The Fantastic 4 are among Marvel’s most tenured and decorated superheroes. Here, we look at the actors who fans of the series have vocalised to take on the iconic roles.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Fantastic 4 debuted in Marvel Comics in 1961. In the 6 decades since, the group has become synonymous with the brand, with multiple on-screen adaptations.
The superheroes usually associated with the team are: team leader Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) who can stretch and distort his body, Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), Richards’ eventual wife who has the power of invisibility, Human Torch (Johnny Storm), who can generate flames and The Thing (Ben Grimm), whose stone appearance gives him enhanced strength.
Perhaps the most notable film iteration of The Fantastic 4 came in 2005, produced by 20th Century Fox. The franchise starred Ioan Gruffudd (Titanic) as Mr. Fantastic, Jessica Alba (Dark Angel) as Invisible Woman, Chris Evans (the future Captain America for the MCU) as Human Torch, as well as Michael Chiklis (The Shield) as The Thing. A second film, subtitled Rise of The Silver Surfer, was released in 2007.
Ten years later, 20th Century Fox also produced a reboot, which starred Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell. However, this was a box office bomb and won multiple Razzies, including for Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.
Having such a mixed bag of predecessors leaves a tricky task for the next actors to ‘suit up’. After the 2015 disappointment, fans have been vocal on who they want to see as the Fantastic 4, with some even being incorporated as theories into the recent Disney+ series WandaVision.
With such a mixed bag of predecessors, whoever is next to suit up for the Fantastic 4 has a tricky task ahead of them. After the disappointment of the 2015 outing, fans have been vocal about who they want to see as their favourite characters.
Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic – John Krasinski
John Krasinski is perhaps best known for playing affable paper salesman Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office for all nine seasons. More recently, Krasinski has starred as the title character in Amazon’s Jack Ryan, as well as writing and directing smash hit horror A Quiet Place.
Aside from being touted as a potential Mr. Fantastic for the film series, Krasinski was also rumoured to be the mysterious ‘Aerospace Engineer’ referred to in WandaVision. However, as of writing, this has not come to pass.
Susan Storm/Invisible Woman – Emily Blunt
Best known for her work in Gideon’s Daughter and The Devil Wears Prada, the English-born Blunt also happens to be married John Krasinski, her co-star and director in A Quiet Place.
As such, fans have argued they could play the romantic chemistry required between Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, should they be cast.
Another suggested choice for the role is actress Jenna Fischer, who played Krasinski’s on-screen wife, Pam Beesly Halpert on The Office.
Johnny Storm/Human Torch – KJ Apa
KJ Apa has already starred as an iconic comic book character – Archie Andrews on The CW’s Riverdale – sinc3 2017, with the show currently in its fifth season as of writing. He has also been suggested to play a version of Wally West on fellow CW series The Flash, starring Grant Gustin.
However, CBR has suggested that Apa could be a good fit for Johnny Storm/Human Torch, a role previously played by Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan. Riverdale‘s success likely means Apa could move on to mainstream movie roles in the future.
In the same article, Zac Efron was referenced as another possible Human Torch/Johnny Storm, as he is “one of the actors that has been at the top of everyone’s list for joining the MCU.”
Ben Grimm/The Thing – Dominic Purcell
Although Legends of Tomorrow actor Dominic Purcell already plays a superhero character – DC Comics’ Mick Rory/Heat Wave, CBR also suggested Purcell could be a good fit for Ben Grimm/The Thing.
Purcell possesses a similar physicality and masculinity that Michael Chiklis brought to the role in the 2005 and 2007 films.
Additionally, former Batman Michael Keaton already made the jump from DC to Marvel (and maybe back to DC again), so it is not uncharted territory.