With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney in 2019, classic Marvel characters such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four were brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. MCU mastermind Kevin Feige announced in 2022 that these characters would be making their MCU debuts in Phase 5 and Phase 6 of the cinematic universe.
The Fantastic Four film was set to be the start of Phase Six and would lead to the epic conclusion with Avengers: Secret Wars. While no cast has been announced till now, the film has Matt Shakman directing and will be released on May 2, 2025. Recent reports suggest that the film will be a time-traveling story that will feature the Fantastic Four in the 1960s.
Fantastic Four On Film
Before its upcoming MCU debut, the Fantastic Four had two iterations on film. While there was a low-budget adaptation in 1994, it was never released and the cinematic debut of Marvel’s First Family came in 2005’s Tim Story-directed Fantastic Four. The film starred Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards a.k.a Mr. Fantastic and Jessica Alba as Susan Storm a.k.a Invisible Woman. Future Captain America Chris Evans made his Marvel debut in the film as Johnny Storm a.k.a the Human Torch. Michael Chiklis starred as Ben Grimm or The Thing.
The film was a success at the box office, earning over $333 million against a $100 million budget. The success prompted a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. While a third film as well as a spin-off on the Silver Surfer was planned, the disappointing earnings of the film put those plans on hold. After years of no development, the project was rebooted.
The 2015 iteration of Fantastic Four was one of the worst-reviewed superhero films. Chalked up to production troubles and a messy screenplay, the Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan starrer was a box office disaster, earning over $167 million against a $150 million budget. The franchise was again put on hold until the acquisition of Fox by Disney in 2019.
What Do We Know About The MCU’s Fantastic Four?
The Fantastic Four are all set to make their MCU debut with the Matt Shakman-directed film. While the film has a release date, there have been no casting announcements. However, many reports suggested that Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning star Vanessa Kirby has been cast as Susan Storm, with the makers basing the rest of the cast around Kirby.
Other cast members on the shortlist are Adam Driver, Matt Smith, and Dev Patel to play Reed Richards. While Reed Richards did make his MCU debut with John Krasinski playing the role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, that was in an alternative timeline where Richards was part of the Illuminati along with Doctor Strange and Professor X. Stranger Things star Joseph Quinn has been eyed for the role of Johnny Storm, while there have been no confirmations. Andor star Moss-Bachrach is likely to be playing a Herald of Galactus.
No announcements are expected to be made anytime soon due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. However, there has been a buzz about the film’s possible plot. Sources close to the website Comic Book Movie have mentioned that the film will be set in the 1960s and would then see Marvel’s First Family time travel to the present day and fight a threat.
It is said to be on the lines of Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, who was stuck in ice for decades before coming back to life. Captain America always was a man out of touch with the reality of today and the Fantastic Four might be heading that route. In the comics, the Fantastic Four made their first appearance in 1961, making the plot of the 60s a nice callback to the introduction of the beloved characters.
Source: Comic Book Movie