Even though it leaked out ahead of time, fans were thrilled to see former Office star-turned-Quiet Place director John Krasinski appear as Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Fans had been fantasy casting Krasinski in the role for a long while (and sometimes his real-life wife Emily Blunt as Sue Storm), and to see him onscreen, even if only for a brief moment before he was shredded like pasta by Wanda, was cool.
However, there is a Fantastic Four movie coming to the MCU, and the question then became whether or not Krasinski would be more than just a cameo, and ultimately land the role in the official Fantastic Four movie in the “proper” universe. Well, according to the commentary track on the Multiverse of Madness from director Sam Raimi, that sure doesn’t sound like the plan:
“It’s so funny that Kevin [Feige] cast John [Krasinski] because the fans had a dream of who the perfect Reed Richards would be. And because this is an alternate universe, I think Kevin said, ‘Let’s make that dream come true.’ I’ve always really enjoyed all of his performances.’”
So, this was Kevin Feige’s call to cast Krasinski, but it seems like him being Reed was contingent on this being an alternate universe, which means…it doesn’t really count, and can just be a fun, one-off cameo. That would not indicate a larger plan for this to be the introduction of Krasinski’s Reed for a standalone Fantastic Four film.
It’s not impossible, of course. Plans can change, and I do wonder if Kevin Feige has sort of trapped himself here now. If someone else is cast for the Fantastic Four movie as Reed Richards, then you will have millions of fans going “wait, why isn’t it John Krasinski?” given that the door has now been opened. Another rumor was that The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln was joining the MCU in some sort of capacity, and many were guessing he could be the MCU’s Reed Richards. But again, I think fans are going to have a hard time accepting any sort of non-Krasinski option going forward after Multiverse of Madness.
Ultimately, I think they’ll end up with him in the part, despite this being an “alternate universe” fantasy fan cast that Kevin Feige wanted to indulge. Once that possibility was realized, it’s going to be hard retreat from that. I would expect to hear more about the actual Fantastic Four movie’s casting soon.