With Marvel regaining the rights to the Fantastic Four characters in the Disney/Fox merger, we should be seeing a more comics-accurate and overall satisfying big-screen incarnation of Marvel’s first family than we’ve seen previously. The Fox movies didn’t just fail the Fantastic Four – they failed their iconic rogues' gallery, too.
Galactus was reduced to an uninteresting cosmic cloud, the Silver Surfer was reduced to dull CGI, and we were subjected to not one, but two bitterly disappointing takes on the team’s greatest foe: Doctor Doom. So, here are 10 Actors We’d Like To See Play Fantastic Four Villains In The MCU.
10 Javier Bardem as Kang the Conqueror
If there’s going to be one villain that takes over from Thanos in the MCU’s Phase 4 onwards, then it seems like it’ll be Kang the Conqueror. The fact that Avengers: Endgame established the existence of time travel in this universe, and then opened up a litany of alternate timelines, seemed to set up Kang.
He went back in time to Ancient Egypt in order to give himself immense power before returning to the present to torment Earth’s mightiest heroes – as the next major antagonist. Javier Bardem can play a creepy, ominous villain in his sleep. Just look at his turn in No Country for Old Men.
9 Bruce Willis as the Puppet Master
The Puppet Master is an obscure C-list villain who probably wouldn’t be made the primary antagonist in a Fantastic Four movie, but it would be fun to see him in a montage of the team catching eccentric crooks or an opening action set piece. Bruce Willis has the action movie chops and bald head to play the Puppet Master memorably
If the character only makes a brief appearance in an MCU movie, then Marvel Studios should be able to find space in the budget for Willis’ absurd $1-million-a-day rate. The Puppet Master wouldn’t get fans too excited, but Bruce Willis as the Puppet Master surely would.
8 Danny DeVito as Mole Man
In the nicest way possible, this one’s kind of a no-brainer. After being encouraged by Tim Burton to push the boundaries with his performance as the Penguin in Batman Returns, Danny DeVito gave us the definitive on-screen portrayal of that character.
Mole Man isn’t a particularly well-known Marvel villain, but if It’s Always Sunny’s resident scumbag Frank Reynolds played him, then audiences would surely take notice. DeVito would bring an element of humor to the character, which is needed in both a Fantastic Four movie and an on-screen depiction of Mole Man, but he would also bring a surprising amount of gravitas.
7 Kurt Russell as Ego
One of the Fantastic Four’s primary enemies in the comics is Ego the Living Planet. Ego has already been featured in the MCU, played brilliantly by Kurt Russell as Peter Quill’s biological father in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but in that movie, he died.
Still, if Marvel follows Ant-Man director Peyton Reed’s pitch for a Fantastic Four movie set in the 1960s, that won’t be an issue, because the MCU’s Ego wasn’t killed until 2014 and the great thing about the MCU going forward is that it can toy around with the established timeline, flitting back and forth.
6 Ryan Gosling as the Silver Surfer
Ever since Ryan Gosling was seen having lunch with Taika Waititi in L.A., Marvel Comics fans have been rampantly fan-casting the Drive actor in various roles – Nova, Adam Warlock, Beta Ray Bill, etc. – even though it’s very likely that they were just having lunch as friends, or possibly discussing a non-MCU project.
One role that he’d be great for is the Silver Surfer. Gosling would bring an actual personality and charm to the Silver Surfer that was missing from his Doug Jones/Laurence Fishburne portrayal in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Plus, it’s about time Gosling joined the MCU.
5 Mark Strong as Super-Skrull
Captain Marvel made the Skrulls out to be good guys – misunderstood refugees who have been painted as a villain by Kree propaganda – but Marvel has since teased that like any species, not all Skrulls are good and not all Skrulls are bad. Just because there are good-hearted Skrulls like Talos out there working with Carol Danvers and Nick Fury, it doesn’t mean there aren’t also villainous Skrulls plotting against the Avengers.
So, Super-Skrull could still make an appearance in the MCU. Mark Strong has both the burning intensity and the effortless likability to play Super-Skrull as a fun, mustache-twirling ne’er-do-well bent on ruling the Skrulls and dominating the universe.
4 Keanu Reeves as Namor the Sub-Mariner
It seems likely that the MCU will make Namor the main villain in Black Panther II, with Wakanda and Atlantis going to war and T’Challa and Namor’s rivalry from the comics getting established on the big screen. But the Sub-Mariner should also appear alongside the Fantastic Four because, in the comics, he’s one of their main antagonists and constantly hits on Sue Storm.
Keanu Reeves would be the perfect casting choice for Namor because he has the look of the character, an ethereal, one-with-the-ocean, spiritual presence, and the charm to pull off Namor’s cocky arrogance without coming off as unlikable.
3 Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster
If the MCU’s Fantastic Four movie has a fun, lighthearted tone (like it should), then Jeff Goldblum’s take on the Grandmaster character, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok, would be a great candidate to face them. Marvel’s first family has tangled with the Grandmaster a number of times in the comics, and as far as we can tell from Ragnarok’s post-credits scene, the MCU’s Grandmaster is still alive and kicking.
One thing that the previous Fantastic Four movies have failed to do is establish the team’s cosmic presence off of Earth, and the Grandmaster would be a great way to both introduce this and further integrate the Fantastic Four into the MCU.
2 Liam Neeson as Galactus
After the crushingly disappointing cloud we got in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the MCU needs to give us a faithful big-screen adaptation of the Galactus character.
Liam Neeson hardly ever plays villains, so it would be a nice change of pace for both the actor and his fans, and he’s proven with roles in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Clash of the Titans, and The Dark Knight trilogy that he can bring a degree of nuance to his blockbuster performances, even when he’s surrounded by CGI spectacle. And that nuance will be particularly needed to humanize a gigantic cosmic overlord with a pointy purple helmet.
1 Christoph Waltz as Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom is such an incredibly iconic and immensely powerful villain that he has the potential to not only be the Fantastic Four’s primary on-screen antagonist but also replace Thanos as the MCU’s “big bad.” The great thing about Victor von Doom is that he’s a terrifying presence, while also having a certain level of irresistible charisma.
We’ve already seen Christoph Waltz bring that kind of charming menace to one unforgettable villain – Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s darkly comic WWII epic Inglourious Basterds – so there’s no doubt that he could bring it to another, and he could easily pioneer a Latverian accent.