'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' May Have Revealed Some Major MCU Casting

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Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

The following story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The most popular superheroes in Marvel's cosmic world might just be the Fantastic Four. But for all their popularity, a movie adaptation has never gotten them quite right. In the last two decades, three live-action movies have attempted to bring Marvel's first family to life, with their leader, Reed Richards, played twice by Ioan Gruffudd and another time by Miles Teller. Now, seven years after the last attempt, we've got another actor playing Mister Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with, drum roll please? John Krasinski. But will it last? That remains to be seen.

That's right, John Krasinski—of The Office and A Quiet Place fame—pops up in Multiverse of Madness as the 838 universe's version of the one and only Reed Richards, the smartest man in the world. After the Doctor Strange from our universe (616) starts to jump along with America Chavez, he meets up with Mordo, who deems him a threat due to the actions of a late Strange in the 838 universe (confusing, yes, of course). Strange ends up in front of a panel called the Illuminati, consisting not only of Richards, but also Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Mordo Himself (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).

However, there's one major issue with any of the Illuminati appearing again any time soon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's future: they're all very, very dead. That's right, in case you somehow fell asleep during one of the most exciting parts of the movie, Wanda Maximoff—while possessing the 838 universe version of herself—killed every member of the Illuminati. She snapped Professor X's neck! Blew up Black Bolt's head! Goodness gracious. Rough break for the gang!

Photo credit: Marvel Studios
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

So now we've got some legitimate questions, don't we?

Is John Krasinski the official MCU Reed Richards, in the upcoming Fantastic Four?

You know, we really could go a lot of different directions with this. So, yes, John Krasinski is 100% Reed Richards—in the 838 universe. And that Reed Richards, thanks to our friend Wanda Maximoff, is now very very dead. He got owned, in fact. Sorry, Reed.

That said, this could have been an official reveal of the first cast member for the MCU's forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot (which just lost its director, Jon Watts, last week). If you noticed the way the different variants of characters worked in Multiverse of Madness, the different characters were played by the same actors across dimensions; every Strange was Benedict Cumberbatch, every Christine was Rachel McAdams, every Maria Rambeau was Lashana Lynch, every Mordo was Chiwetel Ejiofor, so on and so forth.

So, by this logic, every universe's Reed Richards would be John Krasinski. Right?

Photo credit: Getty Images/Marvel Comics
Photo credit: Getty Images/Marvel Comics

Maybe not. Remember that in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Peter Parkers in different universes were played not all by Tom Holland, but by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and who knows who else. Was this orchestrated out of universe-based physics? Probably not! Was it a play for fan service? Most likely! But we can also remember that while some Loki variants in Loki were played by Tom Hiddleston, others were played by Sophia Di Martino and Richard E. Grant.

So, well, basically: we don't know. If there were official betting odds for who's going to play Reed Richards, Mr. Krasinski would have to be the betting favorite at this point. But it could just be Marvel playing into some popular fan casting and scratching an itch; Krasinski previously auditioned to play Captain America, and some have been eager to see him find a way into this universe.

Who else could play Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic?

That's a fun question. As Multiverse of Madness introduces him, Reed Richards is typically depicted as the smartest man in the world. He's a super scientist with a big ego, but also someone who deeply cares about the "family" around him, typically consisting of Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm. He also needs to have a bit of a wry sense of humor.

Krasinski would certainly be in line with the version of Reed Richards in the Marvel Comics. Especially with the beard in Multiverse of Madness, he looked and felt like the character. That would be a safe pick.

Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images

Marvel Studios could also go in another direction; Reed doesn't need to be a white guy. Why not an upcoming star like Steven Yeun, an Academy Award nominee for Minari and star of an upcoming blockbuster in Jordan Peele's Nope?

Perhaps someone like Henry Golding could be ready for this kind of role after starring in last year's Snake Eyes. Even a lesser known name could be in the mix; Rahul Kohli has gotten a cult following after roles in director Mike Flanagan's Netflix horror shows like The Haunting of Bly Manor andMidnight Mass. He's gone back and forth with his social media following teasing interest in the role. Why not?

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