After helming all three of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man films, Watts is taking a break from superhero filmmaking.
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Jon Watts is stepping away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Watts has withdrawn as the director of Marvel's upcoming Fantastic Four movie, EW has confirmed. Marvel previously announced that Watts would direct a planned reboot of the franchise, re-introducing Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But after directing all three of Tom Holland's Spider-Man movies, including last year's record-setting blockbuster No Way Home, Watts is looking to step away from superhero filmmaking for a while. A new director has yet to be announced.

"Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life-changing experience for me," Watts said in a statement. "I'm eternally grateful to have been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for seven years. I'm hopeful we'll work together again, and I can't wait to see the amazing vision for Fantastic Four brought to life."

Jon Watts. Fantastic Four
Jon Watts
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Marvel Studios

In a joint statement, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D'Esposito thanked Watts for his work on the Spider-Man films, calling their collaboration "a true pleasure." They reiterated that they also hope to work together in the future.

"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," Feige and D'Esposito said. "We are optimistic that we will have the opportunity to work together again at some point down the road."

Marvel first announced that Watts would direct a new take on the Fantastic Four in December 2020 during a Disney investor presentation. Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm have long been some of Marvel Comics' most beloved characters, and they've appeared in three films before, including the 2005 original and its 2007 sequel, as well as the less-popular 2015 reboot.

When Disney acquired Fox in 2019, fans began wondering whether the studio might reboot the Fantastic Four again as a way to integrate them into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. The new Fantastic Four doesn't have a release date yet, and no casting has been announced.

As for Spider-Man? Peter Parker's future is also unclear. Sony — which produces the solo Spider-Man films in collaboration with Disney's Marvel Studios — has expressed a desire to develop a new trilogy of Spidey films starring Holland, but nothing concrete has been announced yet. In February, Holland told EW that he didn't yet know when the web-slinger might next return to the screen.

"We've had conversations about the potential future of Spider-Man, but at the moment, they are conversations," Holland told EW at the time. "We don't know what the future looks like."

Meanwhile, Watts is still keeping busy: He's currently developing an original thriller for Apple starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and he's also producing a new Final Destination film.

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