8 Actors We’d Love to See Play Doctor Doom in the MCU
It is now official that Marvel’s first superhero team, the Fantastic Four, will be making their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2024. The film rights to the Fantastic Four, initially, were owned by 21st Century Fox. This led to 20th Century Fox distributing three Fantastic Four films: Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four (2015), and Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer. However, in 2019, Disney solidified a deal to acquire 21st Century Fox, thus, gaining the rights to the likes of the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Deadpool.
That same year, Kevin Feige announced that a Fantastic Four film was in development. At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Fantastic Four was confirmed to be a part of the MCU’s Phase 6, and is set to premiere on November 8, 2024. Fantastic Four got another big update during the 2022 D23 Expo, where it was announced that WandaVision‘s Matt Shakeman had been hired to direct. Casting, however, has still been kept tightly under wraps. While John Krasinski appeared as Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel has not confirmed if he will reprise the role for Fantastic Four.
However, in addition to wanting to know who is portraying the Fantastic Four, we also want to know who may portray the team’s most infamous villain, Doctor Doom. His name is nearly synonymous with the Fantastic Four, as he is their arch enemy. Meanwhile, he is a fan-favorite among villain enthusiasts—who enjoy the many layers of the menacing megalomaniac who is motivated by his crippling insecurities. Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell portrayed Doctor Doom in the past, but the role is almost certain to be recast for the MCU’s Fantastic Four. Here are 8 actors who could portray Doctor Doom in the MCU.
Henry Cavill is one of the most recent actors to be rumored to be portraying Doctor Doom in the MCU. While Cavill has not been confirmed to be joining the MCU or portraying Doctor Doom, that hasn’t stopped him from being fan cast in the role. Cavill currently serves as the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) Superman, but his other roles—like Enola Holmes and The Witcher—show he has the versatility and potential to be quite a good Doctor Doom. He’s an A-list actor certain to draw in audiences and who could project Doctor Doom’s charm, arrogance, and menacing personality.
With that being said, Cavill would also be a great choice for several other MCU characters, such as Colossus or Captain Britain. Plus, other roles wouldn’t require him to hide his highly recognizable face behind a mask for the entirety of the project. Ultimately, Cavill could make a great Doctor Doom, but if he’s going to join the MCU, there are plenty of other characters that could use his talent, too.
This one is a little out there, but fans are not completely against Julian McMahon reprising his role as Doctor Doom for Fantastic Four. Given that this is a reboot, it is highly unlikely McMahon would come back. However, we have had characters like Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) make the trek across reboots and franchises, so it’s not impossible. McMahon didn’t offer the most realistic or serious take on Doctor Doom, but some fans welcomed the eccentricity and fun he brought to the role.
Meanwhile, back in 2015, McMahon indicated interest in playing Doctor Doom in the MCU. He told Comicbook.com that he would do an MCU Fantastic Four as long as they were doing the film right and giving him the chance to play a more comic book accurate Doctor Doom. Now that Fantastic Four is a reality in the MCU, we’re curious if his willingness to return still stands. McMahon has played Doctor Doom before, and if both he, and his fans, are interested in him reprising his role, it could happen.
Giancarlo Esposito is an obvious choice for, well, any villain role ever. While Esposito is phenomenal in a wide range of roles, his roles as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, and Stan Edgar in The Boys, have us craving more of his intimidating, cold, and calculating villainy. Needless to say, Esposito could both fit in the role of Doctor Doom, as well as add his own twist to the character. It’s hard to find an actor who could be more adept at pulling off the menacing, charming, and arrogant Doctor Doom than Esposito.
However, there are rumors that another MCU role might already be reserved for Esposito. Fans have been casting him as Charles Xavier in the MCU and he has confirmed that he would be open to role. This makes it really hard to say what we want more—Esposito in a villain role that is perfect for him or Esposito putting his own perfect spin on Professor X.
