The Fantastic Four Cast Reveal Proves Marvel Studios Understands the First Family

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1961’s Fantastic Four may have kicked off the Marvel Universe, but the FF aren’t really superheroes. They are explorers, they are scientists, and yes, they do fight supervillains such as Doctor Doom, but at their heart, the Fantastic Four are a family.

So when Marvel officially announced the cast for next year’s Fantastic Four movie with a Twitter post, the good news isn’t the cast. Pedro Pascal has long been rumored to play Mr. Fantastic Reed Richards, as has Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm-Richards aka Invisible Girl/Woman, Joseph Quinn as the Human Torch/Johnny Storm, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm, Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew the Thing.

No, the big news here is that Marvel made the announcement in the form of a Valentine card. “Happy Valentine’s Day” declares the banner above the team. Below the banner, we see Reed playfully dancing with Sue, Ben lounging in an easy chair, and Johnny smiling at his adoptive big brother. Even H.E.R.B.I.E., the team’s trust robot companion, is accounted for in the announcement!

The FF look happy. They look fun. They look like a family.

That’s a huge change from the most recent version of the team from the ill-fated 2015 Fantastic Four. That film took a body horror approach to the characters and made the team a bunch of dour backbiters doing government black-ops. Conversely, the two films directed by Tim Story did take time for Reed and Sue’s marriage and pranks between Johnny and Ben, but suffered from a sitcom feel that botched the “fantastic” part of the Fantastic Four. Thus far, only the unreleased Roger Corman produced Fantastic Four movie from 1994 has nailed the family and adventure aspects of the team.

Is Marvel’s Fantastic Four Movie Set in the 1960s?

The picture also hints at another major departure from past Fantastic Four movies, something that even the 1994 film didn’t attempt. From the jaunty Marvel Studios logo, to the Space Age Fantastic Four logo, to the Madison Avenue sketch-quality of the drawing, everything about the image suggests that Fantastic Four will take place in the 1960s. In fact, the magazine Ben is reading seems to be the Dec. 13, 1963 issue of Life magazine, which featured Lyndon B. Johnson on the cover…

We think Marvel is trying to tell us something…

This idea isn’t new, though. During the 2000s, director Peyton Reed pitched a Fantastic Four movie set in the ’60s, an idea that came to him while making the excellent rom-com Down With Love. Reed’s film never came to fruition (although he did make it to Marvel to direct the Ant-Man films), but many saw the wisdom in his approach. The Fantastic Four were born from early ’60s optimism and Kennedy-era Space Race imagination. Their upbeat attitudes and gee-whiz science works best in that milieu. After all, there’s a reason that Brad Bird set his Fantastic Four homage The Incredibles in a pseudo-’60s.

Of course, that setting raises questions about the FF’s inclusion in the MCU. Will Marvel just pretend that the FF have been around since then, as they did with Captain Marvel (and Marvel initially did with the first appearance of the Fantastic Four in the Ultimate Universe)? Maybe, but that contradicts another key aspect of the Fantastic Four — that they’re celebrities, beloved by the general public.

The more likely explanation is that the FF live on a different Earth, and that their adventures will eventually bring them into the mainline MCU. If that’s true, can we expect to see them make a cameo in the multiversal adventure Deadpool & Wolverine — a possibility that only furthers the potential arrival of the team’s worst enemy, Dr. Doom? Or will we have to wait until 2025 before Marvel’s First Family appears on the big screen again?

However they get there, the announcement image assures us of one thing: when they arrive, the Fantastic Four will arrive as a family.

Fantastic Four comes to theaters on July 25, 2025.

The post The Fantastic Four Cast Reveal Proves Marvel Studios Understands the First Family appeared first on Den of Geek.

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