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Fantastic Four casting rumors: who will be the next big Marvel stars?

Who will in the Fantastic Four? We look at the contenders...

Fantastic Four casting rumors: who will be the next big Marvel stars?
Marc Chacksfield
17 November 2023

The reboot of Marvel's Fantastic Four is due in May 2025. But we still have no official word on exactly which actors are going to make up the foursome.

With a release date of 2025? You'd better believe those decisions should have been made by now.

UPDATE: Well, we didn't expect this one. According to Deadline, Marvel is in talks with Pedro Pascal to play the role of Reed Richards. He was not a name on our radar, but now he certainly is. Pascal is better known for his work on the other side of the Disney stable, within Star Wars. He plays The Mandalorian. And with The Last of Us season 2 and Gladiator 2 due out over the next two years, the Pascal express is showing no sign of slowing.

A lot of the chatter so far has surrounded Reed Richards. Originally it was thought that Adam Driver was a done deal but that rumour is months old now, and seems to have run out of steam.

In the past, Richards has been played by Miles Teller, Ioan Gruffudd and, much more recently, John Krasinski in cameo form, leading some to believe he will return for the full movie. We're not so sure.

Marvel could do with a hit here, after middling performance from some recent MCU flicks. However, Fantastic Four doesn't exactly have the cleanest cinematic pedigree, beginning with the famously poor 1994 adaptation. It was made solely to allow for a rights extension, and was never officially released. You can find clips on YouTube, mind.

The next two movies were far more successful. 2005’s Fantastic Four made over $300 million at the box office, and starred Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm, Chris Evans as Johnny Storm and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm. Doctor Doom was played by Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom.

This movie spawned a successful sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, in 2007. The Silver Surfer was played by Doug Jones, using motion capture, with Laurence Fishburne contributing the voice.

Neither was critically lauded but they did get people into the cinema.

A grittier, more body horror Fantastic Four was made in 2015. Directed by Josh Trank, the characters were recast with Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Jamie Bell as The Thing and Toby Kebbell as Victor Von Doom.

Studio meddling meant that we were given a mess of a movie that had promise but ultimately felt like a cut-and-shut-job. This was reflected in the poor critical reception and box office, at around $170 million.

Fantastic Four and the MCU

We shift then to the announced Fantastic Four movie which will mix the characters with the rest of the MCU.

The film did have a director, Spider-Man’s Jon Watts. But after three wildly successful movies, he decided to take a break from superheroes, leaving the director seat open for someone else.

While Steven Spielberg was mentioned, as well as Justin Lin, at D23 it was confirmed WandaVision's Matt Shakman would step into the director's chair.

And the actors? John Krasinski has been a fan favorite to play Reed Richards. Playing up to this fan service - spoiler warning - he cameoed in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but this was confirmed as just a cameo, with director Sam Raimi noting: "It's so funny that [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige] cast John because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be. And because this is an alternate universe, I think Kevin said, 'Let's make that dream come true.'"

Who, then, will be playing the Fantastic Four? Here is our list of potentials. The choices are a mix of who we would love to see in the role, and those rumored.

Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

1. John Krasinski

John Krasinski is the ultimate fan pick for Reed Richards and - spoiler - already played him in the latest Doctor Strange movie. Having him already play Richards in another reality does mean it's unlikely he will be cast again but we can all still hope. If he doesn't end up in the MCU in front of the camera again, then maybe we will see him direct something.

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

2. Penn Badgley

Penn Badgley is one of the more recent rumors for the role of Reed Richards. Although it would be hard to get away from his bad guy persona, playing the psychotic Joe Goldberg in You, he's a great actor. 35 is a good age to play the Reed Richards, given that Marvel usually cast younger actors in its roles as they will likely be in the MCU for the long haul.

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

3. Pedro Pascal

A late entry to our casting roll call, there’s word Pedro Pascal is in talks to play Reed Richards. This will be his first time playing a major figure in the MCU, but not his first superhero movie role in its entirety. He played Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984. And, funnily enough, Ed Indelicato in the largely forgotten, unaired Wonder Woman TV pilot from 2011.

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

4. Matt Smith

The latest - and perhaps greatest - rumor is that Marvel is looking at Matt Smith as Reed Richards. He's into his sci-fi, having already played Doctor Who and is already kind-of in the Marvel fold, having had a part in Morbius. Smith is currently part of The House Of The Dragon which could make filming an issue but he's a solid choice and would bring an edge to the role.

Image Credit: BBC

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

5. Adam Driver

The biggest rumor was that Marvel was looking at Adam Driver as its next Reed Richards, but that seems to have died down. He's certainly the right age and is an amazing actor, so we can definitely see him in the role. Couple this with the fact that he has already worked in the Mouse House, with Star Wars and we can see why he is on their radar

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

6. William Jackson Harper

Reed Richards has always been more about brains than brawn but William Jackson Harper has both. He's played those with brilliant minds before (in a Good Place) and he can flit between comedy and drama with ease.

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

7. John David Washington

John David Washington has done enough already to prove he's not just in the acting game because his dad is Denzel. A stunning, confused turn in Tenet proves he can do action. And he's by far the best thing in Ballers. He has the gravitas to be Reed Richards and, at 37, can certainly play the character for some years to come.

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Who will play Reed Richards in Fantastic Four?

