Marvel casts Jewish actor for Jewish superhero in upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ movie

Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, is one of Marvel’s most well-known Jewish superheroes


Ebon Moss-Bachrach accepts the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in The Bear, during the 75th Emmy Awards at the Peacock Theatre at L.A., January 15, 2024 (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Marvel has announced the casting of a Jewish actor to play a Jewish superhero in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie out next year.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach, known for his roles in the comedy-drama series The Bear and for appearing in shows such as Girls, Andor, and The Punisher, will take up the role of Ben Grimm, aka The Thing.

The 46-year-old actor was born in Germany to Jewish-American parents and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role as the sarcastic chef Richard Jerimovich in The Bear, a Critics’ Choice Television Award, a Golden Globe Award nomination, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

He will enter the Marvel cinematic universe as being one-fourth of Marvel’s First Family, widely regarded as some of the most influential superhero characters ever created.

According to the comic book’s lore Before becoming The Thing, Benjamin Jacob “Ben” Grimm was born to Jewish parents on New York City’s Lower East Side. He grew up as a poverty-stricken, streetwise scrapper before attending university on an American football scholarship.

Ben eventually becomes an astronaut and, alongside the three other members of his quartet, is accidentally exposed to cosmic rays while in space, granting each of them special abilities.

The Thing, first appearing in the original Fantastic Four comic book series in 1961 created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, has an orange rock-like skin and superhuman strength. He is temperamental and witty, known for his trademark battle cry, “It’s clobberin’ time!”, and perpetually distressed about his apparently monstrous appearance.

In keeping with early comic book tradition, Ben Grimm’s religion is not explicitly disclosed until, around four decades after his creation, his Jewish heritage is revealed in a series of flashbacks.

In the comics, The Thing recites the Shema, a Jewish prayer, over a dying friend and later celebrates his Bar Mitzvah 13 years after entering his “second life” as The Thing.

Filming for “The Fantastic Four” is rumoured to begin this summer with a planned release on July 25, 2025.

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