Arguably the most popular of the Marvel Superhero team – the Fantastic Four – is Mr Fantastic himself. This role has been heavily theorised and fancasted repeatedly, usually with the same actors of interest popping up. As the Fantastic Four are joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a couple of years, it is time that we provide our insight into who will best fit in the role. It makes sense as to why Mr Fantastic has been one of the most popular fancasts, as he is the leader and genius behind this superhero team. Let’s explore who can bring this character to life and what they can bring to the role.
Our top fancasts for the MCU version of Mr Fantastic/Reed Richards:
#1: John Krasinski
An obvious choice, immediately coming off the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, Krasinski has been in the mix for Mr Fantastic. Even further to that, he even played the part of Mr Fantastic very briefly in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It is tough to make a complete judgment based on that cameo in Multiverse of Madness so Krasinski still remains a compelling pick. With his ability to balance gravitas and humour, Krasinski feels like an actor to fit well inside the MCU formula and assists in compelling team dynamics.
#2: Andrew Lincoln
A mature pick and certainly an option that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough. Known for his role as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead, he has showcased his ability to provide depth and nuance to complex his characters. Lincoln would provide a natural charisma and intensity that would translate to bringing fresh energy to the character. Similar to Reed Richards, Rick Grimes was a leader in The Walking Dead series and Lincoln can lean in to this.
#3: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
With a wide array of movies under his belt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt may just be the kind of actor to round out this portrayal. He has experience in high-budget action blockbusters such as The Dark Knight Rises and Inception while playing more dramatic and comedic roles in films such as 500 Days of Summer and 10 Things I Hate About You. He also portrayed a genius in Snowden, aligning closely with Reed Richards. Comedic timing and charm feel like almost critical checkboxes for any MCU film these days as it is ingrained in that formula. With Gordon-Levitt able to nail that alongside grit, physicality and athleticism – it could all fit together nicely.
#4: Rahul Kohli
Kohli has become a popular pick over the past couple of years and provides an alternative but interesting direction to the character. With natural charisma and charm, Kohli has the ability to immerse the audience into the characters he embodies. He can also bring in a strong sense of athleticism and physicality needed to make the stretching abilities a bit more compelling. With the acting chops to lean into the intelligent and leadership qualities of the character, Kohli makes for an intriguing pick.
#5: Penn Badgley
This pick has a lot of substance behind it as there have been a lot of rumours that the studio and actor have been in touch – although, Badgley has denied this (P.S. don’t trust actors with this stuff – remember Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home?). Known for his roles in You and Gossip Girl – he can play into the relationship dynamics of the Fantastic Four team with wit and comedic timing. He has proven that he can lean into dramatic performances as well so this would nicely round out the Reed Richards character. Marvel may benefit by choosing Badgley as he’d bring a youthful energy that can carry through to the future of the MCU.
#6: Dev Patel
A pick that has also recently picked up a lot of buzz for the role of Mr Fantastic is Dev Patel. Patel is an incredibly strong pick from Marvel to play the role as he has delivered exceptional performances in the past with The Green Knight, Lion and Slumdog Millionaire. Further to that, he has shown he is not afraid to approach roles that have a lot of physicality to them so he’d bring the stretchy and acrobatic superpowers to life. Patel has demonstrated his ability to play sophisticated, complex and intelligent characters which is an essential component of bringing Mr Fantastic to the MCU.
It remains to be seen who will be playing Mr Fantastic but there are clearly many talents that can take the mantle. I truly believe that there is a lot of potential in this character and that each actor noted can add something unique to the role. I hope the fancasts provided have broadened your appeal for the character and the potential actors that can portray them.
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