‘The Fantastic Four’ Adds Former ‘Spider-Man’ Star To Cast

in Marvel

Spider-man in his red and blue suit crouching on a city street next to the human torch, who is engulfed in flames, set against an urban backdrop.

Credit: Inside the Magic

The Fantastic Four has added a new cast member, who just so happens to be a key part of the mythos of Sam Raimi and his Spider-Man films.

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

The Fantastic Four will not be released until 2025, but it is already a crucial part of the continuing survival of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the dominant global film franchise. Along with the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine, the introduction of Marvel’s First Family to the MCU is part of Kevin Feige and Bob Iger’s plans to reduce the number of the series’ releases and make them, well, good again.

Related: ‘The Fantastic Four’ Removed From MCU, Premise Rewritten for ‘Deadpool 3′

As such, the speculation around The Fantastic Four is particularly fierce, especially considering that Marvel Studios has held off on bringing one of Marvel Comics’ most iconic teams to the MCU for much longer than expected. It has already been announced (after months of rumor) that the central quartet would be portrayed by 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, and now we’re getting a whole new batch of castings.

Julia garner in a silver dress at a New Years party, female Silver Surfer in space
Credit: Julia Garner Instagram, Marvel Comics

First, Julia Garner was cast as the Shalla-Bal version of the Silver Surfer, herald of almighty Galactus, in an unexpected swerve. While most fans were expecting to see the traditional, male Norrin Radd version of the Silver Surfer in The Fantastic Four, Inside the Magic has already speculated that this may confirm the idea that the film does not take place within the standard MCU but is part of Deadpool’s (Ryan Reynolds) upcoming Multiversal shenanigans.

It was also announced that acclaimed character actor Paul Walter Hauser had been cast in an unknown role. We previously guessed that the Cobra Kai star might be playing the original Fantastic Four villain, Mole Man, or may even voice  H.E.R.B.I.E. (Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics), the beloved mechanical sidekick. We’ll have to wait to know for sure.

Comic book illustration of H.E.R.B.I.E with a rectangular head displaying glowing yellow eyes and a waveform mouth, caught in a dynamic action pose with a red backdrop.
Credit: Marvel Comics

Most recently, British actor Ralph Ineson was cast as the World Devourer, Galactus himself, and Deadline reports that legendary actor John Malkovich has been cast in an unknown role.

Close-up of a man with a shaved head, smiling directly at the camera in a dimly lit industrial setting. his expression is mildly menacing.
Credit: Touchstone Pictures

John Malkovich was legendarily cast as Adrian Toomes, AKA the Vulture, in Sam Raimi’s unproduced Spider-Man 4, which would have seen him face off against Tobey Maguire. As we have previously pointed out, Hollywood seems incapable of actually making a fourth Spider-Man movie, but it seems that Malkovich is getting a second shot at being a Marvel character.

Related: Pedro Pascal Breaks Silence on Joining MCU ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot

Our speculation is that John Malkovich, who is known for his intense portrayals of villainous or morally ambiguous characters, could be playing one of two paternal roles in The Fantastic Four: Nathaniel Richards or Franklin Storm.

In Marvel Comics continuity, Nathaniel Richards is the father of Reed Richards (Pascal) and may also be the distant ancestor and namesake of Kang the Conqueror, although, considering the issues surrounding Jonathan Majors, that will likely be discarded. In the comics, the elder Richards is a time-traveling scientist who comes into conflict with the Fantastic Four as often as he aids them, which would seem to fit John Malkovich well.

Illustration of Franklin Richards from The Fantastic Four
Credit: Marvel Comics

John Malkovich could also portray Franklin Storm, the father of Sue (Kirby) and Johnny (Quinn) Storm. While an accomplished doctor, a tragic accident saw the elder storm slide into alcoholism and eventual criminality, which, again, all kinds of Malkovich.

Illustration of an elderly comic book character with silver hair and a beard, wearing a green prison uniform with the number "32572", seated against a gray brick wall.
Credit: Marvel Comics

Who do you think Malkovich could be playing? Tell us in the comments below!

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. The film is directed by Matt Shakman from a screenplay by Jeff Kaplan & Ian Springer and Josh Friedman.

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