Marvel Wins SDCC.
I think it is unanimous! Even if they don’t like to admit it, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, in particular, dominated San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, when they officially revealed the slate for Phase Four.
Marvel Studios not only announced the debut of rumors films like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Black Widow, and Eternals, but also five non-film Disney + properties being jammed into the next two-year phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, at the very end of his panel, Feige not only dropped hints at what is to come beyond Phase Four, with already predicted sequels such as Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Captain Marvel 2, but also the announcement that the Fantastic Four were on their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Since 20th Century Fox was bought out by Disney, a big interest in this merger has been the Marvel characters Fox has had since Marvel went bankrupt and had to sell off (what at the time was) their best properties. This included Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four. But now all three are back in the fold.
While the Fantastic Four movie is at least two years away, with Phase Four ending in 2021, casting
Disney Kid Turned Superhero?
Now it seems that Disney Channel alumnus Dylan Sprouse is actively pursuing the chance to play Fantastic Four member Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch in the upcoming reboot, which will be part of the MCU’s Phase Five slate.
This SDCC news is rockin my world. The #Fantastic4 announcement is so awesome and I will do everything in my power and bother every member of my team daily to get into a casting room for Johnny Storm. Dare I say, I’d even get swoll?— Dylan Sprouse (@dylansprouse) July 21, 2019
The Human Torch has been portrayed famously and infamously by Chris Evans in the 2005 Fantastic 4 as well as its 2007 sequel Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and by Michael B. Jordon in the controversial 2015 reboot Fant4stic. Both actors have since gone on to find new fame and glory in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Michael B. Jordon playing Erik Killmonger in the 2017 Oscar-Winning Black Panther and Evans becoming Captain America from 2011.
Dylan recently returned to acting in 2017 after taking a five year break along with his brother Cole to focus on their studies, however while Cole landed the main role in The CW’s Riverdale based on Archie Comics portraying Jughead Jones practically the minute he returned to acting, Dylan has not been as fortunate in the last two years, only appearing in low-key movies.
The Sprouse twins are probably most famous for portraying Zack and Cody Martin in various Disney Channel shows in the late 2000s, beginning with The Suite Life of Zack & Cody in 2008 and ending with the sequel series The Suite Life on Deck which ended in 2011, while also guest-starring in various other shows through crossovers in between.
Marvel’s First Family
But with this MCU reboot in early stages, it is unclear just who will take on the roles of one of Marvel’s most beloved superhero teams.
Rumors and fan-art have circulated that real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt should take on the roles of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, however, nothing official has been stated by either Marvel, the two actors or their representatives.
With Phase 5 seeming to be in the far future currently with Phase 4 not officially beginning until May 2020 with Black Widow, it is highly unlikely that the Fantastic Four will even be cast this side of 2021, potentially towards the end of 2020, however Disney and Feige have a lot to promote and celebrate just within Phase Four alone so Phase 5 may get the attention it deserves at San Diego Comic-Con 2020 or at the very least 2021.
Other announcements made about Phase Five at the end of the Marvel Panel included the reveal that Mahershala Ali has been cast as the new Blade for an upcoming solo movie reboot, the aforementioned sequels to already established MCU movies, and a little mention just as Feige was walking off that Mutants are coming.
Blade was one of the first Marvel characters to have a film trilogy as he was portrayed by Wesley Snipes from 1998-2004. Fans have long wanted to see Snipes return as the Half-Vampire vampire slayer in the MCU but now it seems former Luke Cage and two-time Oscar-Winning actor Mahershala Ali will be donning the coat and shades.
The reveal of Mutants also perked up the ears of the fandom base for the X-Men as after the disappointing box-office for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, fans did not know how long it would be before Feige would want to touch the property, but now it seems Phase 5 will be the MCU debut for not only the Fantastic Four and Blade, but Mutants as well.
Would Dylan Sprouse make a good Human Torch? How do you feel the Fantastic Four will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?