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Marvel's Fantastic Four: Release date speculation, characters and MCU news

Marvel's First Family are coming back to screens - again.

Fantastic Four (Marvel) logo
Published: Sunday, 23rd May 2021 at 12:00 pm

There has yet to be a proper Fantastic Four movie that does the team justice.


But that might be about to change, as Marvel Studios introduce the gang into the MCU.

Marvel's first family have had a tough time making the leap to live-action, starting with an infamous '90s attempt that almost never saw the light of day, while two more recent efforts have also provoked largely negative reactions from critics and audiences alike.

However, this time, the Richards are in the safe hands of producer Kevin Feige, who has impressively masterminded the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with very few missteps so far. (Read our Marvel movies in order guide to learn the best way to watch the whole lot.)

Originally, the movie was going to be directed by Jon Watts who was responsible for the Spider-Man trilogy.

He left the project in April 2022, but there’s nothing sinister about his departure; he needed a break.

"Making three Spider-Man films was an incredible and life-changing experience for me. I'm eternally grateful to have been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for seven years," Watts said in a statement.

"I'm hopeful we'll work together again and I can't wait to see the amazing vision for Fantastic Four brought to life."

It’s not yet clear who will replace Watts, but in the meantime, read on everything we know so far about the much-anticipated reboot.

Marvel's Fantastic Four release date speculation

Fantastic Four does not currently have a release date and Marvel Studios' recent promotional teaser celebrating their film slate confirmed that we won't be seeing the film for some time.

As it rattled off an exciting roll call of the projects in development, Fantastic Four came dead last on the list and was the only movie without a corresponding release date.

Confirmed to be coming sometime after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (5th May 2023), the very earliest that we can expect Fantastic Four to arrive in cinemas is mid-summer 2023.

In February 2021, Deadline Hollywood reporter Justin Kroll informed Twitter followers that Marvel Studios had only just started meeting with potential writers for the film and that it would be "a while" until it begin shooting.

Who could be in the cast for Fantastic Four?

Marvel Studios are yet to reveal who the latest actors to play the Fantastic Four will be, but fans have not been shy about putting forward their suggestions for the coveted roles.

Two names that have come up repeatedly are real-life husband and wife duo John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, who have previously worked together on their horror franchise A Quiet Place.

Many fans seem very keen for them to be cast as Reed Richards and Sue Storm, also known as Mr Fantastic and The Invisible Woman.

It's hardly surprising, then, that every Marvel fan was thrilled to see Krasinski cameo as the Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards (aka Mister Fantastic) in Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

However, this might have just been a case of fan service and unfortunately doesn’t confirm his casting for Fantastic Four, so viewers will have to wait and see.

Blunt's casting is looking less likely, with the star telling Howard Stern back in May 2021 that she isn't even particularly interested in superhero movies as a genre.

"That is fan-casting. No one has received a phone call," she said. "I don’t know if superhero movies are for me. They’re not up my alley. I don’t like them. I really don’t."

Blunt added: "It’s been exhausted. We are inundated – it’s not only all the movies, it’s the endless TV shows as well. It’s not to say that I’d never want to play one, it would just have to be something so cool and like a really cool character."

Bad news for fans who'd hoped to see Blunt as the Invisible Woman – The Haunting of Bly Manor's Rahul Kohli, another fan favourite to play Mr Fantastic, was one of many to voice his disappointment.

Who are the Fantastic Four characters?

Fantastic Four
Marvel Comics

If you're a novice to the FF's adventures, here's your bitesize guide to the super team which effectively kicked off Marvel's shared comic book universe back in November 1961.

Leading the team is Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist whose obsession with discovery, invention and research sometimes makes him appear cold and distant to his family. He has the superhuman ability to stretch his body into any shape.

The compassionate Sue Storm, also known as the Invisible Woman, has the power to (you guessed it) turn invisible as well as to project force fields.

The latter ability is primarily used in a defensive capacity, although it can become a dangerous weapon in some situations e.g. Sue once temporarily blinded Wolverine by placing tiny force fields around his optic nerves.

Her rebellious brother Johnny Storm takes on the codename "the Human Torch" after acquiring the ability to engulf his entire body in flames, fly, and control and absorb fire.

Completing the team is tough guy test pilot Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing, who gains incredible strength and durability but is transformed into an unsightly monster with rock-like skin.

In the original comic book story, the Fantastic Four's powers are the results of a test flight into space gone wrong, which saw their craft bombarded by cosmic rays.

Another prominent character in the Fantastic Four comics – and previous screen adaptations – is Alicia Masters, a blind sculptor who meets Ben Grimm after his transformation and falls in love with him for his warm personality.

Who will be the villain in Fantastic Four?

At present, we do not currently know.

The FF's chief nemesis is Doctor Doom (real name: Victor Von Doom – yes, really), the monarch of a fictional European nation called Latveria, who hides a scarred face behind a mask of metal.

Doom has featured in several previous screen adaptations of the Fantastic Four comics, though it's not yet been confirmed whether he'll appear in Marvel's new Fantastic Four film.

Disney has a wealth of other antagonists to choose from the FF's rogues gallery, including Mole Man, Super Skrull, Annihilus, Galactus, Namor and Molecule Man.

Could Spider-Man appear in Marvel's Fantastic Four?

Tom Holland in Spider-Man No Way Home
Sony Pictures

Given that Watts is now helming both franchises and their have been many crossovers between Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four in the comic books, some fans have speculated whether the two films could be connected.

However, there's no word yet on whether Tom Holland's Peter Parker will appear in the Fantastic Four reboot and it's possible that Marvel Studios won't want to risk merging the two projects given their tenuous working relationship with Sony Pictures.

Is Marvel's Fantastic Four linked to Fantastic Four (2015) or Fantastic Four (2005)?

Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

That's likely to be a firm no.

Produced by Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox, two Fantastic Four movies were released in 2005 and 2007 starring Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman, Michael Chiklis as The Thing, Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans as the Human Torch.

Marvel and Fox collaborated again on another screen version of the Fantastic Four in 2015, with Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as the Invisible Woman, Jamie Bell as the Thing, Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom and a pre-Killmonger Michael B Jordan as the Human Torch.

These adaptations are not currently linked to each other or to the new Fantastic Four movie – though with the MCU set to explore the concept of a multiverse in Watts' Spider-Man 3 and Doctor Strange 2, it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that these older movies could retroactively be incorporated into one shared continuity.

The major roadblock being that while the previous iterations of Spider-Man, played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, certainly have their fans, the earlier Fantastic Four movies were never particularly popular or well-liked.

Is there a trailer yet for Marvel's Fantastic Four?

There's no trailer for Fantastic Four just yet as the film is still a long way away from starting production.

However, there is a peek at Marvel's sleek new Fantastic Four logo in the studio's recent promotional clip celebrating their upcoming slate of movies. Watch below:


While you're waiting for Marvel's Fantastic Four, check out more of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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