Movies Superhero Movies

By  and /Nov. 15, 2023 4:43 pm EST

“Game of Thrones,” “The Mandalorian,” the DC Universe, “The Last of Us,” and now Marvel: Pedro Pascal continues to establish himself as one of the preeminent franchise actors of the 21st century. After much speculation, wondering, fan-casting, and impatience, word has come out — and /Film’s sources can confirm — that Pascal will be starring as Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic, in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The news was initially reported by Daniel RPK, but according to sources close to the project who spoke with /Film, Pascal has officially signed on the dotted line. Although Daniel RPK’s report says Pascal is in talks, /Film’s source says the deal is done and should be announced soon. We have reached out to Disney for comment. 

We still don’t know who will be playing the rest of Marvel’s so-called “First Family” — Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (The Human Torch), and Ben Grimm (The Thing) — but Pascal seems to have beaten out a slew of rumored contenders to lead what we expect will be an extremely important franchise within the MCU. Actors like John Krasinski, Adam Driver, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Matt Smith were rumored to be up for the role at various points, but Pascal will be the one to play Reed Richards, a scientist and inventor who’s known to be one of the smartest characters in all of Marvel Comics. After exposure to cosmic radiation, Richards gained the ability to manipulate his body into a malleable state, allowing him to stretch his limbs, absorb blasts, and even essentially turn his body into a trampoline should he ever need to repel an object coming toward him.

Fantastic news?

Pascal can project a sense of intelligence and authority on screen as well as or better than any of his contemporaries, so he’s a great fit as far as that’s concerned. As usual, we’re torn between the feeling of seeing a talented actor get the paychecks and job security they deserve by stepping into the MCU, and mourning the loss of the projects we may have seen if this casting didn’t go their way. But thanks to the studios’ utter mishandling of the historic dual strikes this year, there’s already a sense in the industry that a contraction period is upon us. If there’s any solace to take from that situation, perhaps it’s the somewhat depressing realization that Pascal may not have been given the chance to make the types of non-franchise projects we’d love to see, so maybe we should just embrace this news and appreciate that at least we’ll continue to see him on the big screen for years to come.

“Fantastic Four” is a project that has been on the burner for a long, long time now. Disney got the rights to both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four back with the acquisition of Fox, which closed in early 2019. Ever since, plans have been brewing to get Marvel’s first family back on the big screen. The last time we saw them was in 2015’s “Fantastic Four,” which was directed by Josh Trank and turned out to be a true critical and commercial disaster. Krasinski, one of the early fan favorites to play the character, did briefly play an alternate dimension version of Mr. Fantastic in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” but he was immediately (and satisfyingly) shredded to bits by Wanda Maximoff after just a couple minutes of screen time.

Marvel’s first family is reborn

Plans to bring the MCU’s version of Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing to life were officially announced in December 2020, during Disney’s now-infamous investor presentation. A whole slew of announcements were made at that time, with Jon Watts, who helmed Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man” trilogy, originally tapped to direct the reboot. However, Watts departed the project earlier this year and is making a “Star Wars” show instead. Now it falls to Matt Shakman, the director of “WandaVision,” who will be steering the ship.

There is no word yet on when production will begin, but this is one of the cornerstone movies for Phase 6 of the MCU, which will close out with a two-part “Avengers” saga. As was announced at San Diego Comic-Con in summer 2022, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars” will round out Phase 6, and one imagines that Reed Richards and the gang will be a major part of those happenings — especially with the Jonathan Majors/Kang situation very much in a state of flux at Marvel Studios.

“Fantastic Four” is currently set to hit theaters on May 2, 2025.

 The Fantastic Four are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they’ll be led by Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us) as Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic.  Read More