‘WandaVision’ Helmer Matt Shakman In Talks To Direct Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four,’ Exits Paramount’s ‘Star Trek’ Sequel

Marvel Studios appears to be one step closer to finalizing plans for the highly anticipated “Fantastic Four” reboot, with news that “WandaVision” helmer Matt Shakman is in talks to helm the project. Variety has confirmed. And with Shakman turning his attention to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the in-demand director has now exited his planned “Star Trek” movie at Paramount Pictures.

That studio released a statement late Friday announcing the change, writing: “Matt Shakman is an incredibly talented director and we regret that the timing did not align for him to direct our upcoming ‘Star Trek’ film.” We are grateful for his many contributions, excited about the creative vision for this next chapter, and look forward to bringing it to audiences around the world.”

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The final installment of “Star Trek” is currently scheduled for release on December 22, 2023.

As for “Fantastic Four,” at San Diego Comic Con in July, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige revealed that the film will kick off Phase 6 of the MCU when it premieres on November 8, 2024. However, news of who will be as the superhero team – mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, Human Torch and the Thing – and their main enemy, Doctor Doom, remains a mystery. John Krasinski, who has long been a fan favorite to play Mr. Fantastic, appeared as an alternate version of the character earlier this year in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” but it’s unknown if the actor will reprise the role in that the new movie.

Marvel’s first priority, though, was to lock down a director.

Jon Watts, who directed all three of Sony and Marvel’s recent “Spider-Man” films, was previously announced as director for “Fantastic Four,” but dropped out of the project in April.

Rumors that Shakman had been tapped to take on the job made the rounds on the Internet earlier this month, with the choice heralded by fans given the director’s success piloting “WandaVision” as Marvel Studios’ first foray into TV. For his work on the Disney+ series, Shakman earned an Emmy nomination for directing a limited series or an anthology movie, as well as a nod in the category of outstanding limited or anthology series as an executive producer. Shakman is also nominated for an Emmy for his directing work on Hulu’s “The Great,” following his impressive entry into genre TV with “Game of Thrones” after honing his directing skills on shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “The Good Wife”. “, “Psych” and “Ugly Betty”. The director is repped by UTA, Todd Rubenstein at Morris Yorn and Artists First.

The “Fantastic Four” comics debuted in 1961, with the characters created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby becoming one of Marvel Comics’ most beloved and important properties. But the superhero quartet’s big-screen history has been a bit of a rollercoaster — from the never-released Roger Corman film in the 1990s, to 2005’s mediocre popcorn “Fantastic Four” and 2007 sequel “Rise of the Silver Surfer” and finally the disappointing 2015 reboot, which officially scrapped plans for more movies. However, when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, which held the rights to the comics, the characters finally became available in Marvel Studios, with Feige teasing that a movie was in the works at the end of Marvel’s Hall H presentation at Comic-Con in 2019.

Deadline was the first to report news of Shakman’s involvement in the project. Marvel could not be reached for comment. The Hollywood Reporter announced the departure of the director from “Star Trek”.

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