Spoilers for WandaVision’s most recent episode follow, as well as potential spoilers for upcoming episodes.
WandaVision has already given us one massive surprise in Pietro Maximoff returning from the dead, this time played by the X-Men movies’ Evan Peters. But could the first MCU show on Disney Plus have an even bigger cameo in its back pocket for its remaining three episodes?
Speculation is rife that Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) will meet her “aerospace engineer” contact this week, who’s been teased across the past two episodes, and that it’ll turn out to be someone big from the Marvel comics. More specifically, fans are hoping we’ll meet Mister Fantastic from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s upcoming Fantastic Four movie – also known as Reed Richards.
Is there any merit to this theory? Or is it just wishful thinking? We examine the evidence below.
Who is Reed Richards, and who are the Fantastic Four?
Reed Richards – or Mister Fantastic – debuted in Fantastic Four #1 back in 1961, and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He is a member of the Fantastic Four superhero team – informally known as Marvel’s ‘First Family’ – with Ben Grimm, Johnny Storm and Sue Storm. He’s a scientific genius, and is largely considered the smartest man on Earth within the comics.
The Fantastic Four got their superpowers from cosmic rays during a space flight. In Reed’s case, his powers allow him extend his body in unnatural ways. His arms and legs can grow in length, and he can use his body to form different, unusual shapes when needed.
He would later become a founding member of the Illuminati in the comics – a group of powerful heroes who met in secret to deal with matters that threatened their reality, eventually waging a secret war with other universes to stop theirs from being destroyed.
Reed Richards was previously played by actor Ioan Gruffud in Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and Miles Teller in the critically panned Fantastic Four (2015).
A Fantastic Four MCU movie with an unknown cast will be directed by Jon Watts (who helmed the three Spider-Man movies starring Tom Holland), with the films rights to the characters having reverted back to Disney when the entertainment giant acquired 20th Century Fox.
Why do people think Reed Richards will appear in WandaVision?
In short, some fans think Reed Richards could be the one who’s going to help Captain Rambeau re-enter Westview to stop Wanda and the Hex, and that we could meet him in this week’s episode 7.
There is one main piece of evidence that suggests this contact could be Richards. In WandaVision episode 5, Rambeau discusses the possibility of safely re-entering Westview with Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings).
“What I need is a 10,000 pound fallout shelter, comprised of lead for photons, cadmium for neutrons, tantium for seismic blasts…on wheels. And then I would be able to safely re-enter Westview, right?” Darcy then responds in the affirmative.
“I know an aerospace engineer who’d be up for this challenge,” Rambeau says. We then see Monica messaging whoever this mysterious figure is. Ultimately, in that episode, SWORD sends in a drone that director Tyler Hayward uses to attack Wanda, without informing Monica first. That ends badly.
The ‘aerospace engineer’ part mentioned by Rambeau definitely fits Reed Richards’ MO as a scientist, and this is the sort of problem that he would feasibly be roped in to fix in the comics.
In WandaVision episode 6, Monica mentions this engineer again. “My way back into the Hex will be here in an hour. Just gotta meet my guy over the ridge,” she says.
Darcy warns Monica about the physical consequences of heading back into Westview, which she refutes, knowing that Wanda needs her help. Monica then leaves with Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) to meet her contact. Rambeau says she’ll drop Darcy the location so she can later meet up with them – except Darcy instead gets consumed by the Hex as Wanda expanded its barriers at the end of episode 6.
As the Hex grew, much of SWORD joined Darcy in being swallowed by Westview’s sitcom reality.
Importantly, though, we didn’t see Monica and Jimmy get consumed by the Hex, which presumably gives them the opportunity to continue to try and fix the situation from the outside – with whoever this aerospace engineer turns out to be.
Here’s something that might contradict the theory that this figure will be Richards, though. As noted by SWORD’s Tyler Hayward in episode 4 of the show when referencing the Thanos-enabled “blip”: “Half our astronauts dusted and are still missing.”
Some fans thought this might be a nod to the Fantastic Four’s origins, suggesting the four members are still out there somewhere, and not on Earth as this ‘aerospace engineer’ is.
We could be on a red herring chase, here, then, and it’s worth approaching this theory with caution.
Is John Krasinski playing Reed Richards in WandaVision?
John Krasinski – as seen in The Office and The Quiet Place – is one of the names that’s been circulating on social media as fans have discussed Reed Richards’ possible appearance in the show. Here’s the thing, though: there is zero evidence to suggest he is part of this show, or the MCU.
Unlike Evan Peters’ casting in WandaVision, which did leak some time ago, there’s nothing concrete from Hollywood trades or rumor sites to suggest Krasinski has been added to the cast of WandaVision.
This is fan-generated wishful thinking, and nothing more at this point.
That said, there is one more small, very unlikely twist that has led people to believe Krasinski could be appearing in this show. We know that one of WandaVision’s final sitcom parodies will focus on The Office, with mockumentary-style sequences of Wanda and company living in Westview.
Some fans think that introducing Krasinski’s version of Richards in this particular episode seems like a slam dunk, since he played Jim in The Office.
Again, though, this is all speculation. Would Marvel really do something that meta? Parody The Office, while introducing one of the most important future characters of the MCU, played by a cast member from the show WandaVision is spoofing? It seems like a really wild punt to us.
For now, we have no idea who’ll play Reed Richards in the MCU.
Could the aerospace engineer be anyone else from Marvel comics?
Other suggestions have included various Marvel science types, including Riri Williams, who’s the upcoming main character of the Marvel TV show Ironheart. You also can’t entirely rule out other Fantastic Four characters with a science background, like Victor von Doom or Sue Storm – though Monica did refer to the mysterious engineer as “my guy”, which likely rules out a woman.
Our verdict on the WandaVision Reed Richards theory
Every detail matters in the MCU. If Marvel didn’t want us guessing who the aerospace engineer is – and if the character wasn’t someone with at least some significance to the story, or name recognition from Marvel’s comics – they surely would’ve given us a name by now. This has to be a character of consequence.
But Reed Richards? We’re dubious. To just drop him into a TV episode seems so unlikely, even if it would be a massive moment in the MCU.
WandaVision has already given viewers the big jaw-dropping reveal they wanted this season with Evan Peters’ appearance, suggesting there’s a possible loose connection between the MCU and Fox’s X-Men movies. We think an appearance from Doctor Strange is more likely in this second half of the series, since we know Wanda will feature in the upcoming second movie with Benedict Cumberbatch.
Either way, we’ll hopefully find out the identity of the aerospace engineer in this Friday’s episode of WandaVision.
Also Publish AT: https://www.techradar.com/news/will-wandavision-episode-7-feature-reed-richards-of-the-fantastic-four/