Marvel Fans Freak Out Over Jake Gyllenhaal as ‘Fantastic Four’s Mister Fantastic

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Jake Gyllenhaal's goofy smiling head edited on top of John Krasinski's Mister Fantastic body

Credit: Marvel Studios, Daniel Richtman on X

Kevin Feige has served as the President of Marvel Studios for an extended duration, guiding the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) under The Walt Disney Company’s umbrella. The MCU’s significant impact on the superhero film genre and the broader cinematic landscape has made a lasting impression, even though opinions on it may vary.

The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Anti-Woke Mob Criticizes Marvel for Silver Surfer Casting Choice

The expansive storyline, commonly known as the Infinity Saga, culminated with the release of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), marking the conclusion of Phase Three within the MCU. The franchise’s remarkable growth and its unparalleled dominance in the superhero genre have firmly positioned it as a major, if not the foremost, player in the film industry.

Marvel's Avengers including Thor, Black Widow, Captain Avenger, Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Hulk, look up at the destruction of the city.
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Avengers are poised to grapple with immense challenges as the franchise embarks on the Multiverse Saga, unfolding across Phase Four, Phase Five, and Phase Six. This expansive narrative will reach its zenith with the forthcoming films, including Avengers 5 AKA Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers 6 AKA Avengers: Secret Wars.

Currently, the MCU is poised to introduce all-new superhero teams like the fan-favorite Fantastic Four and X-Men, giving them a chance to step into the spotlight.

fantastic four silhouettes marvel
Credit: Marvel Comics

The Fantastic Four Within Marvel

The Fantastic Four comprises a quartet of legendary heroes who play a pivotal role in the Marvel Comics universe. A consistent factor within this group is their lineup: Reed Richards, who goes by Mister Fantastic, serves as the brilliant leader; Sue Storm embodies the nurturing figure, adopting the alias Invisible Woman; Johnny Storm, the impulsive and fiery member, takes on the persona of the Human Torch; and the gentle giant Ben Grimm is commonly referred to as The Thing.

Fantastic Four L-R: Human Torch, Thing, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Related: Forget Tony Stark, Sources Confirm Marvel Has Cast Its New MCU Leader

These iconic characters have held a central place in Marvel Comics for a considerable time, sharing the spotlight with other well-known figures like the X-Men and Spider-Man, predating the emergence of beloved personalities such as Iron Man/Tony Stark and Captain America/Steve Rogers, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, respectively, in the MCU. John Krasinski has already played Reed Richards in an alternate Marvel universe — as a Multiversal Variant in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

John Krasinski as Fantastic Four's Reed Richards in Spider-Man: No Way Home
Credit: Marvel Studios

 

Movie adaptations of the Fantastic Four, produced by 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios under Disney’s ownership), kicked off in 2005 with the release of a film titled Fantastic Four. The ensemble featured Ioan Gruffudd in the role of Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman/Sue Storm, Chris Evans as Human Torch/Johnny Storm, and Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm/The Thing, with Tim Story at the helm as the director. A subsequent installment, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, hit theaters in 2007, with both films receiving a mixed reception from both critics and audiences.

Fantastic Four movie cover
Credit: 20th Century Fox

In 2015, a reboot bearing the title Fantastic Four (stylized as FANT4STIC) brought Miles Teller into the role of Mister Fantastic, with Kate Mara as Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, and Jamie Bell portraying The Thing, all under the direction of Josh Trank. Regrettably, this reimagining garnered harsh criticism, significantly diminishing the public’s view of the Fantastic Four franchise. As a result, there was a strong yearning among audiences for a new and different approach to these beloved Marvel characters.

Currently, who exactly will play the Fantastic Four in the MCU has been a cause of much speculation.

Jessica Alba Fantastic Four
Credit: 20th Century Fox

A Possible Fantastic Four Leader

Marvel Studios seems prepared to address this by allegedly placing Sue Storm at the forefront in the upcoming rendition. Presently, there are rumors about candidates for the role of Reed Richards AKA the Smartest Man Alive, in the MCU. Adam Driver (Star Wars) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Morbius) are among those frequently mentioned. Additionally, there is talk that Paul Mescal (Normal People) is a top contender to portray Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch. On the other hand, the casting for Sue Storm/Invisible Woman has generated considerable debate, with names like Mila Kunis (That ’70s Show), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), and even Margot Robbie (Barbie) being floated.

Actor Adam Driver as Mr. Fantastic in 'Fantastic Four'
Credit: Inside the Magic

For the time being, SAG-AFTRA strikes have put a hold on the Fantastic Four casting train — but that is not stopping speculation from running rampant.

Recently, known Hollywood insider Daniel Richtman began asking (hinting?) on X (formerly Twitter) what people felt about Jake Gyllenhaal taking on the role of Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards in the MCU:

What do you think about this possible casting?

Now that this “possible casting” had been floated, members of the public immediately began weighing in.

Some, like @zach_926 were rather nice about it, all things considered — stating that Jake was undeniably “cool” but perhaps unsuitable for the role:

Nahhh…let’s go in a different direction. Jake is cool and all but I don’t see him in that role.

User Reed’s Council chimed in with their take that this casting choice was “extremely weird”, suggesting the actors Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast) or Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) to be the MCU’s Smartest Man Alive:

It’s extremely weird considering he already played a very noticeable MCU role already. If he hadn’t played Mysterio though he would’ve been great, but it needs to go to someone like Dan Stevens or Dev Patel

Of course, others like @KNerd89 were more succinct (there were quite a few of these answers, to be fair):

Terrible

At the end of the day, all of this is speculation and, at the most, a possible leak. Marvel fans will simply have to wait for at least the actor’s strike to end before the MCU’s Mister Fantastic is confirmed.

Do you think Jake Gyllenhaal would play a good Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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