‘Fantastic Four’: The Penn Badgley As Reed Richards Rumors Aren’t True, Folks

This is one of the more ridiculous rumors that has been going around since last month, and I’m surprised it isn’t quite dead yet. Back in July, a leak found on Reddit suggested that You star Penn Badgley would be starring as Reed Richards when Marvel finally launches their Fantastic Four movie. I don’t think anybody really bought it, but then today the rumor resurfaced, once again on Reddit, only this time backed by disgraced former Birth.Movies.Death writer Devin Faraci who said Badgley “probably” has the role already.

He said on an episode of the Marvelvision podcast…

“The guys that [Marvel Studios] been talking to about it are all white guys. That guy [Penn Badgley] from the show You, who probably has the role already, frankly, he’s a white guy. They’re going with the standard – and he’s terrific, by the way, that’s a good choice – but, they’re going very classical.”

Faraci added that he’s been “stumping for a Black Reed Richards”. Personally, I think doing the opposite of whatever Faraci wants is generally a good idea.

Surprise surprise, Faraci has now backtracked, saying that he got his info from Reddit like any jabroni can, and his own “gut instinct.” As John Cusack said in High Fidelity, his “guts have shit for brains.”

Nothing against Badgley, who is a perfectly adequate, if extremely bland actor, but think about this for a sec. Marvel has set the bar incredibly high for Reed Richards by casting John Krasinski in Doctor Strange 2. That was certainly giving the fans their wishlist pick, but they can’t then disappoint those fans by casting someone most of them have never heard of.

Most recently, WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman was in talks to direct Fantastic Four, so things are definitely happening. Once Shakman is locked, expect the casting news to follow well ahead of its November 8th 2024 release.



Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.