When the Marvel Universe as we know it began in the pages of the comics in 1961, it was the Fantastic Four who ushered in a new age of superhero storytelling. And now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is looking to get a piece of the action. Marvel Studios has announced that a Fantastic Four movie will hit theaters in 2024. There’s only one big question in the hearts and minds of the fans though: ”Who’s going to play them?”
Indeed, WandaVision director Matt Shakman was announced at D23 Expo to be helming Fantastic Four, but that’s where the reveals stopped. There was no casting information whatsoever at the event, much to fans’ extreme disappointment.
Rumors have swirled on the topic of who will bring Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny to life in the MCU, but it seems that audiences will need to wait a little longer for concrete casting details. It's most likely that Fantastic Four castings will trickle out via various trade reports long before any official Marvel Studios acknowledgment. It is still early days given Shakman's recent onboarding, so details won't surface until late 2022 at the earliest, but will most likely become public sometime in 2023.
Regardless, there are a few other potential dates that Marvel's First Family announcement could be saved for. Here's when we think it's most likely that Marvel could officially reveal the cast of Fantastic Four.
Fantastic Four Casting Announcement Predictions
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s Post Credits Scene (February 17, 2023)
The team themselves could potentially show up in the flesh during the third installment of the Ant-Man franchise.
There’s long been speculation that the Four could be trapped in the Quantum Realm, the very location that the threequel is set to explore in-depth. That's not to mention that director Peyton Reed has been wanting to get his hands on this team for a very long time.
There's a slight possibility that, as Marvel finalizes their Fantastic Four casting this in the next few months, a brief sequence featuring at least one member of the F4 gets filmed by the end of the year and added to the end of the credits of Quantumania.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s Post-Credits Scene
Guardians Vol. 2, of course, had several post-credit sequences, so, while the odds seem somewhat slim, Marvel could always insert the Fantastic Four’s debut into James Gunn’s trilogy capper. In Vol. 3, Gunn may want to focus more on the Guardians themselves along with their supporting cast for what is potentially the director’s last MCU movie, though.
San Diego Comic-Con 2023 (July 22, 2023)
Marvel always likes to put on a big show for the fans at their annual Hall H panel at SDCC. 2019’s event saw the reveal of almost the entire Phase 4 slate for the MCU, while this year’s Comic-Con shed some light on Phase 5 and 6.
In fact, this is where Fantastic Four got its release date. It would make a great deal of sense for Feige to return to the stage in 2023 and have the four principal actors walk out to thunderous applause.
The Marvels‘ Post-Credits Scene (July 28, 2023)
This would seem a bit less likely as well, but stranger things have happened. The Fantastic Four don’t really have a solid connection to The Marvels leads Carol, Monica and Kamala but the studio has shown, in the past, their willingness to tease upcoming films in post-credits scenes that have merely a tenuous connection to the movie they’re attached to (See: 2011’s Thor being set up by Iron Man 2). The cosmic setting for the Captain Marvel sequel could be enough of a link to set the stage for the Fantastic Four's debut.
A Random Date In Late 2022/2023
Marvel Studios often takes their time before officially announcing cast announcements following these reports, so there is a good chance the studio will sit on this information until (even if the general public is already aware of what is coming).
Hopefully, the F4 Will Surface Soon
Matt Shakman was only recently confirmed to have accepted the Fantastic Four directing job. So, one must wonder, will Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios even select actors for the team members without input from Shakman? Depending on where the Four crop up first, the answer to this could possibly be up in the air.
In any case, the film enters production sometime in 2023, probably in summer or later, so the cast list will absolutely be known by that point. And if Marvel is still dragging their feet somehow, fans can expect the information to leak by way of paparazzi set photos.
Feige did briefly mention that there would be a D23 before the release of Fantastic Four, but given that the event takes place every two years, Marvel Studios likely won't want to hold onto casting information so close to the film's release in 2024.
And to address the stretchy elephant in the room, while it’s technically still possible that fan-favorite John Krasinski will play Reed Richards (after a Multiversal cameo in Doctor Strange 2) it seems far more probable that the studio will start fresh and opt for a clean slate for all four characters.
Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four will officially land in theaters on November 8, 2024.