Javier Bardem is another actor who has been heavily rumored to be appearing as Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four. The Academy Award-winning actor is best known for starring in No Country for Old Men, Before Knight Falls, Skyfall, and Dune. His previous credits show that he is no stranger to portraying villainous, complex, and rugged characters. In No Country for Old Men, he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a cold-hearted killer, Anton Chgurh. In Skyfall, he portrayed the main antagonist opposite Daniel Craig’s James Bond, and in Dune, he portrays the rugged and traditional leader of a Fremen community.
Given his previous intense roles, Bardem certainly wouldn’t shy away from Doctor Doom’s more menacing and dark side. However, he clearly also has the skills to add depth and layers to Doctor Doom’s character, too. Additionally, rumors suggest that the MCU is interested in changing Doctor Doom’s origin story to make him a descendant of the Conquistadors (who have a history with Namor). These rumors haven’t been confirmed, but if true, Bardem would be a strong candidate for Doctor Doom and may also bring with him a new and intriguing origin story.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is another name that fans keep reiterating when it comes to their hopes for Doctor Doom. While there is little evidence that Coster-Waldau is in talks to join the MCU, that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a fan-favorite for the role of the Fantastic Four villain. The two-time Emmy nominee is best known for starring in Nightwatch, New Amsterdam, and Game of Thrones. Some fans have even created imaginative art depicting what Coster-Waldau might look like as Doctor Doom and, I have to say, he definitely looks the part.
Coster-Waldau would make a great Doctor Doom for more reasons than just physical appearance. For one, he is an enormously talented actor, who is accomplished across TV, film, and theatre. Additionally, his role as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones shows that he has the potential to play the rugged leader of the kingdom of Latveria. Coster-Waldau is talented, has shown potential to play a villain, and is absolutely adored by fans for the role of Doctor Doom.
Peaky Blinders star, Cillian Murphy, is yet another recipient of fan art imagining and casting him in the role of Doctor Doom. While his role in Peaky Blinders gained him international fame, he has also starred in a slew of other impressive projects including Inception, The Dark Night trilogy, and A Quiet Place II. Additionally, he will be starring in the 2023 film, Oppenheimer, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is often referred to as “the father of the atomic bomb.” This role might especially make him a strong candidate for Doctor Doom, as he will be portraying a deeply arrogant and charismatic soul—who was both a brilliant mind and a man who became death, himself, with his creations of deadly weaponry.
Also, Murphy has played villains before, as he starred as the Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy. His roles in The Dark Night trilogy and Oppenheimer, as well as his overall impressive resume, make it easy to see why so many fans are rooting for him for Doctor Doom.
Mads Mikkelsen is another actor with such a penchant for portraying villains that he would almost certainly be able to take on the role of Doctor Doom. Mikkelsen is known for playing the James Bond antagonist, Le Chiffre, in Casino Royale, serial killer Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal, and the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. His ability to play cold and calculating villains, as well as deceitful and charming authoritative figures, makes him an excellent candidate for Doctor Doom.
However, there is a minor problem, as Mikkelsen starred in the MCU previously—as Kaecilius in Doctor Strange. Still, the general consensus among fans is that they don’t care about his role as Kaecilius, they just want to see him as Doctor Doom. Also, despite Mikkelsen walking out on his weird audition for Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four (2015), he still seems open to considering the role again in the MCU.
Dan Stevens is another strong choice for Doctor Doom, considering he was highly rumored to be playing him once before. Stevens isn’t most well-known for playing villains, but he has taken on the roles of some rather conflicted characters and anti-heroes. For example, he portrayed The Beast in Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast and David Haller in Legion. In addition to this, back in 2017, Stevens was tied to 20th Century Fox’s solo Doctor Doom film.
Stevens’ role in the Doctor Doom film was never confirmed, but the rumors suggested he had been cast as the titular villain. Whether true or not, it wasn’t meant to be, as the film was ultimately canceled. Still, Stevens is a strong actor, who has potential as Doctor Doom, and the MCU could offer him a second chance for the role.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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