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'Fantastic Four' Reboot Race-Swapped Famous Character Because Film Was 'Too White': Report

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It’s been quite some time since Disney-Marvel nailed the casting of one of its movies.

On Wednesday, the company announced the cast of its upcoming “The Fantastic Four” reboot to near-universal acclaim from fans — “near” being the operative word here.

The first three castings were praised by most if not all the fans — Joseph Quinn of “Stranger Things” as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch, Vanessa Kirby of “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning” as Susan Storm/Invisible Woman and Ebon Moss-Bachrach of “The Bear” as Ben Grimm/The Thing.

The casting of Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, on the other hand, has many fans scratching their heads.

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This is especially the case since Marvel Studios previously cast “The Office” star John Krasinski in the role, which many saw as a near-perfect choice (the actor’s name began trendng on X immediately after Pascal’s casting was announced). Fans are not nearly as pleased with Pascal as the superhero team’s super-genius leader.

A November 2023 report from award-winning reporter, Los Angeles Magazine contributor and Hollywood insider Jeff Sneider suggests the Chilean-born Pascal’s casting may have been more about diversity and inclusion than comic book accuracy.

Lending credence to its authenticity, Sneider’s report accurately named all four casting choices months ahead of the studio’s official announcement.

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The report also claimed Disney-Marvel was previously circling two other actors for the role of Reed Richards — Adam Driver and Jake Gyllenhaal. In this writer’s opinion (which is the opinion of a lifelong Marvel comics fan), both castings would have been fantastic (no pun intended).

As great as those casting choices may have been, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige saw an issue with casting a white male in the role — even though the character is depicted as white in the source material, per Sneider’s report.

“I’m told he feared that the cast was ‘way too white,’ in the words of one insider. Reed Richards would be the character eyed to diversify the cast,” Sneider reported.

The film’s progressive messaging won’t stop at the race-swapping of characters, according to Sneider.

Additionally, although Reed Richards is traditionally depicted as the leader of the team, in this new interpretation, the female Sue Storm will be pushed to the forefront as the film’s “lead.”

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Fan reactions to Pascal’s casting on social media have ranged from lukewarm to outright outrage.

“…He looks nothing like Reed Richards so it feels like they forced him into a role he isn’t really suited for,” wrote film critic and YouTuber Will Jordan, known best by his alter-ego The Critical Drinker.

“Terrible casting. No matter how much they force feed Pascal to us he will never be a real leading man,” an X user posted.

“Anyone else got Pedro Pascal fatigue[?]” another user wrote.

The Western Journal reached out to Disney in regards to the reported behind-the-scenes decision to race-swap the character of Reed Richards but has yet to receive a reply.

“The Fantastic Four” hits theaters July 25, 2025.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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