Fantastic Four actor Ioan Gruffudd wants to join the MCU, but he doesn’t want to reprise his role as Reed Richards. This time he wants to be the bad guy and bring the hurt to the heroes during the next phase of the Marvel Studios films. Speaking in a recent interview, the Welsh actor revealed his super-villain aspirations, and how he would love to follow in the footsteps of Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan.
Gruffudd first appeared as the iconic Mr Fantastic in Fantastic Four in 2005, and again in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007. He starred alongside Jessica Alba as Sue Storm, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, and (the future Captain America) Evans as Johnny Storm. The first film grabbed over $330m worldwide, with the second earning just over $289m. However, they were badly reviewed and received plenty of criticism for the campy tone and the very poor representation of classic Marvel villains Doctor Doom and Galactus. Gruffudd’s film career never really took off in any major way following his outing as Richards, but he did appear in blockbusters like San Andreas and had substantial roles in TV shows like UnREAL and Forever.
However, when speaking to Digital Spy, the actor spoke about his desire to stretch into the current MCU and play a villain. He says;
“I would love that… I just don’t know, in that universe, the Marvel world, would they let me play something else?… I’m sure for Marvel it was a tough decision to pick Chris to play that part [Captain America] because he’d already played one superhero, but what a brilliant decision it was, because he’s wonderful. And Michael B Jordan has played Johnny Storm and he’s amazing in Black Panther as well, so there are precedents set. So we’ll see. Maybe [I could play] a baddie, this time? Now that I’ve established myself as somebody who can do that, that would be great.”
Since playing the stretchable scientist, Gruffudd has recently made a name for himself playing much darker and more ambiguous roles. He received plaudits for his role in the award-winning UK TV thriller series Liar, and is currently playing a forensic pathologist with a secret in the Australian drama Harrow. So aside from the square-jawed heroics of Reed Richards, he’s now proven himself worthy of more menacing roles that could face up to the future heroes that will make up the roster in Phase Four of the MCU. With the introduction of the incredible power of Thanos, and the current Fox/Disney deal opening up more possibilities, there’s surely plenty of options for Gruffudd to audition for if they were made available.
The actor has appeared in some listings for choices to play Doctor Doom. But there are still plenty of other heavy-hitting villains who haven’t been seen in the MCU yet. Mephisto, Beyonder, and Kang the Conqueror are three such examples who could feasibly provide a role for Gruffudd. In fact, with Kang originally being the future ancestor of Reed Richards – Nathaniel Richards – there could be a pleasingly ironic casting opportunity there. Of course it may never happen, but it’s not impossible that Gruffudd’s wish fulfillment could come to pass in the future and we’ll see an Ex-Mr Fantastic up against the superheroes of the MCU.