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Penn Badgley Denies Fantastic Four Rumors

The MCU's upcoming swing at creating a "Fantastic Four" franchise has been a major boon to casting gossip. Since they're headed to bat after Fox's two previous failed attempts at producing a long-lived movie series (the less we say about the Roger Corman version, the better), they've got quite a task ahead of them.

Fans have been setting forth their favorite picks for the role of Reed Richards, scientist extraordinaire and eventually the uber-stretchy Mister Fantastic, in the months since Marvel announced their Matt Shakman-directed film. MovieWeb notes that names like Adam Driver, Penn Badgley, Diego Luna, and Dev Patel have been ground through the rumor mill as possible claimants to Reed's throne. Fans were so into the notion of Badgley becoming Reed that they even created fan art that shows exactly why he should play Mr. Fantasic. 

Now, after much speculation, Badgley has addressed the rumors head-on and clarified that he isn't slated to appear in the latest incarnation of "The Fantastic Four" — at least as of this very moment.

Badgley says he will not be acting the role of Reed Richards

During an appearance on the "Happy, Sad, Confused" podcast, Penn Badgley finally spoke out about the possibility of appearing in the upcoming "Fantastic Four" reboot film, and it appears he hasn't been approached for the role yet. 

"I can neither confirm nor deny. I don't know what to say about that," he replied to host Josh Horowitz's question about appearing in the prospective film.

"Have you ever met Kevin Feige, Penn Badgley?" joked Horowitz.

"No. You know, it's possible that I have but not in this context. I might have met him years ago, I'm not sure," Badgley replied. Horowitz pressed him for a comment, and Badgley replied that there's not much sizzle going on with this rumor steak, nor much fire attached to the smoke being thrown about. "Where there's smoke, there's not always fire. It actually takes a lot to get from smoke to fire. I'll say that. It takes a lot," Badgley said. 

Horowitz asked Badgley if he wanted the rumors encouraged. "That's not how this fire gets lit. This fire gets lit by Kevin, I don't even know how to pronounce his name ... so I'm clearly not in a Marvel movie," Badgley retorted.

While Badgley doesn't seem to want to say never to the notion of playing Reed, that's a pretty definitive "No" to the question of whether he's getting ready to suit up. But, since Matt Shakman confirmed to Collider that the film's casting process is still in the early stages, let's call this one a wait-and-see situation.