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Fantastic Four Casting: Gotham Actor Campaigns for The Thing Role

Fantastic Four Thing MCU Drew Powell
By Richard Nebens

Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four is slowly coming together after officially being set to release in theaters on November 8, 2024, kicking off the MCU's Phase 6.

Fans recently got confirmation that WandaVision's Matt Shakman is in early talks to direct the upcoming blockbuster, news that could potentially be confirmed as soon as September's D23 Fan Expo. But now, there comes an even bigger decision that's been a part of fan discussion for years already — who will play Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and The Thing.

John Krasinski remains unsure if he'll play Reed Richards again after his moment in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where he embodied Earth-838's hero before Earth-616 sees its own version of the team form. The Mandalorian director Bryce Dallas Howard has also responded to her name being thrown in the mix for Sue Storm, making it clear that this was only a rumor.

Of the core cast, the character that's flown most under the radar is actually the team's largest member — Ben Grimm/The Thing. That now changes thanks to a star from Gotham sharing his own desire to join the MCU in this important new role.

Gotham Star's Push to Play MCU's Thing

Fantastic Four Marvel Studios
Marvel

Actor Drew Powell, known for his roles as Solomon Grundy and Butch Gilzean on Gotham, took to Twitter to campaign to play the role of Ben Grimm/The Thing for the MCU's Fantastic Four.

On August 26, Powell posted a GIF version of the cover of "Fantastic Four #51" from June 1966, which features The Thing front and center in the image.

Early the next morning, he shared a reply to that Tweet from Twitter user @papanate03, noting that Powell exuded "big Michael Chiklis vibes." Chiklis famously played the role in both 2005's Fantastic Four and 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Powell is one of a few actors that have campaigned to play The Thing over the past couple of years.

Fantastic Beasts star Dan Fogler shared a post from early August pushing for him to play the thing, with Fogler calling Ben Grimm a "dream role" for him:

"Made my day all the way to yancy street. Thanks for thinking of me folks. Dream role."

In July 2022, Numbers star David Krumholtz campaigned for himself to play The Thing, particularly noting that he shares Ben Grimm's Jewish faith from the comics. He later deleted his post off of Instagram.

Peacemaker star John Cena expressed an openness to play The Thing in a chat with Esquire in August 2021, although emphasizing the word "thing" three separate times leaves fans uncertain of how serious he is about pursuing the role.

 "I would consider most anything. I think keeping yourself open to options and different perspectives is a good way to go about life. This would simply be a thing that I would consider because I like to keep my perspective open to new things."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Terry Crews also spoke on the potential of playing The Thing all the way back in 2013, also mentioning Colossus before the character appeared in Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool movies:

"One character I always thought I could play is the Thing from Fantastic Four. Another character I've always loved as a fan is Colossus. If there was a way to make that happen that worked, I would love to be Colossus.

Who Will Play The Thing in the MCU?

While most fans have quite specific ideas on who they want to play the other three members of Marvel's First Family, The Thing seems to bring a much wider range of actors into the mix. But if Drew Powell has anything to say about it, he would welcome the opportunity to join the MCU with open rocky arms.

Powell played an integral role in Fox's Gotham series, appearing in nearly every episode of the show's first four seasons before being absent from Season 5. With his schedule now fairly open over the next couple of years, he could certainly bring the kind of vibe that fans are looking for from the MCU's Thing, with the build and look to embody the character well on the big screen.

With the movie still more than two years away, the casting process will likely be a long and extensive one as Marvel makes sure to cast the right actors to deliver the MCU's take on this iconic team. And with Powell being one of a few big names to campaign for this particular role, it could be a heated battle for who will be the MCU's next big Thing.

Fantastic Four is set to release in theaters on November 8, 2024.


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