William Jackson Harper is the latest big name to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before his name popped up in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania cast credits, many Marvel fans were already casting The Good Place star in the MCU.
Speaking exclusively with Cassius Life’s Bernard “Beanz” Smalls, Harper touched on the fans wanting to see him step into the role of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the iconic superhero squad, the Fantastic Four.
We have already seen an onscreen version of the character played by John Krasinski in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, ironically a fan casting come true for many.
Following the release of Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, there were many groans from fans after seeing Jackson Harper show up as Quaz, the mind-reading Quantum Realm rebel, instead of Richards.
It would have all made sense being the Kang The Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), the film’s main villain, is a descendant of Nathanial Richards, making him a relative of Reed Richards.
William Jackson Harper Is Just Happy To Be A Part of The MCU
While the fans were upset about the “missed opportunity,” William Jackson Harper was just happy to get the call to be a part of the still-growing MCU.
“Well, look, no one at Marvel ever talked to me about being Reed Richards. So for me, I’m like, “They called me.” I’m a big fan of these movies, so any opportunity to be a part of it, I’m down to do,” Jackson Harper told Cassius Life.
“Look, you can’t rely on fan-castings to really carry weight when it comes to the decisions of these organizations like this. You just can’t.”
I’m a fan, so if they call me to play, I’m going to do that.”
He continues, “So I’m like, “Well, look, it’s like I’ve always wanted to see how these things are made. I’m a fan, so if they call me to play, I’m going to do that.” And obviously, Marvel is not consulting me about what anyone’s saying, and not internally or the fans. No one is talking to me about any of that. So when they do decide to talk to me, and they do invite me to come and play, the answer is yes. So that’s just how it goes.”
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Is Easily One of The MCU’s Most Polarizing Projects
Jackson Harper not playing Reed Richards is not the only thing striking up a conversation about Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. The latest film in the MCU slate is one of the most polarizing movies of them all.
Quantumania has a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the second lowest-rated MCU film. 2021’s The Eternals still owns the title of the worst-rated among critics.
But what truly stands out is the huge disparity, with the audience score at 84%. The actor isn’t letting the critic’s negative reception of the film bother him.
…That’s not my job to make things for everyone to love all the time.
“Well, what am I going to do? That’s not my job to make things for everyone to love all the time. It’s like, of course, I want them to. But I’m an actor. My job is to get out there and just try stuff, take a couple of risks, and hope it works. And so if folks dig it, great. If they don’t, oh well. It’s like I already did it. There’s nothing I could do,” he begins.
He adds, “You want everyone to like everything you do, of course. You want people to be affected. You want them to enjoy it or to find it hilarious. Whatever it is, there’s something that you want people to feel, but you can’t control that. And as an actor or writer or director, you can’t get too invested in that because you’re … You can’t please everybody. So my job is to get out there and try stuff and see what happens, and people can react how they react.
“I’ve seen some of the reactions. Some folks are really digging it. Some folks are not. And that’s just the way it goes when you make stuff.”
William Jackson Harper Would Love To See This Black Non-MCU Superhero On The Big Screen
Now that we know William Jackson Harper will not play Reed Richards in the MCU, we had to ask if there was a particular video game or comic book franchise he would like to be a part of. His answer shocked us when he mentioned another Black superhero, not in the MCU.
“Oh man, I’m always curious about comic book stuff. When I was younger, I read this ShadowHawk comic back in the day. I remember reading a few issues of that and thinking, “This is dark,” and being really into that,” he explained.
He continues, “I feel like there’s other stuff that I’ve seen here and there online that people have been talking about that I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about here. But I’m always interested in that sort of stuff. So we’ll see. But it’s also not the be-all end-all. It depends on the part and what it is to actually play it, and is there interesting scene work to be done there? That’s what I’m invested in, the idea of playing a character. It’s a slog to make it, but it looks cool later. I think that’s probably more satisfying for directors and writers. But I think as an actor, you kind of want to really enjoy scene work that you’re getting to do. So I’m always looking for that. So it doesn’t have to be in a franchise. It doesn’t have to be in a tent-pole thing. It’s just really what’s the part, how fun is it going to be to play.
“I got to be in a comic book movie. I mean, that’s a dove… So I’m good.
Will Quaz Return?
The actor revealed that he is down to return as the character, telling Cassius Life, “I have no idea. I hope so. But I mean, I have no idea. We’ll see, we’ll see. And if he does, I’m here.”
But, if that was the final time we get to see Quaz in any capacity in the MCU, he would be satisfied with what he was able to accomplish with the character. “I got to be in a comic book movie. I mean, that’s a dove. That’s the way I feel about it. So I’m good.”
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania is in theaters right now.
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