One thing all movie geeks can agree on is that some actors were simply born to play certain characters. When watching the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl film, it’s hard to see any other actor other than Johnny Depp in the role of Captain Jack Sparrow. Looking back on the X-Men franchise, I can not see anyone else playing the role of Wolverine, simply because to me and probably most other X-Men fans, Hugh Jackman is and always will be Wolverine. Likewise, the same can be said of many characters found in the MCU.
The majority of Marvel fans would probably agree when I say that I cannot see anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Iron Man, or Benedict Cumberbatch playing the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Doctor Strange – although in my opinion, he should have stuck with his British accent. But that’s a rant for another time. Similarly, when one looks at John Krasinski, he just looks like and exudes the aura of Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four and hopefully, Disney agrees.
With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, Kevin Feige now has the Fantastic Four safely in his hands and can possibly debut them in the MCU sometime in the near future. Regardless of when this happens, something that many of us comic book fans and MCU fans have been clamoring for is for John Krasinski to be cast as the head of Marvel’s fantastic family, Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. The casting of John Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic makes perfect sense for one reason and one reason alone, but it is the biggest and most important reason: family.
See, in the comics, the Fantastic Four are basically a group of super-powered celebrities, but first and foremost they are a family. Literally, considering that Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) and Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) are married, Johnny (The Human Torch) is Sue’s Brother and Ben Grimm (Thing) is… uh… well… he’s a great family friend. But the point is that at the heart of the Fantastic Four stories lies the theme of family. Many people forget that the film The Incredibles is not only an homage to the heroes of the Golden Age of comics, but also to the Fantastic Four themselves. In fact, as the comics continued, Sue and Reed end up having kids and the family themes take an even stronger presence. The family that fights cosmic threats from beyond the border of our limited scope of reality together, stays together.
“But what does this have to do with casting John Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic?” you might be asking right about now. Or perhaps you may be asking how this proves that John Krasinski should, in fact, be Mr. Fantastic. Well, the answer to that lies in a tiny, little, itty-bitty role of his from way back when (if anyone even remembers it). I suppose one can even say that it was the role that he was born to play: Jim Halpert from The Office (US).
Most people mention his most recent box office success A Quiet Place, as evidence for why he should play Mr. Fantastic, but in reality, all that film proves is that Krasinski is not only a good director, but also that him and his wife, Emily Blunt, are basically a mega-power couple when it comes to acting. At best, A Quiet Place shows that Emily Blunt should be Sue Storm alongside Krasinski’s Reed Richards due to the great chemistry they share. But as for definitive evidence of Krasinski’s capabilities to portray Mr. Fantastic, I would like to point to the final season of The Office (US), which to this day is one of the hardest for me personally to watch without bursting into tears.
In the show, Jim and Pam are the ultimate definition of “couple goals” and the whole show we see how their love is tested, revealed, and ultimately grows until they eventually get married. But the most difficult moment of the show is in the final season when Jim gets an amazing opportunity to start a business and possibly have success in life. He becomes dedicated to this new opportunity, basically losing himself in his work and having little time to spend with his family. This puts a strain on Jim and Pam’s marriage, ultimately tearing Jim apart as he is forced to decide what the most important thing in his life is; his work or his family. This dilemma is one of the classic dilemmas that Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four has to deal with.
In the comics, Reed Richards is a scientist who is dedicated to his work and often gets lost in it. This sometimes puts a strain on his relationship with Sue who at one point gets involved in the middle of a love triangle between herself, her husband, and an Atlantean with wings on his ankles named Namor (these are comics, we still need to have some kind of craziness in them). Regardless, while Mr. Fantastic is in fact a family-man who wants nothing more than to protect his family and the world and the universe at large, he is also a dedicated scientist who can often lose himself in his work. But aside from the similarities between the characters and a few story-beats, what really needs to be focused on here is John Krasinski’s performance during that final season of The Office.
While Jenna Fischer acted her heart out in that final season, John Krasinski also gave an amazing performance. Throughout the season you see as he goes from completely lost in his work, to his relationship, to torn between both. There are very few actors who can communicate so much with just their eyes, but in this season, John Krasinski shows that he is one of them. You can see him debating in his head what the best choice is, confused and desperate to make things work, acting his heart out right alongside Jenna Fischer. Honestly, it is one of the best and most honest performances I’ve seen on T. V. Krasinki’s ability to portray a man who wants nothing more than to have success in the things he is passionate about but torn when those passions collide is the exact kind of ability that is needed to portray Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic.
At the end of the day, The Fantastic Four is a family drama with a backdrop of crazy science fiction adventures. John Krasinski has experience portraying a man torn between his family and his work before, similar to the character of Reed Richards. Aside from the fact that John Krasinski could pull off looking like Mr. Fantastic (just google those images, they look awesome), he also has the acting chops to portray Mr. Fantastic. Overall, Reed Richards would be a fantastic role for one John Krasinski.
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