‘Fantastic Four’ conspiracy theory suggests John Krasinski was hired just so people wouldn’t want him anymore

John Krasinski as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Image via Marvel Studios

Few things sum up the fickle nature of modern fandom better than the casting of John Krasinski as Fantastic Four figurehead Reed Richards in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Ever since it was first announced that a reboot for Marvel’s First Family was in the works, The Office and Jack Ryan alum had been touted as the number one choice for the role among franchise supporters, alongside wife Emily Blunt as Sue Storm. However, once they got exactly what they’d been asking for, the tide of opinion turned on a dime.

The Illuminati from 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'
Image via Marvel Studios

These days, you’re arguably more likely to find MCU supporters claiming they want the part recast for Matt Shakman’s in-development Fantastic Four, with the latest batch of speculation pointing in the direction of The Good Place‘s William Jackson Harper, who was suspiciously announced for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania a mere four months before release.

In an interesting turn of events, a self-proclaimed conspiracy theory put forth on Reddit has suggested that Kevin Feige awarded Krasinski the Doctor Strange 2 gig knowing full well that there was going to be backlash, thus reducing the rampant desire to see him headline F4‘s latest incarnation, and clearing the path for another actor to secure the gig for themselves.

It might sound a touch far-fetched, but it’s also far from the craziest thing we’ve ever heard. If Marvel didn’t want Krasinski for Fantastic Four, then having him make a fan-baiting cameo as a multiversal variant would be a smart compromise to give the people what they thought they wanted, even if the negativity didn’t take long to get started once his surprise appearance was made public.