Fantastic Four is still the biggest mystery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie has a release date and appears to have a director, but we still don’t know who will bring Marvel’s First Family to life (again). In the absence of anything official, rumors are swirling, and the internet seems to have decided that one man is best suited to lead the Fantastic Four as Reed Richards. But is Penn Badgley (best-known for Gossip Girl and You) up for the task?
Meet your Mister Fantastic?
While nothing is official yet, that hasn’t stopped Boss Logic (a fan artist who’s worked on official posters for Marvel and Disney) from weighing in with his own take. In a new illustration, he casts Penn Badgley as Reed Richards, and the results speak for themselves.
This isn’t the first time Boss Logic (aka, Kode Abdo) has put his talents to work envisioning the actor as Fantastic Four’s leading man. Here’s another recent image, which riffs on the plot of You and casts his Season 1 co-star Elizabeth Lail (Beck) as Sue Storm.
But would Penn Badgley be a good Reed Richards? Here’s why we think he’s the right pick.
Why Penn Badgley is a perfect Reed Richards
While the original incarnation of Mister Fantastic was essentially a good-hearted scientist-turned-superhero, in more recent years, the character has taken a turn into darker territory. As a man who values science above all else, his intentions aren’t always tied to the greater good. It’s even been suggested that his family is the only thing keeping him from straying into supervillain territory.
Reed Richards is also undeniably an over-confident man. And, in the words of one Twitter user, he “needs to have a punchable face.”
With all that in mind, Penn Badgley seems like a perfect fit. In You, he plays a psychopathic stalker who’s also undeniably charming. Throw in a record-breaking intellect and superpowers, and you might just have Mister Fantastic.
Of course, there’s a big difference between speculation and confirmation. Kevin Feige has hinted that the cast of Fantastic Four will feature a mix of new and familiar faces, and it seems likely that as the film’s leading man, the role of Reed Richards will go to a known actor. Thankfully, we may not have to wait too much longer to find out. With Disney’s D23 fan celebration coming in early September, Marvel may have the perfect opportunity to reveal the new cast once and for all.
Fantastic Four stretches into theaters on November 8, 2024.