MCU: Marvel Might Be about to Unleash Its Biggest Villain Yet in the Most Unlikely Place

Prior to the one-two gut-punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Marvel promised fans things would change. Given the catastrophic losses depicted in both films, that certainly seems to be the case. In Phase 4 and beyond, the Marvel Cinematic Universe must now find a new direction and a new MCU villain.

Marvel Studios at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Marvel Studios at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Thanos is gone, leaving the MCU without a new long-term villain

From 2012’s The Avengers on, Thanos (Josh Brolin) was the looming threat everything in the MCU was building toward. As Thanos said in Avengers: Endgame, he is truly “inevitable.” However, his fateful confrontation with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes meant “the Infinity Saga” had reached its end. The time had come for a new long-term baddie to pose an ongoing threat.

Thus far, Phase 4 promises the long-awaited solo movie for Black Widow and new heroes such as Shang-Chi. But there’s been little indication which villain would make the leap from Marvel Comics to become the next Avengers-level mastermind. Now a new rumor claims that a fan-favorite choice for the job could show up in the last place MCU fans expect him to.

RELATED: MCU Rumor: Cameron Diaz Might Come Out of Retirement to Play a New Villain

1 classic Marvel baddie is rumored to appear in an unexpected way

According to We Got This Covered, Doctor Doom is rumored to play a pivotal role in Ant-Man 3. The villain — who rules the fictional nation of Latveria in the comics — will apparently be after Hank Pym’s (Michael Douglas) technology. It’s unclear if Victor von Doom would don his signature villainous duds or appear as a more professional threat.

If the latter is true, it’s easy to see Doom making his debut in a plotline similar to Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) in Ant-Man. He could have all kinds of nefarious plans for Pym Particles. After all, the Avengers successfully applied them to time travel. And the MCU has seeded major characters in sequels before, such as Black Panther’s debut in Captain America: Civil War.

RELATED: ‘Ant-Man 3’: Here’s What We Know So Far

Doctor Doom’s debut in ‘Ant-Man 3’ means a Phase 5 introdution

For now, Doctor Doom’s appearance in Ant-Man 3 should be firmly considered a rumor. But it is one that makes a certain amount of sense. Until Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox, Doom was still off-limits for the MCU. So Phase 4 will likely not feature much of — if any — of the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters.

Rather, Phase 5 might center entirely around those former Fox characters. At the moment, Ant-Man 3 will probably hit theaters in 2023 or so. Fans previously expected it to arrive in 2022, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic pushed the MCU schedule back. Stay tuned for updates on Doctor Doom’s hotly anticipated MCU debut.