Marvel’s Fantastic Four release date: Cast, characters, villain and MCU links

Spider-Man director Jon Watts will take the helm for a new screen version of Marvel's First Family.

Fantastic Four (Marvel) logo

Disney has been promising the introduction of the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a few years now, ever since the Walt Disney Company agreed a multi-billion dollar deal to acquire rights holders 21st Century Fox in 2017.

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The first formal announcement of a new FF film set in the MCU came at 2019’s San Diego Comic-Con, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirming that the movie was part of the slate of upcoming Marvel movies – and now we finally know who’ll be sitting in the director’s chair.

Disney has turned to a safe pair of hands on this one, with Jon Watts – the filmmaker behind the MCU’s two hit Spider-Man movies and the upcoming Spider-Man 3 – signed up to direct the new Fantastic Four.

Here’s all the essential info on the team’s latest big-screen outing.

When is Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie out?

There’s no confirmed release date for the film as yet – with Watts currently still filming a third Spider-Man movie, it’ll likely be a while before he can begin work on Fantastic Four in earnest.

Given that the likes of Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2 – the furthest-flung Marvel movies to have confirmed release dates – are currently scheduled to come out in 2022, don’t expect the new FF to hit the big screen until 2023 at the absolute earliest.

Fantastic Four cast

Given the film is still in the early stages of development, there’s no cast attached to the project as of yet.

That hasn’t stopped Marvel enthusiasts fan-casting the roles of the FF, though – in particular, John Krasinski has long been a hot favourite to play Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic, with his real-life wife Emily Blunt often being suggested alongside him as the perfect Sue Storm / the Invisible Woman.

Fantastic Four characters

Fantastic Four
Marvel Comics

In case you’re a novice to the FF’s adventures, here’s a guide to – as Disney’s press release announcing Watts’ hiring put it – “Marvel’s most iconic family”.

Leading the team is Reed Richards, a brilliant if somewhat socially awkward scientist with the ability to stretch his body into any shape. The compassionate Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, has the power to (you guessed it) turn invisible and project force fields, while her rebellious brother Johnny Storm takes on the codename “the Human Torch” after acquiring the abiity 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 a creature with rock-like skin.

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 and falls in love with Ben Grimm after his transformation.

Who is the villain in Fantastic Four?

The FF’s chief nemesis is Doctor Doom (real name: Victor Von Doom – yes, really), the monarch of the fictional European nation of 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, with Disney having a wealth of antagonists to pick from in the FF’s rogues gallery, including the wicked Puppet Master, Annihilus and Blastaar – two villains who originate from “the Negative Zone” – and the planet-swallowing being known as Galactus.

Will Spider-Man appear in Marvel’s Fantastic Four?

Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
Spider-Man (Tom Holland)
Disney/Marvel Studios

It’s a fair question, given that Watts is now helming both franchises, as well as the long and storied history shared between Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four in comics – going all the way back to the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man from 1963, which saw Spidey reach out to the FF in the hope of joining their team and forming the Fantastic Five!

There’s no official word yet on whether Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will appear in Marvel’s new Fantastic Four movie, though Holland is thought to have at least one more MCU appearance written into his contract after the upcoming Spider-Man 3. Could Fantastic Four be that appearance?

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

No – at least, not yet.

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.

Marvel’s Fantastic Four trailer

There’s no trailer yet for Fantastic Four – in fact, not even a frame of the film has been shot. As soon as any footage emerges, we’ll update this page! Keep it here, true believers.

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