Marvel Studios has tapped Josh Friedman, who worked on Avatar: The Way of Water, to do re-writes on the script of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” reboot.
Friedman has had a prolific career as a writer and story developer. As well as having written the story for James Cameron’s 2022 blockbuster, the screenwriter also developed the TV series Snowpiercer, Foundation, and Emerald City. He also wrote the story for Terminator: Dark Fate and Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.
The project was initially set to be written by Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer, who previously had worked on The Last of the Great Romantics and Bert and Arnie’s Guide to Friendship.
Matt Shakman, who was the key director behind the Marvel series WandaVision, is on board to helm the movie.
The reboot is set to kick off Phase 6 of its storytelling universe.
"Fantastic Four" was the heroic team that introduced readers and the world at large to Marvel Comics and ushered in the Marvel Age, as the self-generated hype machine described it in the 1960s.
The characters were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and are often referred to as "Marvel's First Family".
The team comprises Reed Richards aka Mister Fantastic, Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm aka Human Torch, and Ben Grimm aka The Thing.
They gained superpowers alongside their archenemy Doctor Victor Von Doom aka Doctor Doom, after being exposed to cosmic rays during an experimental space flight.
The team's origin story was depicted on the big screen in the mid-2000s. The 20th Century Fox created two movies 2005's "Fantastic Four" and its 2007's sequel "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer".
The movies were directed by Tim Story and starred Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis.
In 2015, Fox rebooted the "Fantastic Four", with a cast that included Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell. However, the Josh Trank-directed movie was panned by critics and audiences.
When Disney acquired Fox's entertainment assets in 2019, it paved the direction for the superhero team to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Marvel first teased its version of Fantastic Four in 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con.
In August 2022, it was announced that the “WandaVision” director had stepped away from “Star Trek 4”, which aims to reunite the cast led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.
On the heels of the announcement, it was revealed that the filmmaker was in early talks to take over “Fantastic Four,” where “Spider-Man: No Way Home” helmer Jon Watts was previously attached as director.
In Summer 2022, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed that the reboot wouldn't be an origin story, taking the same route as the Spider-Man franchise with fans well aware of the team's beginnings.
In a statement to Deadline, Marvel Studios VP of Production & Development Nate Moore commented that fans are "going be pretty surprised" by what Marvel Studios is doing with the reboot.
Production on the MCU’s “Fantastic Four” reboot is expected to commence in early 2024 and is set to release in theaters on February 14, 2025.