Hollywood may be on strike, but details about Marvel’s First Family are still emerging. Jeff Sneider, one of the most trusted scoopers out there, revealed some details about Fantastic Four on his and John Rocha’s podcast, The Hot Mic; later, he clarified them in an article on Above the Line. First, two of the Four have been cast, effectively if not officially: Vanessa Kirby, or the last two Mission: Impossible movies and Hobbs & Shaw, will play Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman, and Joseph Quinn of the fifth season of Stranger Things, will portray her little brother, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. Initially, Sneider said Jack Quaid would be playing Johnny, but Quaid denied this on Twitter, and Sneider retracted the claim in print, saying it was actually Joseph Quinn. Margot Robbie had been approached for Sue, but she declined. Sue will also be the lead of the movie, as if there were any doubt.
As for the other half of the Four, Reed Richards seems to be what Sneider calls “an open role,” with first the often-rumored Adam Driver and then former Doctor Who Matt Smith turning it down. The final member, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing, has been cast, according to what Sneider has heard, but he doesn’t know the actor, though he understands it will be “a fat white guy.” (It’s going to be Josh Gad, isn’t it?) Ebon Moss-Bachrach is up for a role, but apparently not the Thing; Sneider believes he will play either Doctor Doom (who is a bit part this time) or the Silver Surfer. Now, the Surfer indicates another character will be in Fantastic Four, and Sneider confirms this by saying that Galactus will be the main villain; he hasn’t been cast, but Marvel wants a Hispanic actor to play him. You can see the episode of The Hot Mic below; they get right to the Fantastic Four stuff, so you don’t have to skip around (and you can stop when they start moaning about an all-white cast):
That’s a lot more information than I was expecting while these strikes are happening. I imagine these talks must have happened before the strike, with the details to be finalized afterwards, hence Vanessa Kirby not being official even though Sneider is “99% sure” she’s got the part. And she’s a fine choice; she seems a bit cold for Sue, but that’s based on what I’ve seen her do so far. I’d have preferred Margot Robbie, but what can you do? Actually, I think someone like Alive Eve would have been perfect, but it sounds like she’s a bit older than what they’re going for with the Four. Joseph Quinn is a bit harder for me to see as Johnny; he doesn’t seem like the pretty-boy type with the self-assured, cocky, Zack Morris personality Johnny needs. Ebon Moss-Bachrach was already in an MCU production – he was Micro Chip on The Punisher – and I’m not too big on them reusing actors, especially in big parts. I like him, and while I wasn’t crazy about The Punisher (and he’s far from the comic version of Micro), it doesn’t sit well with me. I guess if he’s the Silver Surfer, it won’t matter too much because he’ll be completely silver anyway.
As for Galactus being Hispanic… okay? It doesn’t matter if he is; Galactus is a cosmic being, so race doesn’t really enter into it. I guess this is Marvel and Disney’s way of patting themselves on the back for championing diversity while not messing with the Four. (“We at Disney firmly believe that anyone of any race can devour planets to balance the cosmic scales!”) I am heartened that they need an actor to play Galactus, though; that means no cloud or metaphysical nonsense this time. However, I think they’re jumping the gun with him. Galactus shouldn’t be the first villain the Fantastic Four face; he should be built to, a menace on a grand scale that emerges in a big movie, perhaps even an Avengers film featuring the Four. Their best bet at this point is to use him like Doctor Strange used Dormammu – an epic evil lurking in the background. I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic about Fantastic Four, but the casting is only okay so far, and Sue being the lead worries me because I know how that song goes at Marvel now.