EXCLUSIVE: After playing a big part in helping launch the Marvel Studios limited series WandaVision, Matt Shakman may be ready to help launch one of the studio’s prized movie properties. Sources tell Deadline that Shakman is in early talks to direct Marvel’s new Fantastic Four pic.
Rumors have been running rampant in recent weeks that he was in the mix for the job, and insiders are now telling Deadline that while a formal offer hasn’t been presented, early discussions have begun and that things are headed in the right direction. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is producing.
Marvel could not be reached for comment.
Shakman steps in for Jon Watts, who parted ways with the project in the spring. Watts was coming off Spider-Man: No Way Home, which had just become the sixth highest-grossing film in global box office history with $1.89 billion and needed a break from the comic book realm. Marvel quickly began looking for his replacement, meeting with a number of candidates, and thought was the search may go all the way into the fall.
That said, there was always the thought Shakman was the guy to beat given how comfortable Feige was with him following WandaVision, which not only successfully launched Marvel’s limited series strategy for Disney+ but also earned several Emmy nominations including Best Director for Shakman.
Fantastic Four has been an -anticipated property for MCU fans going back to when Disney acquired Fox and absorbed all its assets; those included Fantastic Four. Ever since fans have been wondering when they would get that new series of films, and Feige delivered that answer at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, saying the film would kick off Phase 6, bowing on November 8, 2024. It will be followed by two Avengers movies: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty on May 2 of that year, and Avengers: Secret Wars just six months later.
Shakman is repped by UTA, Artists Firsts and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich and Gellman.
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