Marvel reveals cast for new ‘Fantastic Four’ movie: Will it break the franchise's troubled history?

Marvel reveals cast for new ‘Fantastic Four’ movie: Will it break the franchise's troubled history?
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Pedro Pascal, the internet's very own "daddy", is trading in his lightsaber for some superpowers as he joins the Marvel family.

The Last of Us and Mandalorian actor is set to play Reed Richards (also known as Mister Fantastic) in the newest incarnation of The Fantastic Four, the studio have announced.

The rest of his squad was revealed, too, with Vanessa Kirby of Mission Impossible stepping up as Susan Storm (The Invisible Woman), Joseph Quinn of Stranger Things as Johnny Storm (The Human Torch), and the recent Emmy-winning Ebon Moss-Bachrach of The Bear as Ben Grimm (The Thing).

In the announcement, the gang was depicted in a retro illustrated Valentine’s Day card that had fans guessing this version takes place in the 1960s.

“The Fantastic Four”, which debuted in November 1961, is among Marvel’s longest-running comics series and the titular crew is one of its most beloved groups.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the scientists-turned-superheroes are relatable and wry in their interactions as a team - even when they aren't fighting supervillains.

But the so-called first family of Marvel has not had the most distinguished transition to the big screen, with false starts and bad reviews often trailing.

The troubled history of The Fantastic Four on screen

Ioan Gruffudd, from left, Miles Teller and Pedro Pascal. A reboot of "The Fantastic Four" has Pascal cast as Reed Richards, a role portrayed by Gruffudd and Teller previously
Ioan Gruffudd, from left, Miles Teller and Pedro Pascal. A reboot of "The Fantastic Four" has Pascal cast as Reed Richards, a role portrayed by Gruffudd and Teller previously - Credit: AP Photo

First came a $2 million (€1,900,000) Roger Corman production in 1994 that was never ultimately released, with Alex Hyde-White as Reed Richards, Rebecca Staab as Susan Storm, Jay Underwood as Johnny Storm and Michael Bailey Smith as Ben Grimm. The shoestring production was directed by Oley Sassone.

Just a year after Corman's was shelved, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to the characters and began developing what would become two films under director Tim Story, though that would take about 10 years and see several directors come and go (including Chris Columbus, Raja Gosnell and future Ant-Man helmer Peyton Reed).

In 2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ioan Gruffudd was Reed, Jessica Alba was Susan, Chris Evans was Johnny and Michael Chiklis was Ben.

Jessica Alba, Kate Mara and Vanessa Kirby. A reboot of "The Fantastic Four" has Kirby cast as Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman, a role portrayed by Alba and Mara previously.
Jessica Alba, Kate Mara and Vanessa Kirby. A reboot of "The Fantastic Four" has Kirby cast as Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman, a role portrayed by Alba and Mara previously. - Credit: AP Photo

Fox tried again, with Josh Trank at the helm, and a cast led by Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. But the 2015 film was panned by critics and lost the studio over $80 million (€74 million).

Plans for a sequel were scuttled and a few years later, Disney acquired Fox - bringing the Marvel characters back under its corporate umbrella.

The new Fantastic Four will mark the first time the mutant misfits will be together as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, overseen by Kevin Feige (John Krasinski played a version of Mister Fantastic in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ).

The film is set to be directed by WandaVision veteran Matt Shakman, with a planned 25 July 2025, theatrical release.