- Director Matt Shakman is taking inspiration from Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four stories for the MCU reboot, rather than previous movie adaptations.
- The previous attempts at bringing the Fantastic Four into live-action were poorly received, so ignoring them and focusing on reinventing the team is the right approach.
- The storyline for the upcoming Fantastic Four film could potentially involve iconic villains like Galactus, the Silver Surfer, and Doctor Doom, as well as focusing on the team’s dynamic and adventures from more-recent comic runs.
Matt Shakman, director of Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four, has confirmed his inspiration behind the storyline for the titular team’s upcoming MCU reboot. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced the development of a Fantastic Four project in the MCU at SDCC 2019, following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century’s Fox’s properties that reverted the rights to Marvel’s First Family to Marvel. While the MCU’s Spider-Man franchise director Jon Watts had previously been attached, Shakman took the reins in September 2022, but since then, news on Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four reboot has been scarce, though new details could soon be revealed, including information about the storyline for the Fantastic Four’s first MCU adventure.
During a recent interview with Inverse promoting the November 2023 premiere of his Apple TV+ series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Matt Shakman, director of the MCU’s WandaVision and Fantastic Four, revealed more about the upcoming MCU film. Shakman noted that he wouldn’t be “looking at the other movies” for inspiration, instead turning to Fantastic Four storylines from Marvel Comics. He confirmed a few comic writers whose storylines could form the basis for Fantastic Four’s plot. Shakman is inspired by classic writers Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and John Byrne, though also credited more recent contributors Jonathan Hickman and Ryan North, hinting at potential storylines for the Fantastic Four’s much-anticipated MCU debut.
I’m not so much looking at the other movies, I’m looking at the comics themselves. I’m a huge comic book fan. I’ve been a big fan of the Fantastic Four since I was a kid. So going back to Kirby and Lee and Byrne and following all the way up to what’s happening, certainly Hickman and Wade and Ryan North, what he’s been doing. I’m trying to figure out who these characters are to me and how to bring them to life in the best possible way, and that’s really where I’ve started and how we’ve approached it.
Why Matt Shakman Is Right To Ignore Previous Fantastic Four Movies
20th Century Fox made two attempts to bring the Fantastic Four into live-action, once with 2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, and again with 2015’s Fantastic Four. However, none of these projects garnered a hugely positive response, with the latter actually being considered one of the worst superhero films of the modern era. Matt Shakman is right to completely ignore these previous attempts, instead focusing on reinventing the Fantastic Four properly, and perhaps even adapting a more comic-accurate narrative for the team. His Marvel Comics inspiration could hint at what stories might be adapted for the MCU’s Fantastic Four team.
Alex Hyde-White, Ioan Gruffudd, Miles Teller, and John Krasinski have portrayed Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mister Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four, in live-action.
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and John Byrne’s Fantastic Four storylines focused intensely on stressing the team’s family dynamic, and introduced iconic villains including Ego and Galactus, so this could fuel theories suggesting Galactus and the Silver Surfer will appear in the MCU’s Fantastic Four. More recently, Jonathan Hickman’s 2009-11 Fantastic Four run took place during the larger Dark Reign event, and featured Galactus, Nathaniel Richards’ Iron Lad, and the dawn of the Future Foundation. Ryan North’s ongoing Fantastic Four run sees the team embark on new adventures, and come face-to-face with Doctor Doom, so Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four reboot could be gearing up for some exciting action.