When John Krasinski appeared as Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, fans may have been too excited about this fancast coming to fruition to notice one fascinating detail about the character's design.
The actor had been on fans' radars as a potential Reed Richards for years, so it was exciting for fans to see him take on the role in 2022. Though it seems highly unlikely he will return for the MCU's upcoming Fantastic Four movie.
Despite this, much care went into the execution of Krasinski's brief portrayal of the iconic character, ensuring it was done as well as possible.
Mr. Fantastic Detail in Doctor Strange 2
In the book Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness: The Art of The Movie, Marvel Studios' Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding, revealed that the design of John Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic suit had a deeper meaning that reflected the hero's powers.
Meinerding acknowledged how, when designing characters from early in Marvel's comics canon, it's critical that they "get it right" while also balancing the modern with something that will "feel like the character:"
"Any time we get back into the characters that are from the very beginning, it ends up feeling like a tremendous responsibility. You have to get it right. You have to modernize it to a degree, but you also have to get something that is going to resonate with the fans and feel like the character."
He then emphasized how important that was for Mr. Fantastic as "he's one of those characters that's already been on the big screen," so they also had to make him "distinct:"
"In the case of Mister Fantastic, he's one of those characters that's already been on the big screen. So you're trying to come up with something that still feels classic and interesting, yet modern enough to exist in an MCU movie and distinct from what's been done before."
Meinerding explained that the extra stripes on Reed Richards' suit were symbolic, with the black "add[ing] structure to the structure and to his body" while "the blue parts stretch:"
"The intent of putting those extra stripes in there was to say that the black parts add structure to the costume and to his body, and the blue parts stretch."
Furthermore, according to Meinerding, the goal was for the Illuminati members "to look a little more put together." So Reed's costume "[took] the design challenge as seriously as possible" and was not intended "to feel nostalgic:"
"Aesthetically, they're meant to look a little more put together than some of our other teams of heroes. That's just the notion of being on The Illuminati. There's almost a heaviness to that team. So for Reed, I was trying to lean into something that felt like it was taking the design challenge as seriously as possible. It wasn't supposed to necessarily be a throwback. It wasn't supposed to feel nostalgic."
Overall, Meinerding said he appreciates the opportunity to bring any of these classic characters to life, referring to any of the characters in Marvel comics yet to be introduced as "ridiculously exciting:"
"Just hearing them talk about the potential of The Illuminati and who could possibly be on it was a huge treat. Having that council get filled out was really exciting. One of the fun things about working here is that there's such a wealth of amazing characters left in the Marvel Comics universe that are still ridiculously exciting. At any given moment, if they decide to put somebody in a movie, it could turn into the coolest thing you've ever worked on."
Bringing Marvel Comics Designs to the MCU
It's fascinating to note how John Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic costume came to be after going through multiple iterations.
And, as the wait shortens for the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, there are plenty of opportunities for more of these modernized costumes inspired by Marvel Comics, be it for heroes like the Human Torch or villains like Doctor Doom.
The Fantastic Four is known in the comics as Marvel's First Family (bringing a double meaning to the FF acronym often used for the team or its related Future Foundation). As such, there's an element of a golden-age, classic vibe inherent to the team.
Because of this, it wouldn't be a stretch to expect similar classically modern costumes in the 2025 reboot, as it balances the comics with new stories that can exist within the established MCU.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming on Disney+.