Due to complicated movie rights, there are many iconic Marvel characters that fans have been waiting to see enter the MCU for years. The X-Men and Fantastic Four are the two superhero teams that will come to mind for most, but for years, Marvel Studios has been missing one of its most infamous antagonists: Doctor Doom.
Most famously being associated with the Fantastic Four, Victor Von Doom has only ever really been portrayed on screens as a villain of Marvel's First Family. But his Marvel roots stem far deeper as a powerful sorcerer, the ruler of Latveria, and a Multiversal threat; he even knocked out Mephisto himself with a punch recently.
Given his ties to the famous Secret Wars event - that will soon be adapted in 2025's Avengers: Secret Wars - many believe his MCU debut to be right around the corner. And recently, some have even come to speculate, based on very real evidence, that may come with November's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
As Namor's Talocan prepares to go to war with the kingdom of Wakanda, theories have run wild that Doctor Doom may be the true mastermind behind the international conflict. While only time will tell if that proves to be the case, new evidence has only further substantiated the existing rumors and theories.
New Report Hints at Doctor Doom's MCU Debut
The Hollywood Reporter recently published an article that theorizes why the Fantastic Four's Doctor Doom may appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and there's reason to speculate why this may hold more basis than a usual theory.
The feature by Richard Newby makes note of how the original comic run by Christopher Priest that first establishes the conflict between Namor's Atlantis and T'Challa's Wakanda also brought a third nation into play: Doctor Doom's Latveria.
While purely speculative, Huerta’s comments about not being the villain and the themes of Wakanda Forever illuminated by the recent trailer suggest that Doom may play a role in this epic clash of nations.
The basis for this interpretation coming into Wakanda Forever is only furthered by the recent comments from Namor actor Tenoch Huerta in which he described himself as one of "the heroes - or an anti-hero," indicating he will not be the main villain of Black Panther 2:
"Latin-Americans are always the bad guys in Hollywood movies. And now we are the heroes - or an anti-hero, in this instance..."
A major trade such as The Hollywood Reporter publishing speculation on Doctor Doom's involvement in Black Panther 2 is more significant than many may realize. The Hollywood trades rarely publish speculation like this without inside knowledge to support it, possibly suggesting they have evidence to indicate Doom will appear.
Will Doctor Doom Appear in Black Panther 2?
Plenty of clues have already been stacking up to suggest Doctor Doom may be entering the MCU sooner rather than later. With Tenoch Huerta implying his Namor isn't truly the villain of Black Panther 2, despite the trailers pointing in that direction, one would have to imagine there to be another threat looming. Based on comic history, this latest report, and other past rumors, that could be Doctor Doom.
But among the primary prohibiting factors in concluding Doctor Doom will appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever comes the lack of major leaks. When Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield came into the MCU for Spider-Man: No Way Home, huge spoilers for their return were circulating the internet for months, something there has yet to be much of a sign for Doctor Doom.
After all, for Doctor Doom to enter the MCU in a matter of weeks, Marvel Studios would presumably have to have an actor attached for the role, unless they intend on just using a masked stand-in for his debut. As of now, there has been no sign of an actor being cast as the Latverian ruler, however, there wasn't much indication of Brett Goldstein appearing as Hercules in Thor: Love and Thunder either.
With the current state of the MCU, there may be no better time than now to introduce Doctor Doom into the picture. The Wakanda-Talocan conflict already offers the ideal path for his entrance, which would come at a perfect time as the Multiverse Saga builds towards Avengers: Secret Wars, an event he plays a starring role as the primary antagonist of.
One also has to turn their attention to the upcoming MCU Fantastic Four reboot - which hits theaters in November 2024. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has already revealed Marvel's First Family won't be joining the MCU with an origin story, implying they are already out there somewhere, which similarly suggests Doctor Doom may be too based on their entangled comic history.
To conclude, Doctor Doom joining the MCU in Wakanda Forever is far from certain, considerably less so than Maguire and Garfield appearing in No Way Home one month ahead of release. But there's certainly enough evidence to describe this as far more than a wild fan theory, and in fact a very legitimate possibility. Although the chances of him taking a starring role are slim, with a post-credits surprise being far more probable.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on November 11.