When Jon Watts got announced as director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Fantastic Four, fans were elated. He truly understood the concept of family, ambition and how being a hero could make or break people -- which tied into many stories involving Reed Richards and his kin. Unfortunately, Watts just stepped away from the project, taking a break after a lot of heavy-lifting with Marvel Studios' Spider-Man trilogy. However, while many would toss directors like John Krasinski into the ring, Disney already has the perfect director in-house to helm and improve the property.
The best candidate is Julia Hart, an indie filmmaker who has been blowing up big in recent years. She's already directed a brilliant superhero movie in 2018's Fast Color, which focused on Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a Black woman with powers on the run from law enforcement and scientists who want to study and control her. It felt like a mutant story, with Ruth realizing the abilities got passed down to women in her bloodline.
But what makes these pairing even more enticing is that Hart has already done work for Disney via Stargirl, which is about a young girl helping peers realize the meaning of life through music. It resonated pretty well, which is why Disney has a sequel lined up already. And to top off a diverse career, Hart also has I'm Your Woman under her belt, which focused on a woman on the run after her criminal husband went missing.
Hart can cover a ton of narratives, with the main focus of her body of work being feminist power, unity and the struggles people go through. And seeing as the Richards family has always been torn over their moral compass and making scientific progress, Hart would be the perfect person to explore their stories in the MCU.
She could also evolve the franchise into a more accepting, inclusive one that doesn't focus on the male gaze and the frat-boy banter of Human Torch and the Thing. It would be refreshing for Susan Storm to take center stage, not just as Invisible Woman like Tim Story's old flicks, but as a mother and leading figure in science trying to heal the planet. Hart can even capitalize on the potential of young Valeria and Franklin Richards, given how well she has detailed the teen experience so far.
Ultimately, Hart's style would suit the modern generation. Her innate ability to tell stories involving people of color and women would add an artistic, social message to a franchise that honestly needs some more depth. That would allow the franchise to move past the usual schtick of cosmic research, star-trekking and explosive battles in New York, making Marvel's First Family something more.