Jon Watts has stepped down as director of the upcoming Fantastic Four movie planned at Marvel Studios and Disney.
The director, who just wrapped up the latest massively successful trilogy of Spider-Man films (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home), left because he needed a break from superhero movies.
Both Watts and Marvel confirmed his exit and said the parting is amicable.
"Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life-changing experience for me. I'm eternally grateful to have been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for seven years," Jon Watts said. "I'm hopeful we'll work together again and I can't wait to see the amazing vision for Fantastic Four brought to life."
A joint statement by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D'Esposito mentioned: "Collaborating with Jon on the Spider-Man films has been a true pleasure. We were looking forward to continuing our work with him to bring the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (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."
While he is taking a pause on superhero movies, he is not taking a break from making movies. Watts is reported to be writing and directing an upcoming untitled film for Apple Studios, with George Clooney and Brad Pitt playing rival fixers who are both hired for the same job.
Watts is producing that film with Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures and Pitt's Plan B Entertainment.
As for Marvel's Fantastic Four, with no official date for its release prior to this, the search for a new director will likely push the movie further back in the release schedule.
So far, previous Fantastic Four movies have not really made their mark, with fans hoping that the upcoming Marvel adaption can be the breakout film for the franchise. Seems like they may have to wait a while longer.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.