Disney Shocks Fans, Cuts ‘The Fantastic Four’ From MCU Reboot

in Marvel

Marvel Studios Fantastic Four logo

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel fans are shocked to see that the Walt Disney Company has apparently cut The Fantastic Four out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they’re backing it up with the studio’s own promo art.

The official cast announcement of Fantastic Four, featuring everyone enjoying themselves in a living room
Credit: Marvel Studios

‘The Fantastic Four’ ‘Deadpool’ and the MCU Reboot

The MCU is currently on the ropes to an unprecedented degree. After nearly two decades of box office domination, Marvel Studios (and its parent company, Disney) faces rapidly declining ticket sales, critical backlash, and the widespread perception that people are just plain tired of superhero movies. No matter what CEO Bob Iger tries to claim, the numbers prove that “Marvel fatigue” is real.

While the MCU is, by far, the highest-grossing film franchise of all time and a conceptual breakthrough in terms of shared cinematic universes, it has been on the decline for some time. One can argue exactly when things started to go south for Marvel; was it the lukewarm reception for Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) or the backlash to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), which saw the fearsome and much-publicized Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) get swarmed by a bunch of ants? Or was it The Marvels (2023), which somehow followed up the billion-dollar Captain Marvel (2019) with the lowest MCU box-office grosses to date?

A poster for The Marvels with Monica Rambeau in blue, Captain Marvel in yellow, and Kamala Khan in red
Credit: Marvel Studios

Even Disney knows that something has to be done, whichever stumble one thinks caused the whole domino effect. Bob Iger says he has been cutting MCU projects left and right, claiming “It’s not audience fatigue. They want great films…Focus is really important. We reduced the output of Marvel, both number of films they make and the number of TV shows, and that really becomes critical.”

Related: MCU Star Gets Second Chance, Could Play Doctor Doom in ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot

And he’s not kidding around. For the first time since 2012, when chief Kevin Feige unleashed The Avengers on the world, only one MCU movie will be released in 2024: Deadpool & Wolverine. The Ryan Reynolds-Hugh Jackman two-hander is Marvel’s great red-and-black hope, and Disney is counting on the Merc with the Mouth to save the MCU both within the film and in the real world.

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool scaling a wall in 'Deadpool'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Inside the Magic has previously reported how the previous plans for Deadpool 3 under 21st Century Fox were scrapped when Disney acquired the company. The Christmas-themed plot was discarded in favor of a soft reboot of the MCU that will allow Disney to bring in both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four and streamline some of its increasingly convoluted continuity.

The Deadpool & Wolverine trailer shows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) being recruited by the Time Variance Authority (first seen in the Disney+ series Loki) to somehow save a troubled MCU, and all signs seem to indicate that part of his misadventures around the Multiverse will result in the Fantastic Four hopping into the Sacred Timeline.

Now, in honor of 4-4 Day, a celebration centered on the Fantastic Four that Disney appears to have just made up, Marvel has released new artwork that all but confirms the theory that the upcoming film does not take place in the MCU we currently know.

Update On ‘The Fantastic Four’ Revealed

The official Twitter account of The Fantastic Four just posted a piece of promo art for the upcoming movie, featuring the Human Torch (who will be portrayed by Stranger Things breakout star Joseph Quinn) flying above a futuristic-looking city.

Of course, no update to an MCU movie can be revealed that is not intensely analyzed by fans for any signs of what the future might hold, and this is no exception. The image is in the same retro style as the previous art shared during the official announcement of the casting of Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing, but it is actually what is in the background that gives us the confirmation that we’re looking for.

Marvel Studios has already revealed that The Fantastic Four will take place in the early 1960s (as hinted by the previous announcements) and that the team would be an established group of superheroes, which strongly suggests that they are not part of the MCU as we know it.

This new art further confirms that The Fantastic Four has been cut out of the MCU and placed in a new universe because the city skyline behind the Human Torch is certainly not a New York City we have ever seen. The movie may be set in the past, but it is clear that the NYC that Johnny Storm lives in is far more futuristic than the one that Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) inhabit.

Avengers Tower in New York City
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney Refreshes MCU’s Multiverse Entirely: Report

Very notably, there is no sign of Avengers Tower in the New York City skyline, one of the great landmarks of the MCU. Since Tony Stark’s personal HQ was introduced in The Avengers, it has been frequently referenced in movies and shows like What If…? and Hawkeye, making it a defining part of MCU NYC. So where’s it at?

Not in this universe, is the answer. More than likely, one of the buildings we see behind the Human Torch is the Baxter Building, the headquarters of the Fantastic Four in Marvel Comics. It was already obliquely mentioned in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022), which presented a Mister Fantastic Variant portrayed by John Krasinski in an impressive display of fan-casting, but this could actually be a sneaky first peek at the super-science home of Reed Richards.

John Krasinski as Reed Richards fantastic four
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has finally begun teasing out new information and casting for The Fantastic Four, like the casting of a Silver Surfer. We’re calling it here: Marvel’s First Family has been cut from the MCU, but they’ll find a way in anyway.

The Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on July 25, 2025. It will star Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing, and Julia Garner as Shalla-Bal/Silver Surfer.

Tell us your Fantastic Four theories in the comments below!

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