The conclusion of Loki Season 2 sets the stage for Marvel’s next major event, Secret Wars, which involves a war between different realities. Marvel Studios is facing struggles with the MCU, including the legal scandal involving Kang the Conqueror actor Jonathan Majors, leading to considerations of replacing him with Doctor Doom. Doctor Doom could play a significant role in the MCU’s future, potentially appearing in the upcoming Fantastic Four film and becoming the next big-bad for the Avengers in Secret Wars.

With the conclusion of Loki Season 2, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has set the ball rolling on its next major event: Secret Wars. During Loki’s conversation with He Who Remains in the season finale, the latter teased a possible war in the future between different realities. The idea of warring universes falls right in line with the plot of Marvel’s Secret Wars, which will soon be adapted as an Avengers film.

At the center of all the action in Avengers: Secret Wars will be Kang the Conqueror. However, a new report about the MCU’s struggles suggests that Marvel might have a plan to tweak Kang’s role in the Infinity Saga. There have even been mentions about the studio replacing the supervillain altogether. But, who takes Kang’s place as the next big-bad of the MCU? Meet Doctor Doom.

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The report on Marvel Studios’ issues sheds light on the MCU’s recent struggles. This includes the franchise’s struggling performance in the world of live-action film and TV. However, its biggest problem stems from a legal scandal involving Kang the Conqueror actor, Jonathan Majors. The 34-year-old will soon stand trial on domestic violence charges. It will be tough for Marvel Studios to justify the actor’s involvement in the MCU, while his battles in court.

Kang is different from the rest of the MCU characters, as he headlines the next big saga of the MCU. Hence, the studio has to make a calculated decision on whether or not to keep him. Several solutions to the problem have been thrown out by Marvel executives. The obvious answer is recasting Kang. However, the studio has also considered moving away from a Majors-led MCU. The report noted that executives talked about moving away from Majors following the dismal box-office performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Replacing Kang will be tough, as he’s been portrayed as the next supervillain for MCU heroes to tackle. However, the report also revealed that at an executives gathering in Palm Springs, one backup plan included a potential pivot from Kang the Conqueror to Doctor Doom. But how does that play out?

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If Marvel has any intention to change course, then it needs to do so quickly. To go from Kang the Conqueror to Doctor Doom will be quite the struggle. However, the latter already has a great entry point into the MCU, with the upcoming Fantastic Four. The Matt Shakman-directed film is perfect to introduce the First Family of Marvel and their arch-nemesis. Doom has often been linked to the stories of the Fantastic Four, especially the power couple of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. While he’s often had a heated rivalry with the former, Doom has also been a romantic interest to Storm.

The details of the film have been kept under wraps, including its cast and story. The film might just have a tease of Doctor Doom’s impending arrival through subtle mentions or through a post-credits scene. It could also have the Latverian monarch as the primary or an over-arching villain for the group, with their battle coming to a close during Avengers: Secret Wars. A story arc like this would allow Marvel Studios to make the sixth Avengers film as a faithful adaptation of the iconic Marvel comic book series.

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Both versions of Secret Wars feature Doctor Doom in a prominent role. When it comes to the original, the Latverian is one of the several villains taking on the heroes of the Marvel universe on the planet of Battleworld. The Beyonder-created world had several engagements, with Doom fighting on the frontline. In his attempt to defeat the heroes, he took matters into his own hands, as he absorbed the powers of both Galactus and Beyonder. However, the Beyonder gained his powers back, when the cosmic entity fooled him into sharing the stolen powers.

In 2015’s Secret Wars, there’s God Emperor Doom, who ruled with an iron fist. The character was the creator of the Battleworld, after he gained the powers of the Beyonder. In the series, he is the primary antagonist, as Marvel heroes from across the multiverse attempt to stop his evil reign. In the end, it took Reed Richards and his group of superheroes to defeat their antagonist. The two rivals even squared off in a fight with the fate of the universe on the line, and Mister Fantastic came out on top.

With the introduction of incursions in the MCU through Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, it seems like Marvel Studios will adapt elements from the 2015 storyline for Avengers: Secret Wars. The relationship between Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom is the most important aspect of this storyline. Hence, for a faithful adaptation of the story, the MCU needs to have Doctor Doom and Reed Richards as the two most vital characters in the film.

It remains to be seen if Marvel Studios has any intention to replace Kang the Conqueror with Doctor Doom. However, if the studio chooses to pull the trigger on this daring move, fans sure could dream about the story of 2015’s Secret Wars coming to life in the live-action world. However, to pull off this storyline, the MCU should set up the rivalry between Reed Richards and Doom through Fantastic Four and its sequels. Ultimately, if you strip away all of Secret Wars’ huge roster and fan-service moments, it’s ultimately a story about the clash between two of Marvel’s biggest characters. And in order to have a faithful adaptation, the MCU needs to build up to such a moment.

Source: Variety

Marvel Cinematic Universe

A shared universe of films starring iconic characters from Marvel Comics like Iron Man, Captain America and Spider-Man.

 With reports about Doctor Doom being named as a potential replacement for Kang, an accurate adaptation of Secret Wars could be on the cards.  Read More