One issue that is hard to overlook regarding WandaVision is that the show raised a lot of theories and potential “Caution Flags” that didn’t end up panning out. Is that the fault of the show? Or is it the fault of some overeager audience members who combed every frame or line of dialogue for a possible clue? It’s probably a mix of both. You can’t keep mentioning the “devil” in the details if you don’t want Marvel fans to speculate that Mephisto is going to pop up. And what the heck was it with all of those vague references that COULD have been setting up the Fantastic Four?
As it turns out, none of them were intentional, at least according to WandaVision director Matt Shakman, who stopped by a YouTube stream hosted by Kevin Smith and revealed that the mention of the aerospace engineer -- a character that countless Marvel fans assumed would be Reed Richards when all was said and done -- was never meant to be Richards, or a Fantastic Four nod, at all. Shakman confessed to Smith:
We did reshoot a little thing there, changed some dialogue, added the aerospace engineer which was never an intention on our side to set up the Fantastic Four [laughs].
Man, that’s a swift kick to the fan zone. The moment that Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) mentioned a desire to bring in an aerospace engineer, fans who know that the Fantastic Four movie has been added to Marvel’s slate speculate that this is how we’d meet at least one member of the First Family of Marvel Superheroes. People went so far as to say that John Krasinski would already have been cast as Reed Richards, and would be the mindblowing cameo that would conclude the series.
Alas, that didn’t happen.
There was another tease in a WandaVision episode, too, that suggested the inclusion of the Fantastic Four. When acting director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) catches Monica up on the progress of S.W.O.R.D., he mentions manned missions that were occurring while she was in “The Blip.” There, too, fans speculated that it might be a reference to the birth of the four members who are exposed to cosmic radiation waves in space. But nope, no such thing.
Which in hindsight, makes sense. Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie has been announced, and Jon Watts (of the three Spider-Man films) has been confirmed as the director. But there’s no release date on it yet, and a wealth of movies that have to come out before it. From what we have been told, the Fantastic Four is looking for writers, so teasing it now would be severely jumping the gun. We haven’t even seen Shang-chi (Simu Liu) or the Eternals in action.
The next Marvel project will be The Falcon and the Winter Solider, which begins streaming on Disney+ on Friday, March 19. We expect that show to be less teasy, and more action-driven, though the character work that Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie are capable of means we could see equal levels of acting as we got in WandaVision. Stay tuned.