Fantastic Four Writer Reacts to SPOILER as MCU Reed Richards (Exclusive)
05/11/2022 11:30 pm EDT
Warning: this story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Say it again: it's fantastic. A member of Marvel's first family crosses the Multiverse to appear in Doctor Strange 2, where Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) encounter the Illuminati. The "Avengers" of Earth-838, the Illuminati of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are a super-team consisting of Karl Mordo (Doctor Strange's Chiwetel Ejiofor), Captain Carter (Captain America's Hayley Atwell), Captain Marvel (Captain Marvel's Lashana Lynch), Black Bolt (Inhumans' Anson Mount), Professor X (X-Men's Patrick Stewart), and a Marvel first-timer: John Krasinski as Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.
Jeremy Slater, credited as a co-writer of the 2015 Fox reboot Fant4stic with Simon Kinberg and director Josh Trank, also migrated to the MCU as the head writer on Marvel Studios' Moon Knight series for Disney+. Though Slater doesn't take ownership of the Marvel-Fox flop that starred Miles Teller as the stretchy superhero Mister Fantastic — the reworked script retained a single line of his dialogue, according to Slater — the die-hard comic book fan has weighed in on Krasinski's casting as the new Reed Richards.
"I think Krasinski is a really cool choice if that's who they go with for whoever the real version of Reed that gets introduced," Slater told ComicBook's Adam Barnhardt in a wide-ranging interview about Moon Knight. "I think he'd be an awesome choice. We didn't get to see him do a lot of fun stuff in there — [the Scarlet Witch vs. the Illuminati] was much more of an introduction and a sort of glorified cameo."
In Krasinski's cameo as the patriarch of Earth-838's Fantastic Four, Reed fails to talk down a Dreamwalking Scarlet Witch, who violently murders the Illuminati to reunite with WandaVision twin sons Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy Maximoff (Jett Klyne).
"I think Reed is a character that's very easy to play as a fuddy-duddy and to play as the least-cool guy in the room, and he's always slightly distant," Slater said. "There's a reason that Sue [Richards, Reed's wife], in the comics, is always running off to Namor because Reed is obsessed with some gizmo that he just invented. And the version that always struck me is, no, Reed Richards is he's Buzz Aldrin, man, he's Juan Ponce de León, he is an explorer, he is an adventurer."
It's not a version of Reed reflected in 2015's Fant4stic, but Slater scripted a more comic-accurate Fantastic Four movie that included classic comic book villains Doctor Doom and his home nation Latveria, Mole Man, Annihilus, the Negative Zone, the Fantasti-car, and the sidekick H.E.R.B.I.E. robot originally created for the '70s animated series.
Slater pitched the superhero-scientist-explorer-cosmic adventurer as the one who leaps headfirst into a giant portal that opens up in Central Park "because he wants to see what's on the other side," charging ahead of the Avengers and the X-Men. "That was my pitch way back when to get the initial job of, 'Let's make these guys badass, let's make them fearless and daring and cool.'"
With Doctor Strange 2 introducing a variant Reed Richards ahead of Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four reboot, Slater said, "I'm hoping that some element of that [comic book characterization] will be preserved."
"I think Krasinski would do a really good job of embodying that sense of he's not the sort of fuddy-duddy grandfatherly Reed Richards, he's a Reed Richards that could be brilliant and commanding and very cool," the Moon Knight writer continued. "So I think he'd be a great choice, but I also am just constantly trying to find out spoilers. I'm just like, 'So, is he your new Reed Richards?' And they're just like, 'You'll find out.'"
Slater also revealed Moon Knight's Manager of Production and Development Nick Pepin and executive producer Grant Curtis, also a producer of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, will serve as producers on Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four reboot with president Kevin Feige. Disney has not announced the cast or release date of Marvel's Fantastic Four.
All episodes of Marvel's Moon Knight are now available to stream on Disney+.
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