Jon Watts exits ‘Fantastic Four’ production

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The coming adaptation of the Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just had its development go through some clobbering time, as director Jon Watts has exited from the project in an amicable split.

The decision is reported in an article published by Deadline Hollywood today. While neither Marvel nor Watts confirmed why he stepped away from the project with an undetermined release date at this time, the report suggested he needed a breather after spending most of the last decade with Spider-Man. Watts came onto the franchise after directing the independent film Cop Car in 2015, and is producing and directing The Old Man with Jeff Bridges, as well as working on bringing back the Final Destination franchise.

Marvel Studios leaders Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito are saying it is a pleasure to work with Watts and are open to having him come back into the fold in the future after he takes time to recharge himself.

“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.”

In addition to the projects cited, Watts also has a piece in development for Apple and its streaming service. It will star George Clooney and Brad Pitt as two rival fixers who are hired for the same job. It remains in creative development at the moment, too.