For all intents and purposes, signs are pointing to the imminent introduction of elements from the Fantastic Four in Disney+‘s WandaVision.
Yes, we know – a lot of it is speculation and even wishful thinking on our part but the signs are there, so let’s look at the clues.
1. Aerospace Engineer
Ever since Monica Rambeau brought up her aerospace engineering friend in the debut TV series that kicked started Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), speculation has been rift that this will serve as the introduction to Reed Richards.
You know, the aerospace scientist who stole a spacecraft with his girlfriend, her brother and his pilot friend to fly into space?
So there’s another theory that the aerospace engineer might be the Blue Marvel aka Adam Brashear, but Kevin Feige only announced a Fantastic Four movie to be directed by Spider-Man director, Jon Watts, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not a Blue Marvel one.
The introduction of S.W.O.R.D. in the MCU has been a long time coming, ever since it was teased in Spider-Man: Far From Home that Nick Fury, former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., was actually alive and in space. S.W.O.R.D., or Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division, is the division that protects Earth from space incursions in the Marvel Universe.
Aside from Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU hasn’t spent much time in space.
And what do you know? Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm have their origins firmly grounded in space, so this is a great way to involve Marvel’s First Family.
And in the five-years between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it was revealed that Earth spent plenty of its efforts and technology to track activities in space, and it now has the Benatar from Guardians of the Galaxy, remnants of the Sanctuary II after Captain Marvel tore it a new one, and more recently, WandaVision has shown us plenty of space technology, including a well-shielded rover.
Basically, the time is ripe for a full-fledged space exploration team that originated from Earth.
3. Agatha Harkness
Much has been speculated on Kathryn Hahn’s role of Agnes in WandaVision and Disney+ did not disappoint with the constant allusions, from the date of Agnes’ wedding anniversary, to the accessories and costumes in the show.
And when Agnes, itself a portmanteau of AGatha HarkNESs, was revealed to be the witch who played a key role in Wanda Maximoff and The Vision’s life, fans were elected with the deserved reveal.
Except that Agatha Harkness, though a central figure in Wanda’s life in the comics, actually made her debut in the Fantastic Four comics, as the babysitter of young Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Sue. Do you see where we’re going here?
So what happened, and why only now? Like Marvel’s mutants, certain characters were licensed to studios for their movie-use, but in an attempt to control the use of certain characters who were both Avengers and the X-Men, Marvel Comics reportedly changed the origins of some key characters, to prevent their use by various parties – that is, Fox only has use of X-Men characters, not Avengers, though there were some that bridged the two properties.
Which is why 20th Century Fox could use Wanda’ brother, Pietro Maximoff as Quicksilver in several X-Men movies, and the MCU also use him in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Since then, Marvel Comics removed the comic book elements of having Erik Magnus aka Magneto (from the X-Men franchise) be the father of the Maximoff twins, in what has even been acknowledged as an attempt to disassociate the Maximoffs as mutants from the X-Men, to be more Avengers related.
The same applies to Agatha Harkness, who was never used in the live-action realm.
Perhaps when Fox had the rights to the Fantastic Four, any attempt by Marvel Studios to make Agatha Harkness a popular Avengers/Wanda character would also benefit Fox, so the character was never mentioned by either parties.
But now that Disney owns Fox and Marvel Studios has since announced that a Fantastic Four movie is coming as part of their Phase Four plans, Agatha Harkness suddenly has a bigger role in the MCU.
So why do we think there will be links to Marvel’s First Family? We’re already part of Marvel’s Phase Four plan and more movies are coming our way after Black Widow, Shang-Chi, The Eternals and the next Thor outing. Marvel’s Kevin Feige has stated that an FF movie is happening but after 3 failed attempts by Fox to build a franchise, even he knows that there is a certain ambivalence to the FF brand.
But in comes WandaVision to set the stage and lay the groundwork of a slow reveal, to buy and build the audience expectations and demand through a streaming platform.
If audiences embraces the reveal of Reed Richards, Marvel knows it can proceed with the full support of the fans. If fans push back every so slightly, this early reveal will allow the studio to make tweaks before the official MCU big screen debut of the Fantastic Four.
It has also been reported that Australia, which has managed to successfully manage Covid-19, is now home to several Hollywood productions, including the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Matt Damon and Chris Pratt.
And yes, we know that there is also speculation that Jennifer Lawrence, who played the mutant Mystique in a series of X-Men movies, has arrived in Australia to be a part of an MCU film, and the rumour is that she has been cast as Susan “Sue” Storm in the Fantastic Four movie.
Unfortunately, we know that this cannot be accurate, because director Jon Watts is currently filming the yet-untitled third Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland, so it’s unlikely that he can be helming two movies simultaneously, especially without even a script firmly in place for Fantastic Four.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.