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Fantastic Four’s Movie Missteps Concerned Him


It was not lost on Paul Walter Hauser that previous film representations of the Fantastic Four did not exactly set the world on fire.

During a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the in-demand actor reveals that those poorly received movie adaptations of Marvel‘s superhero team made him give some extra thought before joining director Matt Shakman‘s Disney film that is set to hit theaters July 25, 2025. Hauser, who recently earned an Emmy for his role in Black Bird, will play a not-yet-disclosed role in the project that features Pedro Pascal (Mr. Fantastic), Vanessa Kirby (Invisible Woman), Joseph Quinn (Human Torch) and Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Thing).

“Don’t think that didn’t weigh in as I was deciding whether or not to take the job,” Hauser says of the property’s checkered Hollywood past. “That movie has not fully been nailed just yet.”

He continues, “But I really do think the combination of the screenplay, and the department heads that are working on the film, and that classy cast of really exciting actors — some of them known for a long time, and some of them having a moment right now — [make me feel that] this movie is special, and it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

After a never-released, low-budget Roger Corman-produced version in 1994, the Fantastic Four hit the big screen with director Tim Story’s 2005 movie that starred Chris Evans, Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chiklis as the titular crew. Although the film’s box office success led to a 2007 sequel, the title was not a critical favorite and holds a 28 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The property was later rebooted for Josh Trank’s 2015 movie that starred Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. This version was less successful than the 2005 one, as it flopped at the box office and holds a mere 9 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Hauser explains that he and Shakman (WandaVision) met for dinner to discuss the actor joining the team. “Matt Shakman directed me years ago in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Hauser says. “To come back together and collaborate on this movie in some capacity, it’s really exciting. I’m excited to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

The actor spoke to THR ahead of his big bout with Major League Wrestling’s Battle Riot VI on Saturday in Atlanta, where he’ll be vying against 40 competitors for a chance at the MLW world heavyweight title. Hauser, a lifelong wrestling fan who first stepped into the ring for a charity event in November, hopes to find time in his busy schedule to balance future matches alongside such acting gigs as next year’s Naked Gun reboot and the forthcoming Josh Gad-directed biopic of Saturday Night Live legend Chris Farley.

“Wrestling really fits me as far as what I love, and I’m finding ways to pop it into my schedule,” Hauser says. “Obviously, I don’t want to wrestle in front of 30 people in a gymnasium, and I know a lot of people will hear that quote and be like, ‘You’re not a real wrestler.’ But there’s only so many hours in a day, and I’m a very busy guy. So something like MLW’s Battle Riot is very exciting to me.”



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