Disney’s upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot will need to find a new director. Deadline has reported that Jon Watts, the director behind all of the “Spider-Man” movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has stepped away from the project. The parting is said to be amicable, with Watts preferring to focus on other projects including an original film for Apple starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
“Collaborating with Jon on the Spider-Man films has been a true pleasure,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said. “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.”
Watts was announced as the director of a new “Fantastic Four” movie in late 2020, soon after Disney acquired the characters through its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Beyond that, the project was kept largely a secret, with no cast members or release date ever being revealed.
Watts was credited with breathing new life into the “Spider-Man” franchise with his Tom Holland-led take on the iconic character, and his vision culminated in one of Marvel’s most successful films to date, “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Watts echoed Feige’s sentiments about it being a peaceful separation, and expressed his gratitude for being able to work with Marvel in the first place.
“Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life changing experience for me,” Watts said. “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.”
This is just the latest setback for the cursed superhero property. 2015’s “Fantastic Four” movie from director Josh Trank is widely regarded as one of Hollywood’s biggest disasters, bombing with critics and fans alike after an extremely troubled production. Many fans had hoped that Disney’s professionalism would make a reboot go more smoothly, but so far, the film is off to a rocky start.