During Marvel Studios' D23 Expo presentation, it was confirmed that Marvel's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot will be directed by Matt Shakman. Today's announcement begins to pay off years of speculation about who could take on the reigns of the beloved characters, with speculation starting back when The Walt Disney Company acquired the rights to the characters during their purchase of 20th Century Fox. Rivaling the X-Men and that roster of beloved mutants, the members of the Fantastic Four are arguably the characters that Marvel fans have most been looking forward to seeing join the MCU.
The announced talent are only the latest performers to embrace these iconic identities, with their live-action history going back decades.
Back in 1994, a low-budget The Fantastic Four was made for a reported $1 million, a pittance compared to most movies at the time, let alone movies featuring superheroes. Rather than being an adventure honoring the famous characters, the film was solely made so that producer Bernd Eichinger could retain the rights to the characters before those rights expired. The film was such a lackluster endeavor that it was never released in any official capacity, though bootleg copies have been circulating for years.
Thanks to the success of X-Men and Spider-Man, 20th Century Fox developed a proper Fantastic Four film, which hit theaters in 2005. While it was a critical disappointment, it was a financial success and starred A-list talent like Chris Evans and Jessica Alba. The film earned a sequel in 2007 with Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer.
In 2015, Fox developed an all-new take on the characters with director Josh Trank, a project which suffered a number of behind-the-scenes clashes between the studio and the filmmaker. The week of release, Trank denounced the film, with that project going on to be both a critical and financial disappointment.
The first taste audiences got of the characters entering the MCU came in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which featured a cameo of John Krasinski as Reed Richards. With fans having been campaigning for the actor to take on the role for years, the filmmakers behind the project confirmed this was meant to be a tribute to the fans as opposed to being the debut of Krasinski in an ongoing capacity as the character.
Stay tuned for details on the MCU's Fantastic Four.
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