8. John Cho

John Cho is no stranger to science fiction, having already starred in Star Trek and Cowboy Bepop, and we would love him to become part of the MCU. He's got the perfect presence to play Reed Richards and, at 50, he's the right age for the character. Plus, he's already worked with fellow MCU stalwart in the series Selfie so it would be good to see a reunion there.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

1. Emily Blunt

Along with husband John Krasinski as Reed Richards, Emily Blunt has long been a fan favorite to play Sue Storm. She nearly ended up in the MCU playing Black Widow so she's certainly keen to try out for a superhero film. And when it comes to acting, she is one of the best around right now.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

2. Melissa Benoist

Already proving herself a superhero in Supergirl, we would love to see Melissa Benoist switch allegiance and become Sue Storm in Fantastic Four. She has yet to really crack the big screen but proved a great leading lady in the CW show.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

3. Lily James

Lily James has already been a Disney princess (Cinderella) and played Pamela Anderson for Mouse House spin-off Hulu, so we think she is definitely on Marvel's list to play Sue Storm. She would be great, too, even if sci-fi/action isn't really her go to.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

4. Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer is another strong contender for Sue Storm. She was immense in Killing Eve and since then has had a string of big-screen hits. She also has a little bit of experience working for Disney - she was a cameo in The Rise Of Skywalker, playing Rey's mother in a flashback.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

5. Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby impressed yet again in the last Mission: Impossible instalment Dead Reckoning and shines in everything she's in - just watch Pieces Of A Woman to witness this. Her as Sue Storm has some gravitas and, at 35, she is the perfect age to begin what will be a part no doubt with multiple movies and cameos.

Image Credit: Paramount

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

6. Margot Robbie

Having already starred in the DC extended universe as Harley Quinn, is Margot Robbie about to swap sides and try her hand at Sue Storm? We are hearing more and more rumors that this is the case, even though it will mean she'll be contracted for multiple movies. We can certainly see her in the role - and we may have seen the last of her as Quinn, depending on what James Gunn's vision is for the character going forward

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

7. Eiza González

She was one of the standouts in Baby Driver, was superb in I Care A Lot and proved she can do franchises with the last Fast And Furious. Couple this with an all-action turn in Michael Bay's Ambulance and we think Eiza González would be, er, fantastic as Sue Storm.

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Who will play Sue Storm in Fantastic Four?

8. Natalia Dyer

Natalia Dyer turned badass in the latest season of Stranger Things and we think she would be ideal as Sue Storm. Given Storm will need an actress who is happy to be around CG, the amount of effects in Stranger Things would put her in good steed. Plus, she's got some great comedy timing, too - you just have to watch Yes, God Yes to see this.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

1. Joe Keery

Another Stranger Things alumni that would be idea in the Fantastic Four. Joe Keery has the charisma and sarcasm needed for Johnny Storm. It would be strange to see him without his 80s looks in a role but we are a big fan of this actor.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

2. Zac Efron

Zac Efron has been fan cast as a few Marvel superheroes (namely Wolverine) but he would make a great Johnny Storm. He started out in the Mouse House so we are sure he would be happy to return.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

3. Paul Mescal

He may be something of an Indie star right now, but he's about to hit the big time thanks to a starring role in Gladiator 2, as well as an Oscar nomination for his role in Aftersun. Mescal is a fantastic actor and he could definitely pull off the hot-headed intensity needed for Jonny Storm.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

4. Joseph Quinn

Another Strange Things alumni, Joseph Quinn is a fantastic actor and showed with playing Eddie Munson he has the over-the-top fiery temperament needed to play The Human Torch. He recently starred in Hoard which is getting rave reviews, so he may want to go down the indie route for a while, but we think he would make a great Johnny Storm.

Image Credit: BBC Film

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

5. Jamie Dornan

It was a toss up between Reed Richards and Johnny Storm for Jamie Dornan. We've gone for Storm as we think he can play the hot headedness of the character well. He's a little on the old side, but he would still be fantastic in the role.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

6. Chris Evans

Yes, a curveball but even Chris Evans himself said it would be easier to come back to the MCU as Johnny Storm, rather than Captain America. We think it would be fantastic to see him back as the character and the way the multiverse is right now, it wouldn't take much imagination to sort.

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Who will play Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four?

7. LaKeith Stanfield

Anything that LaKeith Stanfield is in, he is the standout. From Atlanta to Sorry To Bother You, he just as that charisma and confidence. He would be fantastic as Johnny Storm, with ever facet needed to embrace the role.

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Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

1. Alan Ritchson

If it was for sheer screen presence, then Alan Ritchson would easily be cast as The Thing. Watch him in Reacher and he is a towering presence. He may not have the menace needed for the role, but we can easily see him playing both roles of Ben and The Thing.

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Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

2. John Cena

Again, this one is more fan service than anything else but watching John Cena in the brilliant Peacemaker made us think that he would be ideal as The Thing. He's a great actor who takes on action effortlessly and has more than a snide quip or two in him.

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Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

3. Jason Segel

There are rumors swirling that Jason Segel has already been cast as The Thing. We don't think that is actually true but we could certainly get behind Segel in the role. He's huge at 6ft 4in and has been in need of a meaty role for a while.

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Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

4. Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who had a star turn in The Bear, has been rumored for some time to be in the new Fantastic Four. While we think he would make a fantastic Thing, given his brilliance at playing someone with anger issues, it's likely he will be one of the big bads with Doctor Doom mooted.

Image Credit: Disney Plu

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Who will play The Thing in Fantastic Four?

5. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum tried but failed to get Gambit up and running for Marvel. It would have been great to see him in that role but we reckon he is now better suited for The Thing. He has comic timing, which is always good in the MCU and he is a brilliant actor.

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6. Jon Bernthal

Yes, he's played The Punisher but we could easily see Jon Bernthal 'do a Chris Evans' and play a different character in the MCU. He's got the gruffness to play Ben Richards and would be downright scar portraying The Thing.

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