for more.

Family first

The news that Matt Shakman has been hired to direct the Fantastic Four was first announced by The Hollywood Reporter.

Marvel’s team of explorers has not exactly had a stellar history of being translated into live action. The very first attempt was the version produced and shot under Roger Corman back in 1994. However, this was never intended to be released and was simply made to secure the rights. Although it was never officially shown in theaters, bootleg copies made it to the hands of fans which have since been shared on the internet.

The next Fantastic Four film fared much better. The 2005 Fantastic Four movie directed by Tim Story was made under 20th Century Fox and starred Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans, and Julian McMahon. Although not a critical success, it was financially profitable enough to warrant a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. However, this sequel performed less than the first film, leading to a planned third entry to be cancelled.

The 2005 Fantastic Four film was successful enough to warrant a sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).

The third major attempt for a big screen Fantastic Four was in 2015. This controversial and much-maligned film directed by Josh Trank was both a critical and commercial failure, grossing only $167 million against its production budget of $155 million.

After Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the rights to Fantastic Four (along with the X-Men) reverted to Marvel Studios in 2019. Since then, development for a new Fantastic Four movie that ties with the established Marvel Cinematic Universe have been in motion. With the announcement of the MCU Phase 5 and 6 plans, it was confirmed that the new Fantastic Four movie would be coming soon.

Multiple directors have been rumored or attached to the Fantastic Four movie. These included Jon Watts (Spider-Man: No Way Home), Sam Raimi (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman), and Peyton Reed (Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania). With the confirmation that WandaVision’s Matt Shakman will direct, it is likely the Fantastic Four film will focus on the family aspect.

Given the tone of WandaVision, Matt Shakman's Fantastic Four will likely focus on the family and humor aspects.

Plus, with the director established, the next expected news regarding the Fantastic Four project is the casting. Although John Krasinski appeared as a version of Reed Richards in Multiverse of Madness, this is not a guarantee that he will also play the main MCU version. It is expected that any casting news will be announced on the D23 Expo this September.

Star Trek dropped

Unfortunately for Star Trek fans and Paramount, Shakman being committed to Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four means he cannot continue working on the new Star Trek film. In a statement from Paramount Pictures, they wished the director well:

Matt Shakman is an incredibly talented filmmaker, and we regret the timing didn’t align for him to direct our upcoming Star Trek film. We are grateful for his many contributions, are excited about the creative vision of this next chapter and look forward to bringing it to audiences all around world.

The Star Trek film directed by Matt Shakman would have reunited the crew formed under J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the scifi franchise, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldaña, Karl Urban, and John Cho. The last time this version of the crew of the Enterprise appeared in a film is Star Trek Beyond (2016).

Fantastic Four is projected for a release date of November 28, 2024.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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