Marvel's Fantastic Four film reportedly lands Pedro Pascal as Avengers 5 loses its director

Pedro Pascal's Joel looks upset at an off-screen Ellie in The Last of Us season 1
The Last of Us' Pedro Pascal might be the next big name to join to the MCU. (Image credit: HBO)

Marvel has reportedly found one of the leads for its Fantastic Four movie in the form of A-lister Pedro Pascal.

According to Deadline, Pascal has held talks with the Disney subsidiary about playing stretchy superhero Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards in the forthcoming movie. However, SlashFilm and industry insider DanielRPK claim Pascal has already signed on to the project, meaning it might only be a matter of time before an official announcement is made.

If the reports are true, it'll be a massive coup for Marvel. Pascal is one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, with the talented entertainer starring in many popular movies and shows in recent years. Following his break-out role in Game of Thrones, Pascal has gone on to play prominent roles as Din Djarin in The Mandalorian and Joel in HBO's TV adaptation of The Last of Us, as well as displaying his comedic chops alongside Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

According to Deadline reporter Justin Kroll, Pascal would be able to juggle his role in Marvel's Fantastic Four flick alongside his upcoming work on Gladiator 2, one of 2024's eagerly anticipated new movies, and The Last of Us season 2. It's unclear what impact his potential Marvel role will have on his ability to carry on playing Djarin in the Star Wars universe.

Despite the various issues surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) of late, Fantastic Four is one of the most anticipated projects on the studio's slate. The Marvel Phase 6 movie's announcement in July 2019 sparked intense excitement among the MCU's fanbase and, in the years that have followed, the casting rumor mill has gone into overdrive, with multiple big-name stars linked with the supergroup's various members.

Indeed, Mission Impossible 7 star Vanessa Kirby exclusively told TechRadar it "would be an honor" to play Sue Storm/Invisible Woman in the film after consistently being linked with the role. Other Fantastic Four cast rumors have sent MCU fans into a tailspin recently, too, with Adam Driver, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Joseph Quinn, Jodie Comer, Margot Robbie, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach all teased as potential candidates. 

For what it's worth, Fantastic Four director Matt Shakman wants you to ignore that wild cast speculation and just wait for an official reveal. Now the actors strike is over, here's hoping we get one soon.

Avengers, disassemble!

Simu Liu as the titular character in Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi's director isn't thought to be involved in Avengers 5's development any more. (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Pascal's possible casting in Fantastic Four would be great for Marvel, but it's not all good news for the studio.

According to a separate Deadline report, Daniel Destin Cretton, who directed 2021's Shang-Chi, is no longer set to helm Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Per the article, Cretton's departure is an "amicable" one and the filmmaker will continue to work on other Marvel projects, including a Shang-Chi sequel and upcoming Disney Plus show Wonder Man, which many insiders believed had quietly been axed, but will now sit under the newly formed Marvel Spotlights banner alongside Marvel's Echo TV series.

Cretton was hired to direct Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in July 2022, but the moviemaking landscape has changed a lot since his appointment. In the past 12 months, Marvel has come under fire for its allegedly "systemic" overworking of visual effects artists, contended with the now-resolved actors and writers strike, and watched on as many of its movies and TV shows struggled to capture fans' imagination.

Those issues have resulted in multiple MCU movie delays, meaning Marvel's global fanbase will only be able to see one MCU film, Deadpool 3, in theaters next year. The studio's TV line-up has also been impacted, although What If...? season 2 is set to debut in time for Christmas before Echo arrives in January 2024.

It's unclear why Cretton has seemingly walked away from the next Avengers film, but it might just be due to scheduling conflicts. We've reached out to Disney for comment on these Pascal and Cretton rumors, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.