Netflix Serial Killer Actor To Lead Fantastic Four?

An interesting choice.

By Matthew Creith | Published

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For those who were fans of the original incarnation of Gossip Girl, there may have been no more dreamy of an actor than Dan Humphrey himself, Penn Badgley. Playing up the darkly mysterious writer character, Badgley became famous for portraying a high schooler in New York, where the actor has spent most of his life. Since the series ended in 2012, Badgley has seen his star rise even further in movies like Easy A and Margin Call. But his metamorphosis as the sadistic Joe Goldberg in the television series You has brought him the most attention. Now, it appears that Penn Badgley may be the next pick to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four.

According to a report by The Direct, Penn Badgley’s name has been thrown around recently as a potential star of the new Fantastic Four film. Possibly playing the role of Reed Richards, Badgley would join previous actors Ioan Gruffudd, Miles Teller, and John Krasinski in landing the pivotal role. Gruffudd took on the part in the 2005 film Fantastic Four as well as its sequel, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Teller attempted the role in 2015’s Fantastic Four before the comic book franchise fell into the Marvel Cinematic Universe phases. Since then, The Office star John Krasinski made a cameo as Reed Richards in this summer’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Because of Krasinski’s cameo, audiences have primarily assumed he would continue playing Reed Richards in potential future installments of the franchise, but that may not be likely anymore.

penn badgley
Penn Badgley in You

MovieWeb reports that Penn Badgley has quickly become the go-to choice to play Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four reboot, notably because the actor has already been rumored to have had discussions with Marvel Studios about the project. As part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Six, Fantastic Four will be a reboot of the storylines made familiar in many other iterations. Still, no cast members have been announced yet for the film. With a release date already set for November 8, 2024, Fantastic Four will directly lead into 2025’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.

Since 2015’s version was considered a box office bomb at the time of its release, Marvel Studios may be looking to fan favorites like Penn Badgley to lead an all-star cast in the reboot of Fantastic Four. 2015’s Fantastic Four grossed only $168 million against a budget of $155 million, even though the movie starred future Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller, Creed star Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the flick with a 9% on its Tomatometer and an Audience Score of 18%, making it one of the most disastrous comic book movies to hit theaters in decades. Hopefully, now that the comic book characters have joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney controls how they are portrayed, the 2024 version of the film can see more profits and a better score from critics and audiences alike.