The Fantastic Four has its star cast.

The quartet of superheros began the rise of Marvel to the top of comics. They are the first great characters created for Marvel Comics by the peerless team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby – and will be played by Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) as Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic), Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) as Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Woman), Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things) as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Bear) as Ben Grimm (aka the Thing).

Included in the casting announcement, Disney is swapping the release dates of The Fantastic Four (now set for July 25, 2025) and Thunderbolts (now set for May 2, 2025). Those are two of four Marvel tentpoles currently set to open in 2025, along with “Captain America: Brave New World” in February and a new Blade in November.

In the comics, the Fantastic Four are private astronauts who are transformed into superheroes after they’re exposed to cosmic rays in space. Reed gains the ability to stretch his body to phenomenal lengths. Sue, Reed’s girlfriend, can manipulate light to become invisible and cast powerful forcefields. Johnny, Sue’s brother, can turn his body into fire which gives him the ability to fly and throw flames. And Ben, Reed’s best friend, is totally remade into a giant, orange rockpile, giving him invulnerability, super strength — and a monstrous exterior.

Matt Shakman (WandaVision, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters) will direct Fantastic Four, from a screenplay by Josh Friedman, Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer. Marvel has kept tight security around the cast and story – this is the first official announcement after years of development. Filming is thought to begin by the summer. Pascal is in high demand and will probably shoot Season 2 of The Last of Us first. The Fantastic cast is busy!

Though there have already been 4 FF (Fantastic Four) films, the Fantastic Four had not been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie rights belonged to 20th Century Fox for decades, which produced three of the films with the characters. Fantastic Four and “Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer released in 2005 and 2007 respectively, starred Ioan Gruffudd as Reed, Jessica Alba as Sue, Michael Chiklis as Ben and Chris Evans (pre-Captain America stardom), as Johnny. Fox’s attempt to reboot the franchise in 2015 — with Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan in the respective roles — was a box office bomb. In 2019 Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, finally bringing the characters into the Marvel Studios sandbox. At the 2019 Marvel Studios San Diego Comic-Con presentation, Kevin Feige announced a Fantastic Four film set in the MCU.

The MCU got its first glimpse of a new Reed Richards in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, when John Krasinski (Jack Ryan) played a multiverse variant of the character in a cameo, nodding to an online fan campaign to cast Krasinski in the role. The movie did well and the fans liked him. But Pedro Pascal.

Marvel Studios is hoping to build new anchors for the MCU phase 6, following the departures of Evans’ Steve Rogers and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the blockbuster Avengers: Endgame. The Fantastic Four cast just might be the ones.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.