The WGA and SAG strikes shut down Hollywood for several months and in the absence of genuine news, a deluge of liquified bullshit ran wild. Marvel Studios long-gestating Fantastic Four was the subject of many such rumors, including one that indicated director Matt Shakman had departed the project. It looks as though that rumor–like many of the other rumors that have made the rounds since July–has been dispelled as Shakman provided an encouraging update on the project in an interview with Collider.
From the sounds of the interview, it seems unlikely that there was ever any chance of Shakman bailing on Fantastic Four. “Absolutely having a great time,” said Shakman when asked how his work on Marvel Studios First Family project was going. “It’s a dream of mine to be able to work on that. I’ve loved those characters since I was little. It’s such an awesome world to be in,” he explained. “The script is awesome, the characters are brilliant. I’m super excited. I’m obviously very happy now that the writers’ strike has resolved in such a good way, and we’re able to reunite with Josh Friedman, our amazing screenwriter. I’m really hoping for a fair and equitable resolution to the actors’ strike soon, too. Keeping our fingers crossed. But we’re going! We’re a snowball heading downhill. It’s awesome. It’s got a lot of momentum. It’s really fun.“
After updating the post-WGA status of the script, Shakman revealed that the project will be ready to go in front of cameras in 2024, “probably in the spring” at Pinewood Studios in London. The director also explained that the film should be able to make its projected start date because while the WGA and SAG strikes were ongoing, work continued with visual effects and production design crews to build the right mix for the world that the Fantastic Four will inhabit.
While Shakman couldn’t give any updates on casting, he was pleased to heap more praise on the new script. “It’s different in so many ways,” Shakman said of Friedman’s rewrite. “I wish I could be specific. I wish I could say more. But we are doing things very differently from a story standpoint, from an approach to the filmmaking standpoint, that really fits the material. I wish I could say more. I would love to, but I can’t. But I think it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen before, and certainly unlike anything at Marvel that you’ve seen before.” Given the importance of this project not only to the Multiverse Saga but the continued health of the MCU, setting it apart not only from previous big-screen iterations of the team but other teams already in place is perhaps the most encouraging update fans could have hoped for.
Fantastic Four should hit theaters in 2025.