Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness left viewers speechless for a number of reasons; one being the introduction of John Krasinski, but fans shouldn’t get too eager, because Krasinski’s future in the MCU may not be as bright as it seemed.
Prior to its release, Marvel detectives were digging out their magnifying glasses and theories were unwinding on the identity of The Illuminati; if you were a part of the lucky bunch who weaved around leaks as if they were the plague, the on-screen revelation would have likely taken you completely by surprise, especially John Krasinski as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic.
Many fans were beyond ecstatic to see the comedy-turned-action star make his MCU debut. Krasinski’s name had been tossed around amongst Marvel lovers for a while in the hope he would be take on the role of the Fantastic Four leader; plenty fan art was constructed to give imagery on how Krasinski would fit into the MCU, and the announcement of an upcoming Fantastic Four movie at San Diego Comic Con 2019 only added fuel to this fan casting.
The dream became a reality in 2022 when Krasinski appeared in a brief Multiverse of Madness cameo before Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) tore him apart without a second thought. So, while it was short-lived, fans got their wish. However, whether Krasinski has permanently secured his spot as Reed Richards in the MCU remains up in the air, and Sam Raimi’s latest comment on the matter has done little to ease concerns.
“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.’”SAM RAIMI
Krasinski’s involvement in the project was inspired by the fans – at least based on Kevin Feige’s reasoning to cast him. That doesn’t necessarily suggest The Quiet Place director would carry on the role past Multiverse of Madness; instead, it could very well be that Krasinski’s part was nothing more than a literal fan service; a nod to their fantasy which doesn’t require exploration beyond the cameo. As the film was set across an alternate universe and variants have been acknowledged previously, Krasinski’s absence from future projects wouldn’t be difficult to write off.
Fans shouldn’t get too disappointed, though. Nothing is set in stone. The MCU has yet to disclose their plans for the future; Multiverse of Madness may not be the end of Krasinski’s superhero adventure. After all, the film left a lot of loose ends. If The Illuminati’s introduction was to gauge audience reaction, it has certainly produced some promising results. Also joining the action was long-time Marvel legend Patrick Stewart, Inhumans star Anson Mount, Hayley Atwell and Lashana Lynch, who all returned as variants of their respective characters.
With any hope, a more concrete future for the characters could be revealed at this year’s SDCC, and if this was the last fans saw of Krasinski’s Reed Richards, at least he went out with a bang.