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Marvel’s first family is getting a rewrite. Josh Friedman, who worked on Avatar: The Way of Water and developed Snowpiercer as a TNT television series, has been tapped to write the script for Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four.
Matt Shakman, who was the key director behind Marvel series WandaVision, is on board to helm the feature that has a release date of Feb. 14, 2025, and 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.
Written by editor Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby, Fantastic Four No. 1 brought forth Reed Richards, a scientist dedicated to his work and unafraid to push the boundaries of science; Sue Storm, his girlfriend-turned-wife; Johnny Storm, Sue’s hothead and hot-rod-loving brother; and Ben Grimm, Richards’ beefy best friend. After an unauthorized trip into space and being irradiated with cosmic rays, they become heroes Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch and The Thing, respectively.
Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer were the previous writers on the project, and Friedman’s hire signals a potential change in tone. Kaplan and Springer are neophyte scribes known for their comedy scripts. Among the works they have in development are the Rebel Wilson comedy K-Pop: Lost in America and Disaster Wedding, which has Palm Springs filmmaker Max Barbakow attached to direct.
Friedman, on the other hand, is a veteran of the sci-fi genre. He co-wrote War of the Worlds, the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise update on the H.G. Wells classic, and then acted as the writer-creator of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the Terminator TV series that served as his first foray into the world of James Cameron. Years later, he would return to work on 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate and was one of the writers Cameron turned to for help in world-building and crafting stories for his multi-movie Avatar franchise.
The scribe is also the show co-creator of Foundation, the ambitious Apple series adapting the Isaac Asimov stories; the second season is due to debut later this year. And he adapted for the small screen Snowpiercer, TNT’s take on the Bong Joon Ho’s sci-fi movie, although he left the show over creative differences.
Friedman is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen.
A previous version misstated the release date for the film.
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