Before Doctor Doom becomes a major player in the MCU, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler is speaking out about how Doom's past appearances could impact his arrival.
While Marvel fans gear up for the release of Black Panther 2 in the coming days, much of the attention has centered on the iconic Fantastic Four villain, Victor Von Doom. Early rumors even pointed to Doom being involved in the MCU's final Phase 4 movie as well, setting him up early as a villain before he truly takes center stage in 2025's Fantastic Four and 2026's Avengers: Secret Wars.
Unfortunately, those rumors have seemingly been debunked with reports that Black Panther 2 only has one post-credits scene, one which was described as "really moving" as the sequel comes to a close.
And now, as Doctor Doom remains prevalent in fan chatter about the MCU, the director of Black Panther 2 took a moment to tease what kind of baggage he'll come with when the day comes.
Doctor Doom Coming With Baggage in the MCU?
Speaking with the Toronto Sun, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler looked ahead to the time when Doctor Doom makes his MCU debut.
Describing Doom as "one of the big ones" in the comics, Coogler reminisced on there being multiple different versions of the character on the big screen.
He compared this to Black Panther 2's use of Namor the Sub-Mariner, who had never been used in a movie before and "didn’t have any baggage" coming from past performances. And particularly considering how widely popular Doctor Doom is already, he understands the fans' hope to see him brought to the MCU the right way:
“Oh yeah, I think he’s an incredible character in publishing, man. You know, he’s one of the big ones. And unlike Namor, there’s been several different representations of him in film. So I think that’s what excited me the most about Namor, where it was that there hadn’t been any representations. Like you didn’t have any baggage of any other actors, or any other performances, or any other movies. It was just publishing for Namor. I think Doom is a little different when it comes to that, but man, what an incredible character, man. I think he’s often in people’s list of like favorite characters overall, as opposed, not even just not just villains. So I think I would understand people wanting to see Doom represented.”
Coogler also spoke with ComicBook.com about the rumors surrounding Doctor Doom in Black Panther 2, although he admitted that he tried "not to read too much" into those reports:
ComicBook: “There’s been a lot of talk on Doctor Doom… Was that ever going to be a thing?”
Coogler: “In this movie?… No… Yeah, I don’t know. I try not to read too much, but nah.”
ComicBook.com's Phase Zero podcast also had Marvel producer Nate Moore as a guest, who noted that Doctor Doom was never truly considered once Namor was put into the antagonist role:
“It wasn’t, to be quite honest, although I get why. He’s such a great character and the world of Latveria is so fantastic and Ryan is a fan. But once we decided Namor was the antagonist, that was always going to be the focus.”
Marvel Studios Preps for New Doctor Doom Depiction
It still remains to be seen if Doctor Doom will make his MCU debut in Black Panther 2, but whenever he does arrive, he'll have a tall task standing out on his own.
The mid-2000s Fantastic Four movies certainly did their part to make Julian McMahon's Doom as terrifying as possible, although those movies couldn't use the scale that the MCU will with its solo movies and its Avengers team-up outings. But after that, Toby Kebbell's take on the character became a complete afterthought thanks to the immensely negative reaction Fan4stic earned from fans.
This could be why Marvel is rumored to be avoiding Doctor Doom as the main villain for 2025's Fantastic Four, especially with his role in Secret Wars expected to be as big as it is in the comics. But regardless of when the supervillain joins the fray, director Ryan Coogler sees Doom's arrival as something that's important to get right, even with the baggage that could come with him.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will debut in theaters on Friday, November 11.