Ant-Man 3 Update Disappoints Eager Fantastic Four Fans

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Fantastic Four Ant-Man 3

Marvel Studios' upcoming Fantastic Four reboot has been one of the most anticipated MCU projects ever since it was announced in December 2020. After it became official, it didn't take long for fans to start throwing out their casting choices across the Internet.

The biggest name that would come up whenever the character entered a conversation was John Krasinski, someone who got to embody the role briefly in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, despite the love for his take on Reed, rumors indicate Marvel isn't planning for him to be the MCU's main version of the character.

Other big names that are tossed around for the role of Mr. Fantastic include the likes of Penn Badley, Rahul Kohli, Glenn Howerton, Timothy Olyphant, and Andrew Lincoln. Another favorite option among fans was The Good Place's William Jackson Harper.

William Jackson Harper
William Jackson Harper

Recently, it was revealed by The Disinsider that the actor would be making an appearance in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania film. The same report claimed Harper would be playing "the leader of the rebels group inside the [Quantum Realm] that fight against Kang."

While the description doesn't necessarily line up with Reed, it didn't keep the fanbase from maintaining their hope of Jackson being part of the Fantastic Four.

Now, some new word from various insiders has seemingly crushed all hope that the actor is going to be part of Marvel's first family.

Ant-Man News Isn't so Fantastic

Thanks to some industry insiders, fans have learned a little bit more about William Harper Jackson's role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Sadly, the information seems to reveal that he won't be fulfilling the recent Richard Reeds fan castings.

Ant-Man Fantastic Four

According to Daniel RPK, Harper "[is] not Reed." Charles Murphy of Murphy's Multiverse backed that sentiment up, noting how the newly revealed role "[isn't] Reed Richards."

Skyler Shuler, the co-founder of The Disinsider, was quick to share his disappointment with the news:

"Welp, there goes my William Jackson Harper - Reed Richards fan cast."

Twitter user @ImMatElfring, the Entertainment Editor at GameSpot, stood their ground, making it clear that "Harper should be playing Reed Richards [in the MCU]:"

"I said it a couple years back, William Jackson Harper should be playing Reed Richards. This is one step closer in that direction."

@CrisWithNO_H had a simple response by saying "God dammit;" short, sweet, and to the point.

That disappointment was reciprocated by @spiecedchaiboy, who could help but yell, "Noooooooo!!"

Twitter user @NerdWatchYT noted that, even with the disappointment of the actor not being Reed Richards, "[he's] happy [Jackson's] in the MCU regardless:

"He would've made a perfect Reed IMO. Happy he's in the MCU regardless tho.

Another Name Struck from the Reed Richards Fan Casts

Harper is a fantastic actor, so he would no doubt make for a great Reed Richards. However, given his insane comedic talents, the role of Mr. Fantastic may not have taken full advantage of what he can offer.

At the very least, hopefully, Marvel Studios has given him a sizeable part in the upcoming Ant-Man project. It would be a shame if he only shows up for a few minutes of screen time to then get killed off fairly quickly—a disappointment many fans would likely be very vocal about. 

Despite the words of the industry insiders from above, no details have been officially confirmed about Harper's role in the project. So, hope isn't completely gone for those who are still crossing their fingers to see him take residence in the Baxter Building one day—it's just not very likely.

Currently, it seems that Penn Badgely is a top contender for the part, seeing as, recently, his name has come up more than any else's. But when might fans learn who's definitely playing each member of the team? 

Well, it could be quite a wait, with Comic-Con San Diego 2023 being the most likely event for Marvel to drop that info. The is particularly the case now that the movie has been delayed by a few months following the latest schedule shuffle.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is set to hit theaters on February 17, 2023, with Fantastic Four aiming to release on February 14, 2025.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.