Spider-Man: No Way Home director is reviving the Final Destination franchise

A screenshot of the Final Destination cast on a plane in the 2000 horror movie
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts is bringing the Final Destination franchise back from the dead.

Multiple sources, including Variety and Deadline, have reported that Watts has been brought on board to produce the franchise's first movie since 2011's Final Destination 5.

The unnamed horror flick, which is being developed under the unsurprising working title Final Destination 6, will be released exclusively on HBO Max. Long time Final Destination producers Craig Perry and Sheila Hanahan Taylor will also produce the film, as will Watts' wife and producing partner Dianne McGunigle.

In a statement, Watts said: “Both Dianne and I have been massive fans of ‘Final Destination’ from the very beginning. So to be able to have a hand in crafting a new story with the original team and New Line is going to be both fun and exciting.”

The Final Destination film series was a theatrical staple of the early 2000s. Each instalment told the same story: a group of teens or young adults escape certain death after each movie's protagonist has a sudden premonition about their impending doom. Despite avoiding their foretold demises, though, the survivors are hunted and killed off by an unseen force – i.e. a manifestation of Death itself – with their deaths usually the result of a bizarre accident.

While the Final Destination franchise consistently received mixed reviews from critics with every new release, the franchise is the eighth highest-grossing horror film series ever. Its total earnings at the global box office stand at $657 million but, given that the next instalment is set to land on HBO Max, that figure won't increase any time soon.

Analysis: how will Final Destination 6 affect Watts' Fantastic Four movie?

The logo for Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

With Watts now attached to a non-Marvel movie project, some MCU fans may be wondering what the future holds for Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four movie.

As part of Marvel's Comic-Con panel in July 2019, president Kevin Feige revealed that, at long last, a Fantastic Four MCU movie was in the works. Some 18 months later, Watts – who has directed all three Spider-Man MCU flicks – was confirmed as the Fantastic Four film's director.

Since then, however, there have been no updates to about the upcoming Marvel Phase 4 movie. With Watts boarding the Final Destination series, does this mean that Marvel will have to find a new Fantastic Four director?

In short, no. Watts is only producing Final Destination 6 – although he also wrote the treatment to its script, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His work on New Line Cinema's horror movie, then, shouldn't have a major impact on any potential Fantastic Four work.

The Fantastic Four film doesn't have a release date yet, and no casting or screenwriter announcements have been made either. As such, it's likely that Fantastic Four is still rooted in the pre-production phase. If that's the case, Watts has an opening in his calendar to produce Final Destination 6 before he fully commits to directing Fantastic Four. So working on two projects simultaneously shouldn't be an issue anyway.

Regardless, Watts' star continues to rise in Hollywood circles. The Clown and Cop Car writer-director has overseen a hugely successful Spider-Man trilogy for Marvel and Sony Pictures, with No Way Home becoming the third highest-grossing MCU film of all-time. No Way Home has earned $1.54 billion at the global box office since its initial December 15 release in the UK – though it has some way to go if it hopes to surpass Avengers: Endgame's $2.8 billion and Avengers: Infinity War's $2.05 billion totals.

Overall, Watts' Spider-Man trilogy has grossed $3.55 billion. Of course, the likes of Marvel Studios' head Kevin Feige, Spider-Man star Tom Holland, and Sony Pictures producer Amy Pascal have also helped the webslinger's last three solo movies to accrue such a total. But there's no denying that Watts has also had a significant role to play in each film's success. It's unsurprising, then, why his position as Fantastic Four director won't be under threat despite being hired to revive the Final Destination franchise.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.