“WandaVision” director Matt Shakman opened up about his decision to exit the upcoming “Star Trek” sequel to instead direct Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, due Feb. 14, 2025. The prolific filmmaker, who counts credits on series like “The Great,” “Succession,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Boys” and Prime Video’s upcoming “The Consultant,” also confirmed that filming on the MCU’s “Fantastic Four” reboot would commence in early 2024.
“I had a great time working on ‘Star Trek’ for a little over a year, working closely with J.J. Abrams and everyone at Paramount, and I love that franchise, and I love that cast that J.J. put together, and it would have been an unbelievable pleasure to work with them on the fourth installment there,” Shakman told TheWrap during an interview about his work on “The Consultant”. “But movies have different journeys and momentums and and schedules are a little bit mercurial, and so when the ‘Fantastic Four’ opportunity came up, it was just too hard to pass up, and to go back home to Marvel, a place that I worked on ‘WandaVision’ at, with those people who are wonderful collaborators.”
He continued, “It’s really a family there and to be able to go back and tackle something that I truly love, and they’re very similar in some ways: they both were launched in the ’60s at the same time, they’re both about optimism and looking to the stars and technology can solve everything and they’re about family too — the family you have, the family you make. So they’re aligned in many ways and speak to my heart and equally, so I’m excited to be working on ‘Fantastic Four.'”
In late August of 2022, it was announced that Shakman had stepped away from his role as director of “Star Trek 4,” which aims to reunite the cast led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. On the heels of that announcement was the reveal that the filmmaker was in early talks to take over “Fantastic Four,” where “Spider-Man: No Way Home” helmer Jon Watts was previously attached as director.
“Fantastic Four” was initially set for a November 2024 release, but was pushed back last October alongside other MCU projects like the Mahershala Ali-fronted “Blade,” “Deadpool 3” and “Avengers: Secret Wars.”
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, “Fantastic Four” follows science genius Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), his best friend Thing (Ben Grimm), his girlfriend Invisible Woman (Sue Storm) and her reckless brother, Human Torch (Johnny Storm), all of whom are exposed to cosmic radiation and develop superpowers. First appearing in the 1961 comic of the same name, the quartet has been portrayed as a dysfunctional yet loving family unit.
The “Fantastic Four” characters have appeared in four previous films: two 20th Century Fox movies directed by Tim Story (released in 2005 and 2007, respectively, with stars Jessica Alba and Chris Evans), the 2015 flop directed by Josh Trank (featuring Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell) and a 1994 unreleased movie executive produced by Roger Corman that was made solely for Constantin Film to maintain film rights.
Additional details about “Fantastic Four” are sparse, and there has been no word yet on leading stars or a plot synopsis. In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” John Krasinski briefly portrayed one version of Reed Richards, who was part of the Illuminati on Earth-838 and was promptly killed by Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch.
But Krasinski told TheWrap last year that it was a “one-off” and he’s not expected to play the character in the “Fantastic Four” movie.
Shakman made his Marvel debut directing all episodes of the acclaimed Disney+ series “WandaVision,” for which he earned an Emmy nomination for Limited Series, Direction.