With Avengers: Endgame both closing the book on the Infinity Saga and drawing a line under Thanos’ reign of terror as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s end-of-game-boss, Marvel Studios could be on the lookout for their next big bad to be pulling the strings behind the scenes across Phases Four and Five, and a source close to We Got This Covered has now told us that they’re looking at Doctor Doom to fill the void.
Despite acquiring the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in the wake of the Disney/Fox takeover, the fan-favorite comic book characters aren’t expected to appear in the MCU at any point in the near future, which might also have something to do with the last installments in both franchises bombing at the box office and being savaged by critics.
Kevin Smith might be one of those hoping that Galactus would be the next all-powerful cosmic entity to step into Thanos’ shoes, but if our source – the same one who told us about the She-Hulk series back in April – is to be believed, then it looks like the studio are planning on going in a much more mortal direction.
It was previously rumored that Marvel were eying Norman Osborn to act as the franchise’s overarching villain going forward, and he could still show up, but given the well-documented breakdown in the Sony agreement, if the two sides can’t reach a new deal, then he’ll obviously be off-limits to Kevin Feige and co. and they’ll go with Doom as the new big bad instead. Meanwhile, if an agreement can be reached, Doom will still make his presence known in the MCU, but won’t become the over-arching big bad of the franchise until later down the line, once Osborn’s dealt with.
As you surely know, Legion showrunner Noah Hawley was hired to develop a solo movie for everyone’s favorite Latverian dictator in 2017, but the uncertainty surrounding the future of Fox’s comic book properties effectively put that project on indefinite hold. The character hasn’t had the best of luck on the big screen so far, either, with both Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell donning the mask to give terrible performances in terrible movies.
Still, as one of Marvel’s most iconic villains, Doctor Doom would be a solid choice to act as the next big bad for many reasons. The character’s mix of technological and mystical weapons would conceivably make him a threat for a number of the franchise’s standalone superheroes, his home country of Latveria could rival Wakanda for the title of the MCU’s most advanced fictional nation, and his introduction could also plant the seeds for a slow-burning introduction of the Fantastic Four somewhere down the road.
Marvel Studios’ track record for treating their villains is very hit-or-miss, but if handled correctly then Doctor Doom could be the ideal candidate to lurk in the background causing havoc for the likes of Black Panther, Doctor Strange and others as the MCU moves forward.