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'Spider-Man: No Way Home' director Jon Watts exits Marvel's 'Fantastic Four'

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' director Jon Watts exits Marvel's 'Fantastic Four'
Director Jon Watts attends the premiere of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" on Dec. 13, 2021, at the Regency Village Theatre in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 29 (UPI) -- Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts is no longer directing Disney and Marvel's upcoming Fantastic Four film.

Deadline and Entertainment Weekly confirmed Friday that Watts wants to take a short break from the superhero realm after completing the Spider-Man trilogy with Tom Holland and Zendaya. Watts is expected to rejoin Holland and Zendaya for the next entry in that franchise.

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"Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life-changing experience for me," Watts said Friday. "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."

In a joint statement, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D'Esposito thanked Watts for his efforts on the Spider-Man films, calling their collaboration a "true pleasure."

"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."

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Marvel first revealed that Watts would direct the third feature iteration of the Fantastic Four franchise -- and the first since Disney acquired Fox, which controlled the franchise -- in December 2020 during a Disney investor presentation.

Watts has spent much of the past decade directing and promoting his recent Spider-Man films after being hired off Cop Car, a small-budget indie thriller that premiered at Sundance in 2015.

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