The Fantastic Four Theory: Reed Richards Will Be Hank Pym’s Professor and Form a Connection to the MCU’s Ant-Man Legacy

Given the potential 1960s setting of 'The Fantastic Four', Michael Douglas' Hank Pym could be a student of Pedro Pascal's Reed Richards.

The Fantastic Four Theory: Reed Richards Will Be Hank Pym's Professor and Form a Connection to the MCU's Ant-Man Legacy


  • The announcement of the cast for Marvel Studios' 'The Fantastic Four' came with a poster that seems to suggest the movie will take place in the 1960s.
  • If the film is set in the 1960s, the team will inevitably make their way into the future to become part of the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • A new theory suggests they may have a friend waiting for them in the future, as Hank Pym could have been Reed Richards' student in the 1960s.
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When the cast of Marvel Studios’ The Fantastic Four was announced on Valentine’s Day, the announcement coincided with the release of a poster with a style suggesting a 1960s setting for the movie.


That leaves fans questioning how and if the eponymous superhero team will enter the present-day Marvel Cinematic Universe to interact with Avengers members like Spider-Man, Thor, Captain Marvel, and the Hulk.

The cast of Marvel Studios' The Fantastic Four on the movie's poster
The cast of Marvel Studios’ The Fantastic Four on the movie’s poster. Art by Wesley Burt

But a recent theory suggests the Fantastic Four may already have an established relationship with one MCU hero in the form of the original Ant-Man, Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym.


It’s time to look into the potential logistics of that scenario and how the timescales might work out.

How Could This Theory Be Possible?

The Fantastic Four debuted in Marvel’s comic books in 1961, in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s The Fantastic Four #1, meaning there’s a significant chance that’s when the new movie will be set.

Hank Pym’s age in the MCU hasn’t been specified, but Michael Douglas was born in 1944. Assuming he’s the same age as his character, Pym would be 17 in 1961.

Michael Douglas as a younger Hank Pym in Avengers: Endgame
Michael Douglas as a younger Hank Pym in Avengers: Endgame.

While that makes him a little young for college, there have been instances in the real world where super-bright kids have attended early – and Tony Stark canonically attended MIT when he was 15, so there’s every chance a genius like Pym was fast-tracked to higher education. Also, the age of the actor and character don’t have to match, meaning Pym could have been of college age by 1961. Moreover, the film could realistically be set at any point in the 1960s, ensuring Pym had reached college age.

That means Pym could easily be a student of Pedro Pascal’s Reed Richards in the film, allowing for a potential emotional reunion when the Fantastic Four end up in the current era of the MCU.

Michael Douglas as the older present-day Hank Pym in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Michael Douglas as the older present-day Hank Pym in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Richards’ expertise spans countless subjects, including mechanics, aerospace and electrical engineering, chemistry, all levels of physics, and human and alien biology. He could easily have taught Pym everything he needed to know to begin his experiments with shrinking technology.


What Would This Mean for the MCU?

An established relationship between Reed Richards and Hank Pym in the MCU would intrinsically link the franchise’s Fantastic Four to the whole Ant-Man side of the universe.

It would mean the 1960s team already has a connection to the established superheroes fans know in the MCU, allowing for easier integration into the modern setting.

Whichever way the Fantastic Four inevitably make their way to the future – via the Quantum Realm, the Negative Zone, through time dilation, a wormhole, Reed Richards’ time machine, a cosmic or mystical artifact, or something else – they’ll have a valuable friend waiting for them.


Pym will be able to help the team acclimatize to the 21st century, update them on new technologies, provide them with resources and a temporary home, and introduce them to other heroes in the MCU.

Perhaps most entertainingly, it’ll be funny to see Pym getting annoyed that his old professor is now considerably younger than he is!


Written by Kevin Stewart

Articles Published: 77

Kevin Stewart is a full-time professional freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the industry. He's produced more than 2000 pieces of published work on sports and entertainment topics - work that includes listicles, news articles, feature articles, voice-over scripts, quizzes, opinion pieces, and more. He's worked for the likes of NBC SYFY, Paste Magazine, FourFourTwo, Screen Rant, Digital Spy, CBR, WhatCulture, College Humor, The Richest, SportsKeeda, The Sportsman, and SugarScape. As an editor, he's managed the work of teams of up to 45 writers. He's a former business owner who's educated to degree level and has a BA Hons in Business Management. He loves movies (especially horror, 80s films, and superhero flicks), football (Tottenham Hotspur fan), keeping fit, and travelling the world.