After so much hype, MCU fans were left distraught when Marvel’s D23 presentation came and went without any Fantastic Four casting news coming our way. Although WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman has been officially confirmed to direct, who exactly is playing Marvel’s First Family in the upcoming reboot remains up in the air. Which means that the burning question we’ve had for months is still unanswered: could John Krasinski return as Mr. Fantastic?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made the internet’s dream come true when The Quiet Place star showed up as Reed Richards, but this cameo didn’t necessarily mark Krasinski out as the MCU’s primary Reed, as his character hailed from another universe, Earth-838. At the moment, we don’t know if Marvel’s intending to bring him back as the Mr. Fantastic of Earth-616 or if the studio is going to recast the role.
With Marvel keeping mum on the matter for now, it’s worth looking at Krasinski’s prior comments on the idea of leading a Fantastic Four movie. As far back as 2020, the actor made it known that he would be all over the idea. As he told Men’s Health:
“I would love to be in the Marvel universe. I love those movies because they’re fun, but I also think they’re really well done. And certainly a lot of my friends are in those movies. I have no idea what [Marvel is] thinking. But if they are considering me for Mr. Fantastic, continue to consider me because I would love it.”
A year later, in summer 2021, Krasinski shared similar sentiments with ComicBook.com. At this point in time, he had still yet to be contacted about the Doctor Strange gig, as his cameo is known to have been a pretty last-minute deal. So when the concept was presented to him, he gushed:
“I would love to do it. I think to be a part of the Marvel world would be amazing anyway and the fact that people would even consider me for that level of a part would be amazing. I genuinely have had no conversations or don’t know anything that’s happening with that. I’m waiting on Kevin’s announcement of what the hell’s happening with that as much as you are. … It’s so interesting because I’m such a huge fan of Marvel. I think they do their own–I think they have such a great formula. I mean, yeah I’d jump in there. In Kevin I trust. That dude is not only the most talented guy, but the nicest guy. Whatever he wants, we’d discuss it.”
In other words, it sounds like all Kevin Feige would have to do is call and Kransinki would agree to be the face of a FF film like that. That’s why it’s so intriguing that the star was much more reluctant to talk about the possibility in a recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. As Fallon tried to get the scoop out of him, Krasinski avoided saying anything conclusive.
“You’re not allowed to say anything?” the host quizzed, causing his guest to reply, “Nope.” Fallon then added, “I’m not allowed to really ask you?” A grinning Krasinski responded, “Nope.”
“They don’t tell you anything about it,” the actor said, causing Fallon to joke that he’ll only find out if he’s in the reboot when it’s “just about to shoot.” Krasinski was similarly reticent when asked if his wife, Emily Blunt, could play Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, even pretending to be shot by a hidden Marvel sniper.
Krasinski may have let his guard down elsewhere in the interview, though. When chatting about The Office fan theory that Jim Halpert is the show’s real villain, he quipped, “That’s why I did Fantastic Four, to balance it out. I had already done the villain.” Was this just a slip of the tongue, or did the actor just admit he’s already signed up to appear in the movie?
According to Kevin Feige, we might not get any official casting news until next year’s D23, so it looks like John Krasinski will be asked the big Fantastic Four question a few more times yet. The reboot stretches into cinemas on Nov. 8, 2024.