Marvel fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Fantastic Four to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with the reboot scheduled to hit theaters on February 14, 2025.
According to MyTimeToShineHello (MTTSH), one of the major heroes in the upcoming film might be gender-swapped, igniting discussions among fans about the potential impact on the storyline and the franchise.
The Fantastic Four, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, is a team of superheroes that includes Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Susan Storm (Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (Human Torch), and Ben Grimm (The Thing).
With the film’s casting process underway, rumors of a gender-swapped hero have sparked speculation and excitement about what the upcoming reboot will bring to the MCU.
Fantastic Four reboot rumor: Gender-swapping The Thing
Marvel Studios and director Matt Shakman are rumored to be considering a gender swap for the iconic character, the Thing, also known as Ben Grimm, in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.
MyTimeToShineHello (MTTSH) reports that while the studio is searching for a Jewish actor to play the role, they are also open to male and female talent. One actress being considered for the part is Mila Kunis, known for her role in Friends with Benefits.
The Thing has a rich history in comics and film, and while Ben Grimm is the most well-known character to take on the role, he is not the only one. Sharon Ventura, a female wrestler, has also portrayed the Thing and later becomes She-Thing after a cosmic accident.
While it is possible that Marvel could incorporate elements of Sharon Ventura’s backstory in the reboot, it is more likely that she will simply replace Ben Grimm in the usual origin story.
Possible reasons for gender-swapping a beloved hero in the reboot
The upcoming Fantastic Four reboot has caused quite a stir among fans with rumors of a gender swap for one of the team’s most beloved heroes. While this could generate backlash, there could be several reasons behind the decision.
One reason could be to allow the director, Matt Shakman, to put his spin on the characters and make his version of the Fantastic Four stand out from previous adaptations. The gender swap could also result in an even gender split within the team, with the female Thing providing another strong female character to play off Sue Storm.
Another possible reason is that Marvel Studios is having difficulty finding an actor who meets both the role’s requirements and their requirements for a Jewish background. By widening their search to include both male and female talent, they may be able to find the perfect fit for the role.
Regardless of the reasons behind the gender swap, Marvel Studios will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on fan reactions as they continue their search for the perfect cast.
Should they decide to proceed with the gender swap, Fantastic Four’s debut in the MCU will surely be a highly-anticipated event in comic book movie history.