The fate of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Phase 4" is essentially ready to go, with a slew of confirmed movies and television shows set to premiere between now and 2022. One of the most highly-anticipated entries into that slate is Black Panther 2, the sequel to the billion-dollar, Oscar-nominated film. Plot details surrounding the film are currently under wraps, largely because writer-director Ryan Coogler reportedly only just started "outlining the story" for the eventual script last month. That hasn't stopped rumors and speculation about what the film could cover, and a new potential piece of information could be a genuine game-changer. According to Charles Murphy, "trustworthy sources" have informed him that the villain of Black Panther will be none other than Doctor Doom.
Murphy reiterates that the information has not been officially verified, so there is a chance that it ultimately might not be true. But he does say that Victor Von Doom's potential role in the film will involve him beginning to expand "his empire, conquering parts of Africa and, ultimately, [coming] into conflict with the nation of Wakanda and the Black Panther".
In a way, there is comic precedent for Doom invading Wakanda, namely in the 2010 event Doomwar. That arc saw T'Challa, Shuri, and other citizens of Wakanda defending their nation - and its precious metal, Vibranium - from Victor Von Doom.
If this is the case, it would be one of the earliest and most significant integrations of the characters previously-owned by Fox into the MCU. Fans have speculated for quite some time about Doom's potential arrival, with many (understandably) linking the villain to his rivalry with the Fantastic Four. Before Marvel Studios acquired Fox's Marvel characters, there had been word that Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley had developed a Doctor Doom solo movie, but those plans seemed to have been paused.
"I mean, it combined genres. And it's sort of a Cold War parallel film. And I really like it. I've been too busy to really lean on them, and they certainly haven't called me on the phone. And during my sit down with Kevin Feige, when he asked about the Doctor Doom movie, he said, 'Are you still working on it?' And I said, 'Should I still be working on it?'," Hawley said in an interview last month. "I said, 'I assume you guys have a plan in a drawer somewhere for the Fantastic Four.' And [Feige] smiled a little bit, but would neither confirm nor deny. But yeah, I think it would be a great comic book movie certainly."
Ultimately, fans will have to wait and see if this rumor proves to be true, and if Doom ends up being the central antagonist of Black Panther 2. Considering how profoundly the first Black Panther introduced Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Doom's arrival would both be an epic expansion of the MCU and an in-depth take on the character.
What do you think of this Black Panther 2 rumor? Do you hope to see Doctor Doom be the film's Big Bad? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall of 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.