Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” Eyeing Pedro Pascal to Play Mr. Fantastic
The question of who will nab the four lead roles in Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four has generated a year plus of speculation, but at last, it looks like Marvel has their man for the role of Mr. Fantastic. Pedro Pascal, arguably the breakout star of 2023 after his dynamite performance in HBO’s The Last of Us, is in talks to play Reed Richards. Richards is a genius scientist who ends up inheriting one of the oddest superpowers in all of Marvel when, after absorbing gamma rays during a trip to outer space, finds that he can stretch and bend his body as if it were made of rubber.
Pascal has long been a fan favorite and a scene-stealer. He was pitch-perfect as the cocky, soulful swordsman Prince Oberyn Martell in HBO’s fourth season of Game of Thrones, followed that up with a great performance as the DEA agent Javier Peña in Netflix’s Narcos, and of course, became buddies with Baby Yoda as The Mandalorian. Once The Last of Us became 2023’s first critical sensation, Pascal had cemented himself as a bonafide star. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the series.
Fantastic Four will be helmed by WandaVision director Matt Shakman, who took over for Spider-Man director Jon Watts. Marvel Studios finally got the rights to Fantastic Four in 2019 when Disney acquired 21st Century Fox. The Fantastic Four are Marvel Comics royalty, as they were the very first superheroes created for Marvel by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Fox produced three films based on Marvel’s first family—Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and a reboot, Fantastic Four (2015). In that 2005 film, a future MCU star, Chris Evans, played Johnny Storm. In the 2015 reboot, another MCU star, Michael B. Jordan, played the same role.
There was a nod to the Fantastic Four in a recent MCU film, however, and it doubled as a knowing wink to Marvel fans. In 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, John Krasinski appears as an alternate-universe version of Reed Richards. Krasinski was the man fans were hoping would be cast in the role, alongside his wife, Emily Blunt, as Susan Storm (aka the Invisible Woman). In Doctor Strange, however, this version of poor Reed is annihilated by the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), whose powers of destruction are a touch greater than his bendy abilities.
There is still no word on who Marvel is eyeing for the roles of Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, and Ben Grimm, aka the Thing.
For more stories on all things Marvel Studios, check these out:
Featured image: Pedro Pascal in “The Last Of Us.” Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO