During the highly anticipated Marvel panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Kevin Feige unveiled the Marvel Cinematic Universe's full Phase Four slate by announcing such films as Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder. However, he didn’t stop there. After unveiling all of the movies and television shows that will comprise Phase Four, the Marvel Studios president finally confirmed some long-awaited news: The Fantastic Four are officially coming to the MCU with a film that will presumably take place in Phase Five.
While it took a long while for Marvel to confirm that a Fantastic Four film would be happening, fans can now look forward to Marvel’s first family of superheroes finally joining the shared cinematic universe. But how will it happen? There certainly are a lot of possibilities.
Here is a list of all the ways the Fantastic Four could be introduced in the MCU.
The New Owners of Avengers Tower
Ever since the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans have been speculating that Reed Richards could be the mysterious buyer of the former Avengers Tower who has, for the time being, gone unnamed. For a while, it was theorized that the film’s sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, would reveal the building’s new owner. However, the movie made no such revelation. Still, Far From Home did show that the building’s remodeling was nearly complete -- which means that its new owners might be ready to be revealed.
If scientists Reed Richards, Susan and Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm move into the Avengers Tower and rename it the Baxter Building, then this could lead into their origin stories as they begin their scientific research inside the building.
The Quantum Realm
Ant-Man and its sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, both introduced the Quantum Realm to the MCU. The subatomic universe is home to plenty of things we don’t understand yet. In fact, not only did Avengers: Endgame reveal that this realm was the gateway to time travel, Ant-Man and the Wasp also teased that the subatomic reality was home to an entire civilization. What’s more, through Janet Van Dyne, we also learned the Quantum Realm was able to give certain superpowers.
Therefore, it’s possible that the discovery of time travel is what prompts Reed Richards to venture out into the Quantum Realm and discover its many properties. Such a mission could be the adventure that leads to the Fantastic Four gaining their superpowers. In the comics, the team’s mission was up in the mysterious vastness of space. But the MCU could easily have them venture down into the infinite possibilities of the Quantum Realm instead.
Lost In Space
There is no denying that much of the MCU has been connected to its cosmic side. After all, the Thor films, Captain Marvel and the Guardians of the Galaxy series have all explored the wide cosmic world of the MCU. Even the Avengers films have become more and more cosmic with each entry. And yet, there are many planets to be explored and entire galaxies to be discovered. Therefore, the Fantastic Four could easily be introduced as space travelers, just like in their original comic book appearance.
However, what’s most interesting about the vastness of space and its possibilities is that it can lead to all sorts of time hijinks. Like Captain Marvel, the Fantastic Four could already exist in the MCU -- we’ve just yet to meet them. Since the cosmic side of the MCU is nearly infinite and shrouded in mystery, the Fantastic Four could have been lost there for countless years. Better yet, thanks to wonky, comic book physics, they could have gained superpowers and not aged a day. Therefore, their return to Earth could mirror the team’s return home to Marvel.
The Snap/The Blip
It’s no secret that the Infinity Stones have been responsible for a whole lot in the MCU. Individually, they drove plenty of stories forward. What’s more, they were used to give powers to individuals such as Vision, Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel. While the Infinity Saga may be over, it’s possible that their effect could still be felt in the creation of the Fantastic Four. As we learned in Avengers: Endgame, Thanos’ snap was ground zero for a universe-wide cosmic detonation. Could the power of the Infinity Stones have transformed the Fantastic Four somehow?
It’s also possible that the team’s origin could be tied to the Snap and/or Blip in a different way. After all, the disappearance of half of the world’s population led to many accidents, such as helicopter crashes and Scott Lang being stuck in the Quantum Realm. So, what if Reed, Johnny, Sue and Ben were all about to start a scientific experiment at the time of the Snap? Could this be the accident that ended up giving the foursome their iconic superpowers?
The idea of the multiverse was first established in 2016’s Doctor Strange, but it was still sort of an abstract concept in the film. However, after Mysterio used this multiverse to construct a lie about himself in Spider-Man: Far From Home, we now know that the multiverse will return in a massive way in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Therefore, this multiverse could become even more of a focus going forward, opening up plenty of possibilities for the MCU.
While we’ve all assumed that the Fantastic Four would originate on Earth, they could always appear as multiversal travelers from another dimension. Think about it: If their universe ends up destroyed by some massive, cataclysmic cosmic event, the Fantastic Four could settle onto Earth as the world’s newest protectors. What’s more, this could even set up the MCU’s next big crossover event, Secret Wars -- something that plenty of fans believe is coming next.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is set for release on Digital HD on July 30 and Blu-ray and 4K UHD on Aug. 13.