John Malkovich joins Marvel's Fantastic Four reboot in mystery role

John Malkovich in Space Force and Fantastic Four promo image
(Image credit: Netflix / Marvel Studios)

John Malkovich has been cast in an unnamed role in Marvel's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot movie, according to a report from Deadline. Malkovich's casting is the second Fantastic Four casting in a row with no role attached, following the recent reported addition of Paul Walter Hauser to the film.

The core cast of Fantastic Four includes Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, Eben Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/Thing, and Julia Garner as Shalla-Bal/Silver Surfer.

This leaves the question of who Malkovich might be playing in the film. Given his age difference with Pedro Pascal (Malkovich is 70, Pascal is 49), it's unlikely he's playing Doctor Doom, who is usually depicted as Reed's college rival. There's the chance he's playing Galactus, who will almost certainly be in the film, given the presence of Julia Garner's Silver Surfer.

My personal pick, and it may be a long shot, but it's worth considering, is Ivan Kragoff/Red Ghost, a Soviet cosmonaut who is caught in the same so-called 'Cosmic Rays' that give the FF their powers. Along with his own power of intangibility, Kragoff also has three 'Super-Apes' who were also empowered by the Cosmic Rays. There's Igor the shapeshifting baboon, Mikhlo the invincible gorilla, and Peotr the telekinetic orangutan.

With the movie's apparent late '60s space race era setting, it's not the biggest stretch in the world to imagine a rival cosmonaut playing a role in the movie. And who doesn't love apes?

Whoever he's playing, Malkovich's reputation as both a serious thespian and an actor who's willing to go out on a limb for the right concept precedes him. Malkovich is a two time Academy Award winner for best supporting actor, and also developed a cult following thanks in large part to the surreal conceptual film Being John Malkovich, in which he played a fictionalized version of himself. And of course, he's recently been playing a comedy role in Netflix's Space Force.

Fantastic Four is slated to release in July 2025.

Could John Malkovich be playing one of the villains who make the list of the best Fantastic Four villains of all time?

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)