Will John Krasinski return as Reed Richards, or does Marvel have something else planned? After Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, you may think the Marvel Cinematic Universe had found its Mister Fantastic, but a new leak could reveal someone even better for the Fantastic Four starring role.
Possible spoilers ahead for Fantastic Four.
Who is the MCU’s Reed Richards?
You may assume the answer is Jim from The Office, but since that version of the character came from another universe, the MCU has a chance to recast the role. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a recent leak from 4chan (via Reddit), though we’d definitely take this with enough salt to fill the Baxter Building.
Here’s the leak:
John Krasinski’s not coming back
Bryce Dallas Howard directing rumor’s false
Jason Segel won’t be playing The Thing
No director attached as of now
They are looking for actors in their 20s - 30s for the main characters
Penn Badgley’s one of the top choices for Reed
Simon Baker’s wanted for the villain
Other names thrown around for the F4 are: Logan Lerman, Freddy Carter, Melissa Benoist, Callan McAuliffe, Natalia Dyer and Jharrel Jerome
No offer has been sent out to any actor yet
Casting started a couple months ago and should be announced at D23
There’s a lot going on here, but let’s focus on Reed Richards to start. According to this leaker, Krasinski really was just a one-time cameo (for now, at least). It sounds like Marvel is still looking for the perfect Reed Richards, but one apparent frontrunner is Penn Badgley.
The creepy stalker star of Netflix’s You may seem like an odd choice for a superhero, but if you’re familiar with Reed Richards’ comic book history you know that creepy isn’t a bad place to start. In that sense, Badgley feels like a strong choice for the role — assuming Glenn Howerton isn’t available.
Then again, the leak also says the studio is looking for actors in their 20s and 30s to play Marvel’s first family, which rules out Howerton but makes the 35-year-old Badgley a perfect fit.
Casting Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Beyond Reed Richards, the rest of the cast is also potentially starting to firm up. Out of a list of alleged names, it seems like Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman could wind up as the Human Torch, while Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) and Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) are both seemingly in the running for Sue Storm. Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight) is also listed.
The leaker adds that Australian actor Simon Baker is allegedly “wanted for the villain,” which we assume will be Doctor Doom. Finally, the director role is still up for grabs, though this post claims those Bryce Dallas Howard rumors are false despite her excellent work on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Again, please treat all of this with plenty of suspicion. We’re still in fan-casting territory at this point, but with both San Diego Comic-Con and Disney’s own D23 coming up in the next few months, Marvel has an opportunity to make some big reveals. We wouldn’t be surprised if the entire Fantastic Four cast shows up onstage before too long. And until then, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more leaks, rumors, and fan theories worth sharing.