One of the greatest challenges facing the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward is how to top Thanos as an over-arching threat. The Mad Titan has been building up his forces ever since he first appeared in the end credits of The Avengers, and his concluding arc was so massive that it required two movies to fully complete.
So, where do they go next? There are options, from Galactus (and the Silver Surfer) to Kang the Conqueror. But my money always has been on Doctor Doom, who now belongs to Marvel Studios following the acquisition of Fox by Disney. For awhile, Fargo and Legion’s Noah Hawley was laboring on an idea for a Doctor Doom movie. But that was back when the Fantastic Four and their arch nemesis still belonged to Fox.
As you can imagine, those plans have changed. When asked by Deadline about the status of his Doctor Doom movie, Noah Hawley admitted:
Where it stands is now that [his directorial effort Lucy in the Sky] is done and Legion is done and I’ve taken a little time off because someone told me there was this word ‘vacation,’ which means you don’t work, which sounded really interesting to me. But you know, I need to circle back to [Marvel] and announce that I would love to make it and figure out if that’s something that is possible. Whether or not they already have a plan in place for what to do with those characters or whether they’re open to my kind of vision for what to do with those characters. But it’s sort of on me right now to go push them, which I will do as soon as I come up for air.
My guess is that while Fox was more lenient in terms of what Noah Hawley wanted to do with Doom, Marvel Studios will squash that creative freedom because they no doubt have much bigger plans in place for the despot. Doctor Doom has been a foil for basically every major hero in the Marvel Comics, and the MCU can use him to go against anyone from Captain Marvel to Spider-Man.
It’s no secret that Marvel Studios plans to introduce both the X-Men and The Fantastic Four into the MCU, as well. These are cornerstone franchises in the Marvel stable, and they have not been at Marvel Studios this whole time.
But neither team was part of the schedule announcement for Marvel’s planned Phase Four, so any movies involving these characters won’t reach theaters until at least 2022. Doctor Doom is an integral part of the Fantastic Four, having been a nemesis to Reed Richards and the entire team since their earliest days. The two attempts at silver-screen FF stories both relied on Doom, and I’m 100% certain the MCU wants Doom as a multi-franchise Big Bad.
To that end, I seriously doubt Noah Hawley will ever get to do his interpretation of a Doctor Doom movie, and that project will go the way of The New Mutants, or Tim Miller’s Kitty Pryde screenplay. Meaning, interesting ideas that will never see the light of day.