Marvel’s first family are returning to the big screen.
The Fantastic Four, Stan Lee's original power line-up are getting a proper, Marvel Studios-backed movie which bodes incredibly well for one of the most enduring, and famous of superhero teams.
It'll be the fourth attempt to bring Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm — aka Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing — to the big screen following 1994's unreleased Roger Corman cheapie, Tim Story's noughties brace, and Josh Trank's ill-fated 2015 reboot
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Here's everything we know about the return of the Fantastic Four so far.
Fantastic Four release date
Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four is slated for release on 2 May, 2025 having been pushed from its original date of 14 February, 2025. It will mark the second film in Marvel’s Phase Six, the third part of its over-arching Multiverse Saga.
Despite encountering delays following the WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes, the movie's director Matt Shakman revealed to Collider that the project is set to go into production in 2024.
"We are definitely gonna go in front of cameras next year," he told the outlet. "Probably the spring. [It will shoot in] London. Pinewood."
Fantastic Four cast
Casting is underway for Fantastic Four but nothing is yet set in stone. An alternate universe version of Dr Reed Richards appeared in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness played by fan favourite John Krasinski.
That version was a member of the Illuminati, a super-team alongside Baron Mordo, Professor X, Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel, Black Bolt and Captain Carter. He was shredded into ribbons by an evil Scarlet Witch, which doesn’t rule out Krasinski returning for this universe’s Reed but it’s unconfirmed.
Rumours have stated that the casting will be built around Susan Storm aka Invisible Woman, though casting rumours have placed Dev Patel as favourite for the role of Mr Fantastic himself.
That could change though, as The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal has also been linked to the role. The news was first reported on Deadline with multiple unnamed sources saying contracts were being finalised although nothing has been officially confirmed just yet.
For Storm, many movie sites have pegged The Crown star Vanessa Kirby for the role, something she all-but confirmed when asked about it during a Napoleon red carpet event.
— Elsa Keslassy (@ElsaKeslassy) November 15, 2023
Previously the Four were portrayed in feature films by Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans as Reed Richards / Mr Fantastic, Susan Storm / Invisible Woman, Ben Grimm / The Thing and Johnny Storm / Human Torch respectively.
They portrayed the team in two Tim Story-directed features in 2005 and sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007. Both were moderate box office successes but critical duds.
The team was rebooted in 2015 by Josh Trank taking a darker, more “grounded” take with the cast consisting of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan. The film was a box office disaster and the critical reaction was even worse with many citing the dull tone and clear reshoots hampering the story.
Both Evans and Jordan have found success and acclaim in new roles within the MCU.
There’s no news of if their arch-enemy Victor Van Doom aka Dr Doom will appear, but given the Marvel universe includes a few fictional countries like Wakanda, Sokovia, Madripoor and Talokan, it makes sense to introduce Doom as he is in the comics: the King of the Sovereign nation of Latveria.
Story’s Doom was played by Nip/Tuck’s Julian McMahon as a wealthy scientist with ties to “the old country” while Trank radically revised Doom as a computer hacker, this time played by Toby Kebbell.
Fantastic Four plot
No details about the plot have been released, given Feige’s usual desire to keep leaks to a minimum and the fact that there is no casting means nothing will be coming out for a while but it sitting at the heart of the final part of the Multiverse Saga suggests that the Four will play a key role in both Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.
Read more: Who is Kang the Conqueror?
Fantastic Four stories in the comics often revolve around the cosmic, their battles with Skrulls (as shown in Captain Marvel), Silver Surfer and the monstrous planet eater Galactus.
Galactus might also allow the Four to tie into the Celestial arc of Eternals, while their placement as the final film before The Kang Dynasty suggests they might be big in the fight against Kang just as Captain Marvel was in the fight against Thanos in Endgame.
Speaking to Collider, the movie's director teased a few details about how his movie will be different from what has come before.
"It's different in so many ways. I wish I could be specific. I wish I could say more. But we are doing things very differently from a story standpoint, from an approach to the filmmaking standpoint, that really fits the material," he said cryptically.
"I wish I could say more. I would love to, but I can't. But I think it's going to be unlike anything you've seen before, and certainly unlike anything at Marvel that you've seen before."
Who is making Fantastic Four?
Originally Jon Watts, the director behind Marvel Studios’ backed Spider-Man trilogy — Homecoming, Far From Home and No Way Home — was due to direct the film, but stepped down to work on other projects, including a Star Wars series.
In his absence WandaVision director Shakman was announced as director of the film, having impressed Marvel with his mixing of old-school and modern filmmaking with the series.
The first script was written by Jeff Kaplan and Ian Springer. In April 2023, it was announced that Josh Friedman would be rewriting the script. Friedman recently worked on Avatar: The Way of Water, and is known for his work in the sci-fi realm having worked on Spielberg's War of the Worlds, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Terminator: dark Fate, Foundation and Snowpiercer.
This could signal a change of tone for the Fantastic Four movie with Kaplan and Springer better known for their comedic work.
Read more: What is the multiverse?
Previous directors Tim Story and Josh Trank faced their fair share of criticism. Story directed bright, colourful adventures that very much played to a younger, family-friendly crowd which was fine for the time but lost some of the emotional resonance the team has had in the past.
Trank famously had feuds with original studio 20th Century Fox to the point where he was removed from directing re-shoots that changed the film’s original ending. Since then Trank has only directed one film: crime biopic Capone starring Tom Hardy.
Fantastic Four is due for release on 2 May, 2025.