Despite being Marvel’s first family, The Fantastic Four have had a rough time on the big screen. First came the terrible Roger Corman 1990s movie, famously only made, so the rights to the IP wouldn’t expire. Then came the two Fox movies in the 2000s, which weren’t awful, but landed squarely in mediocrity. Most recently, we got 2015’s Fantastic Four, which has a reputation as one of the worst superhero movies of the modern era.
Marvel Studios is hoping to turn that around with its Fantastic Four movie, which is being directed by Matt Shakman and is currently scheduled to open Phase 6 on Feb. 14, 2025.
But from the sounds of it, we could have had a great movie back in the early aughts. Ant-Man director Peyton Reed was hired by Fox to work on the project, though due to creative clashes with the studio, the movie never entered full production. We know that Reed’s team would have had a stacked cast, with him planning to cast Alexis Denisof as Reed Richards, Charlize Theron as Sue Storm, John C. Reilly as The Thing, Paul Walker as the Human Torch and Jude Law as Doctor Doom.
“I developed Fantastic Four 22 years ago for about a year and at that time Fox didn’t want to make a movie as big as these movies now are. So I think I channelled my passion for Fantastic Four into the Ant-Man movies because they’re both stories about families of superheroes. 20 years is a long time and I want someone else to do Fantastic Four. Just between you and me, I’ve seen initial artwork for the Fantastic Four stuff, it’s going to be great.”
We’re hoping for a cast reveal of Fantastic Four soon, with the arrival of the team likely to bring a bunch of fresh talent to the MCU. We’re particularly excited about who they choose to play Doctor Doom, who’s one of Marvel’s best villains and, if done right, could be one of their most complex characters to date.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters on Feb. 17, 2023.