Of all the cameos in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, none caused a bigger stir among MCU fans than John Krasinski’s brief turn as Reed Richards a.k.a. Mister Fantastic. Krasinski, who has long been Marvel fans’ choice to play Richards, made his debut as the leader of the Fantastic Four. However, Reed’s Multiverse of Madness cameo also takes place during the film’s Illuminati sequence, which is set in a different timeline than the MCU’s Earth-616 reality.
That detail has led fans to wonder whether Krasinki’s appearance as Reed Richards in the Doctor Strange sequel is the beginning of the actor’s run in the MCU, or just a one-off nod to fans. And there’s now evidence to suggest that Krasinski’s presence in the MCU may end up being limited to his cameo.
Another Universe — In an official audio commentary track for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, director Sam Raimi briefly commented on John Krasinski’s appearance as Reed Richards. Raimi said, “It’s so funny that Kevin [Feige] cast John [Krasinski] because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be.”
The director went on to note that he believes Feige chose to cast Krasinski precisely because Reed’s appearance takes place in a different universe than the MCU’s prime reality. “Because this is an alternate universe, I think Kevin said, ‘Let’s make that dream come true,’” Raimi said.
The MCU’s Reed Richards — Raimi’s comments suggest that John Krasinski may not ultimately play the Earth-616 version of Reed Richards, who’s expected to both appear in Fantastic Four and emerge as a major figure in the MCU in the coming years. Instead, the actor’s cameo in Multiverse of Madness may end up being a one-off appearance.
Of course, given how positive the fan response has been to Krasinski’s take on Reed Richards, it’s possible that Marvel may choose to bring the actor back as the character in a more substantial way. Until more information is revealed about Marvel’s plans for the Fantastic Four, it’s impossible to know for sure what the studio’s opinion is about Krasinski’s Reed Richards.
For now, however, it looks like Marvel may have envisioned Krasinski’s cameo in Multiverse of Madness as being nothing more than a fun nod to all the comic book readers out there who spent years fan-casting him as the beloved Marvel Comics character.
The Inverse Analysis — Over the past few years, Marvel has done its best to keep its plans for the Fantastic Four under tight wraps, and John Krasinski’s cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hasn’t done much to clear away that ambiguity. In fact, the actor’s appearance has done the opposite. It still seems very possible that Marvel may end up casting someone other than Krasinski as the MCU’s prime version of Reed Richards.
However, it should be noted that if Marvel does end up choosing a different actor to play Earth-616’s Reed Richards, that performer will now have to deal with their take on the character being endlessly compared to Krasinski’s. In a post-Multiverse of Madness world, that’s an unfortunate but real inevitability.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now on Disney+.