Paul Walter Hauser Joins Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four,’ But Who Is He Playing?

Paul Walter Hauser Fantastic Four role

Paul Walter Hauser’s career has been on a massive upswing over the past few years. He’s been in critically acclaimed projects for more than a decade, but thanks to roles on Netflix’s Cobra Kai as Raymond “Stingray” Porter, and his Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning role on Apple TV+’s Black Bird, he broke through in a big way. And now, Hauser is joining the cast of Marvel‘s upcoming Fantastic Four movie… But as what?

The news broke in trades like Variety yesterday (May 2), adding Hauser to the cast list that currently includes Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing. In addition, Julia Garner is playing Shalla-Bal, aka The Silver Surfer. The movie is directed by Matt Shakman, and written by Josh Friedman, Jeff Kaplan, and Ian Springer.

However, Hauser is in a classic “mystery role.” While we don’t know much about the plot of the movie, which is expected to begin production in August in the UK, rumor has it given the Silver Surfer connection that the villain is Galactus. However, at the current time, that role is unannounced as well.

So you know what that means… Time to rev up the speculation engine, and make some wild guesses about who Paul Walter Hauser might be playing in Fantastic Four 2k5:


Fantastic Four begins production in August

H.E.R.B.I.E., aka Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics, seems to be the most likely prospect here. This is based on the fact that the promo art Marvel released on February 14 included the four main roles and their robot companion. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1979’s Fantastic Four #209, H.E.R.B.I.E. is essentially the team’s robot butler. He’s cute and helpful and that’s pretty much the whole thing! Could Hauser play this role? Sure, why not! He’s pretty funny, though his voice sounds more like The Thing’s voice than a chipper robot.

Mole Man

Mole Man

Not to be confused with Hans Moleman from The Simpsons, Mole Man, aka Harvey Rupert Elder, is the first villain the Fantastic Four ever fought in the comics. Created once again by Lee and Kirby, and introduced in 1961’s The Fantastic Four #1, Mole Man was a scientist who fell underground and ended up ruling a subterranean race called the Moloids, as well as other creatures and monsters. He often attacks the surface world as revenge for the world rejecting him, and sometimes as a vague ecological thing.

Hauser certainly has the build for Mole Man, which is probably why folks online are pinpointing him for the role. And it would make some sense to kick off this rebooted FF with the original villain. But one dash of cold water I’ll throw here is that The Incredibles, itself a Fantastic Four riff, ended with their version of the Mole Man, which they picked up with in The Incredibles 2. While that might not be something Disney is concerned with, I’d argue that having general audiences say “Hey isn’t this just like The Incredibles?” is not a good thing.



We know — or we think we know — that Marvel is casting the voice of Galactus for the movie. Hauser, known for both his comedy and dramatic work, has been cast in an unknown role. Stands to reason that he could be the voice of the world-eater! Galactus was introduced by, you guessed it, Lee and Kirby, in Fantastic Four #48 from 1966.

Willie Lumpkin

Willie Lumpkin

The Fantastic Four’s mailman was actually introduced in a daily comic strip by Stan Lee and Dan DeCarlo before he graduated to the comic books proper in Fantastic Four #11 in 1963. He is a mailman. I could see Hauser playing a mailman. That could work. Stan Lee played Willie Lumpkin in 2005’s Fantastic Four, though, and they might want to preserve the sanctity of the role for the dear, departed creator.

Norrin Radd, aka Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer

We don’t really know what direction the movie is going in, comedy/drama-wise. So could Hauser be playing Norrin Radd, aka the original Silver Surfer? Probably not, but I could see a world where Julia Garner and Paul Walter Hauser as a couple of bickering Silver Surfers could be funny. Norrin Radd, just for the sake of completion, was also introduced in Fantastic Four #48.


Stingray Marvel Comics

Hauser plays Stingray on Cobra Kai. What if he’s also playing Stingray in the MCU? The oceanic superhero was first introduced in 1967’s Tales to Astonish #95, created by Roy Thomas and Bill Everett. The hero often teams up with — and clashes with — Namor the Sub Mariner, who first appeared on screen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and is often seen in the pages of Fantastic Four. I’m mostly joking here, but I do like the idea of Hauser being type-cast as a guy named Stingray.

Some Random Guy Nobody Has Ever Heard Of

The worst of all possible worlds, in several MCU movies we’ve heard about actors of Hauser’s stature getting cast, hype builds, and then they turn out to be some random guy nobody has ever heard of, who never shows up again. This is an entirely conceivable possibility, unfortunately. We’ll know more when Fantastic Four hits theaters on July 25, 2025.

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