I Am Blind With Rage Over The New ‘Fantastic Four’ Cast

a cartoon drawing of the new cast of the fantastic four movie in a valentine's day card

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People who know me know that I absolutely refuse to take a superhero movie cast announcement in my stride.So it should come as no surprise that I absolutely fell apart when I saw who Marvel had the unmitigated gall to put in the new Fantastic Four movie.

First of all, Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic? You’ve got to be kidding me. When this choice was first rumoured, some people were very excited. And so was I. But now that it’s become a reality, I am beyond outraged. Yes, Pedro was great in The Last of Us and Narcos and Game of Thrones and The Mandalorian. Yes, he’s good-looking and charismatic. But Mister Fantastic can stretch his body to inhuman proportions. Can Pedro do that? I doubt it. And can you see him providing the necessary gravity to the character’s iconic catchphrases like “Time to take these legs out for a stretch!” and “I can put my arms around the world — literally!” and “What’s going on with all this goofy stretching already?” I can’t. I won’t.

As for Susan Storm/The Invisible Woman, prepare yourself. It’s Vanessa Kirby. And while I love her in the Mission: Impossible movies and The Crown, I just don’t see how she could capture the complexity of being a person who can become invisible. Also, do you think she looks like a “Susan”? Please.

The Bear’s Ebon Moss-Bachrach has been cast as Ben Grimm/The Thing. I’ll tell you what’s grim: The prospect of watching someone who plays the manager of a beef sandwich shop attempt to evoke the despair and power of someone made only of rocks. Seriously, who is making these decisions? Was one of those rock monsters from The Hobbit not available?

Joseph Quinn will be playing Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, which would be fine except… I don’t know who that is! I had to look him up! Was Harrison Ford busy? How about George Clooney? How about literally any of the thousands of actors I have heard of? Apparently, he was in Stranger Things. That’s a popular show and I’m very happy for everyone, but quick question: How will that prepare him to play someone who flies through the air while inflamed? 

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t the first time I’ve lost my mind over a superhero casting announcement. Here are some actual things I’ve said in a variety of social situations, some more appropriate than others:

“Robert Downey Who-nior? Not my Iron Man.”

“If Jeremy Renner is Hawkeye then I’m Santa Claus.”

“I will never forgive Robert Pattinson for playing Batman. He. Is. Edward. Now and forever.”

“Robert Redford? As Alexander Pierce? Am I in hell?”

“I will be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognise Josh Helman as Major Bill Stryker.”

How did those casting decisions turn out? I don’t know. I haven’t seen any of the movies. Does that mean I could stand to take it down a notch? Maybe. There are, after all, approximately 15,000 superhero movies made every year. 

And, to be fair, I should admit that I have no personal connection whatsoever to the Fantastic Four. I never read the comic books. I may have seen the movies, but there’s no way to be certain. And at several points while writing this article, I forgot the names of the characters. I started calling The Thing “Rocky Joe” and The Human Torch “Flying Fire Buddy Five Thousand”. At one stage, I thought I was writing about Sonic the Hedgehog and ended up cutting 2,000 words from the story.

But anger over casting announcements isn’t something you can intellectualise. You feel it in your bones. And I will not stand idly by while I watch the idea — the aura! — of the treasured superhero group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five get obliterated by a bunch of suits who’ve never had the tree/bush character from Guardians of the Galaxy tattooed on both their calves.

Remember: When you cast a superhero movie, you’re casting my childhood. You’re making my dreams a reality. And with that, as with great power, comes great responsibility. That, of course, is a quote from the best superhero movie of all time: The Last Temptation of Christ

Nick Bhasin is the Managing Editor of Junkee. His debut novel, I Look Forward to Hearing from You, is out now from Penguin Random House. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter (he’s not calling it X).

Image: Marvel