MCU Fantastic Four Actor Opens Up About Initial Casting Concerns

Paul Walter Hauser with The Fantastic Four MCU title

Paul Walter Hauser has shared his initial concerns about joining the cast for Marvel Studios’ upcoming The Fantastic Four reboot in the MCU. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige first teased the development of The Fantastic Four in 2019, but it wasn’t until Valentine’s Day 2024 when the first cast announcements were revealed for the much-anticipated Phase 5 movie. Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach have been cast as the titular superhero team, and they will be joined by a whole host of remarkable performers in the MCU’s The Fantastic Four, currently scheduled to premiere in July 2025.

Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor Paul Walter Hauser joined the cast of The Fantastic Four in May 2024 in an as-yet-undisclosed role. Hauser achieved huge acclaim for his portrayal of serial killer Larry Hall in Apple TV+ series Black Bird, and will soon bring his talents to the MCU, but has revealed that he was initially hesitant to join The Fantastic Four. In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Hauser noted that the Fantastic Four “has not fully been nailed just yet,” but revealed that The Fantastic Four’s remarkable cast, dedicated department heads, and committed director, Matt Shakman, assuaged these concerns.

Don’t think that didn’t weigh in as I was deciding whether or not to take the job. That movie has not fully been nailed just yet. But I really do think the combination of the screenplay, and the department heads that are working on the film, and that classy cast of really exciting actors — some of them known for a long time, and some of them having a moment right now — [make me feel that] this movie is special, and it was something I wanted to be a part of. Matt Shakman directed me years ago in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. To come back together and collaborate on this movie in some capacity, it’s really exciting. I’m excited to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why The MCU’s Fantastic Four Will Be Better Than Past Attempts

The Fantastic Four team in 2024's Valentine's Day poster

Before the film rights to the Fantastic Four reverted to Marvel Studios in 2019, they resided with 20th Century Fox, allowing two attempts at bringing Marvel’s First Family to be delivered by the studio that produced the X-Men franchise. 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer featured one team, while 2015’s Fantastic Four reboot included a new line-up. However, despite being one of Marvel’s most popular properties, neither of these attempts managed to capture the audience’s imagination, so there’s no doubt that Marvel Studios will do a better job at handling the team’s MCU debut.

2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel introduced Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis as the Fantastic Four. Despite a strong cast, these movies were diminished by lackluster scripts and an over-reliance on special effects. These were a product of their time, but the more recent Fantastic Four reboot in 2015 is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero movies ever. Led by Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell, Fantastic Four was let down by a humorless script and a failure to deliver comic-accurate depictions of the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom.

Marvel Studios will surely side-step these concerns. Not only have visual effects improved massively in the last two decades, but with acclaimed writer Josh Friedman (Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer, Foundation) working on the script, and MCU veteran Matt Shakman directing, The Fantastic Four promises to be a faithful, entertaining, and intense installment in the MCU’s Phase 5. With powerhouse talents including Pascal, Kirby, Quinn, Moss-Bachrach, Hauser, John Malkovich, Ralph Ineson, Natasha Lyonne, and Julia Garner on board, too, The Fantastic Four in the MCU is very likely to be the strongest incarnation of the team yet.

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