The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding its roster of heroes and villains in Phase 4, with one of the highly-anticipated characters being the Fantastic Four's Doctor Doom. The character initially served as the team's main villain, but his role grew beyond that as he was pushed to the forefront in several iconic stories, such as Secret Wars, Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment.
In the MCU, Doctor Doom is rumored to appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with the villain having a "minor" role in the sequel. However, back in 2019, Legion creator Noah Hawley shared that he was working on a project centered around the Marvel villain, describing it as “a kind of Cold War, geopolitical movie” that takes place in Latveria.
It is unknown how Doctor Doom will be introduced in the MCU, but an accidental slip-up from a veteran actor may have revealed that a solo Doctor Doom is on the way soon.
Marvel's Doctor Doom Leaked by Howard Stern?
Twitter user @WashedUpTweeter uncovered evidence that Howard Stern might be involved with a possible Doctor Doom project.
During a commercial break on The Howard Stern Show, Stern and his crew's mics were still left on, leading to an intriguing conversation revolving around Doctor Doom.
In the conversation that some believe to be a prank, Stern and his crew were discussing upcoming guests this Fall, which then led to producer Gary Dell'Abate telling the former America's Got Talent judge that he's not going to talk to him much "in the Summer:"
Stern: "That would just be better for me."
Will Murray: "Can I be heard right now?"
Murray: "My Zoom craps out at the end of every show."
Robin Quivers: "Really? Cause I was like, 'Why's Will in the dark?"
Stern: "Alright, let's do this."
Monkey: "So I just wanna run a couple of names by you for guests who are gonna be around in the Fall. I'm not gonna talk to you so much in the Summer."
Stern: "What I'm saying is let's do it... I'm burned out. That would just be better for me."
Dell'Abate then revealed that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wanted to know if a certain schedule works for Stern. The radio host responded by saying that it works, but he admitted that "they're going over the schedule" with him.
When co-host Robin Quivers asked if Stern will be working this summer, he appeared to confirm that he'd be filming a Marvel Studios project involving Doctor Doom:
Monkey: "Ok, Kevin Feigeman (sp) from the office called and wants to know if that schedule works for you."
Robin: "Kevin Feigeman, I've never heard that name before."
Murray: "I think he means Kevin..."
Stern: "Kevin Feige, Gary. Tell him it works but they're going over the schedule with me and it's gonna suck."
Robin to Stern: "Are you working this summer?"
Stern: "Well, I'm gonna do 'Doctor Doom.' But believe me, I'm fucking miserable about it."
When asked if he was excited about it, Stern shared that he had already called Robert Downey Jr. to ask for acting techniques:
Stern: "Cause I'm an asshole. That's what I did on America's Got Talent."
Robin: "Are you excited about it?"
Stern: "Yeah, I called Robert Downey...I was asking him acting technique."
Stern: "Gary, do you have the number for Jon Favreau?"
Monkey: "I do. I have his cell phone."
Twitter user @bringbackjackie transcribed the conversation above of Stern and his crew.
While this could be some prank from Stern, it's possible that the actor could be hired as himself to interview Doctor Doom about his life through a story inspired by "Books of Doom."
In the Marvel Comics storyline, a Doom bot recalls the life of Victor von Doom to a female journalist, with topics that included his early childhood, his friendship with Reed Richards, damaging his face in an experiment, and his eventual takeover of Latveria.
Unfortunately, the story ended with the interviewer being locked up in the dungeons of Latveria, with her not allowed to leave the premises.
The conversation starts at the 1:12 mark in the video below:
Will Marvel Reveal Doctor Doom's Solo Project in SDCC?
Howard Stern's latest spoiler mishap could be treated as a prank for some, but this could be the first solid hint that a Doctor Doom solo project could be on its way to the MCU. However, whether this ends up being a six-episode Disney+ series or a big screen entry in Phase 5 still remains to be seen.
Stern's comment about asking Robert Downey Jr. for acting techniques is fitting, mainly because the Iron Man actor was considered for the Doctor Doom role way back before the MCU started. While it's clear that Stern is not playing Victor von Doom, his intention to call Downey could end up being MCU-related, with him potentially inquiring about working with Marvel Studios.
Meanwhile, Stern's involvement as a journalist interviewing Doctor Doom allows it to fit with the ongoing trend of heroes and villains being prominent figures in Phase 4. From Ms. Marvel's AvengerCon to Emil Blonksy's Abomination serving as a guest competitor in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' tournament in Macau, it's reasonable to assume that the public is genuinely interested in these characters, and a trip to Latveria makes sense.
There's a strong chance that Doctor Doom has been working in the shadows for a long time, and a comprehensive breakdown of his MCU story could be the best route to introduce how he operated during the Infinity Saga and in the early moments of Phase 4. This could give fans a chance to know more about Doctor Doom before his eventual clash with the Fantastic Four and more of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.