Ever since Disney closed its merger deal with 20th Century Fox earlier this year, Marvel fans have been waiting with baited breath for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to finally introduce the previously Fox-owned characters of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool into the Avengers franchise. It is still unclear when that might happen, but a recent comment by David Harbour has fans thinking the Fantastic Four might make their MCU debut pretty soon. So, is David Harbour playing the Thing in Black Widow? Let's get into why fans think the actor is teasing this role, and why it would be a big deal for Marvel's big-screen future.
David Harbour joined the cast of the upcoming Black Widow standalone movie nearly two months ago, and we are all still in the dark about who he might be playing. But, Harbour made a very suspicious comment during a panel at the London MCM Comic Con over the weekend that has fans thinking that he could be portraying the Thing in the upcoming movie, which would mark the first time a previously Fox-owned Marvel hero showed up in Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Advanced Television's coverage of the panel, Harbour referred to his Black Widow role as a "thing" and said, "I’m glad this thing is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
The Thing was previously portrayed by Michael Chiklis in the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films with 20th Century Fox, and then by Jamie Bell in the studio's 2015 reboot.
Of course, David Harbour's cheeky statement is far from any official confirmation that he will be playing the Thing, and it does feel somewhat unlikely that Marvel would have had enough time to fully write and cast the character that has only so recently been made available to them. Still, the fast-approaching Spider-Man: Far From Home is set to introduce the multiverse into the MCU, which will presumably be central to Phase 4 and provides a perfect way for the film franchise to introduce the Fantastic Four.
The Black Widow movie was originally thought to be a true origin story for Scarlett Johansson's super spy, following her early days in training, but more recent reports have stated that the film will actually likely take place around the time of Captain America: Civil War, focusing on a story that would lead up to Avengers: Endgame. The movie is likely to be one of Marvel's next releases, as it begins filming in June and is due to premiere in theaters in 2020.
Along with Scarlett Johansson and David Harbour, the new movie also stars Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and O-T Fagbenle, all in undisclosed roles. If Harbour is indeed set to play the Thing in Black Widow, then the next question would be if the other three members of the Fantastic Four will also appear in the movie. Everything is still just speculation at this point, but as the Marvel Cinematic Universe prepares to leave its past behind and embrace new superheroes in Phase 4, it feels like we are closer than ever to seeing the Fantastic Four and X-Men join up with the rest of the Avengers on the big screen.