There are a few comic book characters that fans have wanted in the MCU since day one. The members of the Fantastic Four have been high up on that list. But an even bigger priority for most fans is their long-time frenemy, Doctor Doom. Possibly the greatest villain in the history of Marvel Comics has been on the sidelines for too long. And his time is coming.
Three previous attempts to bring a non-MCU live-action version of Doom to the big screen were utter failures. For some reason, those attempts found it difficult to get such an iconic character right. But the inevitable debut of Doctor Doom in the MCU is drawing near. There are more than a few signs indicating that to be the case though nothing is set in stone, yet.
The return of the film rights
The development of the MCU has been complicated by rights issues. Many years ago, Marvel had a bit of a firesale. This led to a lot of their film rights ending up with a random array of companies. The rights to Fantastic Four and all associated characters ended up with Fox. They were the ones responsible for the three previous attempts at bringing those characters to theaters.
Starting in 2017. Disney began the process of acquiring Fox’s entertainment properties. That deal concluded in early 2019, increasing Disney’s entertainment holdings dramatically. This transfer of rights included the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and, of course, Doctor Doom. This was the first moment that heralded his arrival.
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that there are basically no details about this film. But fans do know that there’s an MCU Fantastic Four movie on the way as part of Phase Four. What this looks like remains to be seen but Doctor Doom will be involved in some fashion. Whether he’s the main villain or pops up in a post-credits scene is irrelevant. He will have some sort of presence.
The case for Doctor Doom
All of that being said, Doctor Doom will be a presence outside of the Fantastic Four movies. There has long been speculation that his debut will come in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The plot reputedly hinges around a confrontation between Atlantis and Wakanda. It’s not difficult to see Latveria being part of that. Again, that is still widely considered to be speculation though some have claimed it to be fact.
There were also many people that believed WandaVision would contain his debut. Doctor Doom played a big role in Wanda’s recovery in the comics after various traumatic experiences. It stood to reason that he might do the same in WandaVision. That didn’t come to pass. But that doesn’t mean that the events of the series won’t play a role in his debut when Scarlet Witch returns in the next Doctor Strange film.
On top of that, the introduction of the Multiverse in Loki has only increased the odds of him appearing soon. Doom loves power and does not care where he has to go to get it. He has traversed the Multiverse on many occasions in search of an edge against his enemies. Doom and Kang are not exactly on friendly terms. The arrival of the Conqueror might draw the Doctor into the open.
To date, no clear references to Doctor Doom have been made in the MCU. Apparently, fans were close to getting one in Black Widow. One draft of the script included a direct reference to Latveria, the country Doom rules over. It was scrubbed out long before making it to movie screens. But it does show that Marvel has Doctor Doom and his introduction to the MCU on their minds.