Plenty of names have been thrown around in rumors for the MCU's Fantastic Four, including these eight actors who could play Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic.
As Marvel Studios prepares its Fantastic Four reboot under WandaVision director Matt Shakman, the roles of Marvel's First Family may be some of the biggest going in Hollywood right now. After all, fans have been debating who should play these heroes in the MCU for years now.
Reed Richards has been a particularly hot topic after John Krasinski - undeniably the most popular fan cast - debuted as Mr. Fantastic as a Variant on Earth-838 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But alas, that seems to have been a one-and-done with a search for a new actor now underway.
With the reboot flick set for release in February 2025, casting for the Fantastic Four seems to be rolling along ahead of a production start either later this year or early in 2024. So, here are all the actors rumored to play Mr. Fantastic ahead of the announcement - which most expect will come this year.
Penn Badgley - the actor behind Netflix's You - has been rumored for the MCU's Mr. Fantastic for a while now, partly due to assorted reports, and also because he bears a close resemblance to Reed Richards' classic comic design.
After delivering a monumental performance in all three seasons of You, Badgley will undoubtedly do the same again soon as Season 4 arrives in February. This could help bolster his chances at landing the MCU lead as he becomes a hot topic again, right as Marvel Studios is in the midst of casting the Fantastic Four.
Star Wars' Adam Driver emerged from left-field several months ago as a rumored contender for Reed Richards in the MCU. Since then, The Direct's own sources revealed that Driver is actually Marvel Studios' top choice for the role.
The Star Wars actor has demonstrated plenty of talent over the years, having even picked up two Oscar nominations already at just 39 years old.
But he also has the advantage of having an established working relationship with Disney thanks to his role as Kylo Ren in Star Wars' sequel trilogy.
Fans have been hearing for a while that Marvel Studios is interested in bringing Ryan Gosling on board, specifically for Thunderbolts' Sentry. But it was recently claimed by insider Jeff Sneider that Gosling may actually be wanted for an unknown role in the MCU's Fantastic Four.
Gosling and his massive brand could be exactly what Marvel Studios needs to bring back the Fantastic Four after two shaky iterations from Fox. Although whether Reed Richards is a role he would be suited to or even interested in committing to long term is a much tougher question.
Andor actor Diego Luna was recently named by one insider as a star in the running to play Reed Richards. Luna responded to these rumors, calling it "incredible" the number of claims he finds himself roped into.
Although Luna, as a Mexican actor, may not be a traditional choice for Reed Richards, his award-nominated Star Wars performance will undoubtedly have brought him to the forefront of Disney's minds for more big roles to come.
But as Luna recently revealed he will be "busy" for the next two years to come and isn't even sure he wants to be acting beyond that, he may not be the one to bet on for this particular role.
John David Washington
Although Tenet flew further under the radar than it should have due to its pandemic release, John David Washington emerged from it as a star. As happens with every major face in Hollywood, fans were quick to begin fan casting him as various superheroes, including Mr. Fantastic.
Giant Freakin' Robot claimed two years ago that Washington was actually in talks for Mr. Fantastic, although that was likely untrue since Marvel Studios only just seems to be casting Marvel's First Family now. That being said, perhaps Washington could find his name in the mix.
Another rumor published by Giant Freakin' Robot, this one just one month ago, claimed that Dev Patel may be in talks for the lead role in Fantastic Four. As a British actor of Indian descent, Patel would certainly be a major departure from the traditional comics route, but that's not to say he would be a bad choice.
Having found fame and acclaim at a young age after playing the lead of Slumdog Millionaire, Patel has yet to land the big Hollywood role he deserves. As that movie continues to be discussed to this day, the stardom and talent of Patel might be just what Fantastic Four needs to set it apart.
To the disappointment of many, Henry Cavill recently found his schedule looking far more open after losing the role of Superman just months after getting it back. With his time at DC and on The Witcher now winding down, perhaps he may finally be free to join the MCU as fans have long been hoping for.
After a rumor claimed that Cavill was in talks for a role at Marvel Studios, a video of him showcasing his nerdy side in custom building a PC went viral. Some fans took this as his home audition for Reed Richards, trying to prove that he can pull off the super genius lab rat side despite his muscly appearance.
It's Always Sunny's Glenn Howerton has found himself at the heart of Fantastic Four rumors, with some hilarious depictions even showing the entire sitcom cast as Marvel's First Family. Howerton even has the leg-up of Fantastic Four director Matt Shakman having been involved with It's Always Sunny.
Responding to the rumors in an interview with The Movie Dweeb, Howerton expressed that it would be "super fun" to work with Matt Shakman again, calling him a "close friend," and adding that he would "accept that phone call."
Unfortunately, as he is already 46 years old, Howerton is likely too old to be considered to play Reed Richards. Rewind ten years, the It's Always Sunny star may have been a perfect choice, but as Marvel Studios probably wants this actor around for at least a decade, he may have aged out of the role.
When Will the MCU's Fantastic Four Cast Be Announced?
Provided Marvel Studios can avoid any further delays, Fantastic Four is currently set to release and kick off Phase 6 in February 2025. Based on the MCU's usual production timings, that ought to place the start of filming at the end of this year or right at the start of 2024.
With casting now underway, there's every chance the official Fantastic Four castings could simply turn up in a report from one of the major Hollywood trade publications. But given the excitement surrounding these roles, Marvel Studios may want to save them to announce at a major event before an audience.
As Disney's D23 Expo takes place bi-annually, with the next scheduled for 2024, the only major opportunity this year will come with San Diego Comic-Con. Provided the cast can be locked and signed in time for July, this may be the most likely time fans will hear this cast finally announced.
Fantastic Four hits theaters on February 14, 2025.