Marvel Cinematic Universe leaks can come from anywhere. A set pic, a tweet, even a toy. But this leak, from renowned radio host Howard Stern, is unlike any other. Still, all leaks share one inherent trait — they should be met with skepticism, especially when they’re from a notorious prankster.
But could this slipped secret mean a brand-new MCU project is in the works and will include Stern in some way? Anything’s possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s the real story behind the rumor.
Howard Stern and Doctor Doom
According to The Direct, Stern’s mic was left hot after recording an episode of The Howard Stern show, meaning listeners accidentally got an earful as he discussed his upcoming projects with his producer Gary Dell’Abate. Dell’Abate mentions that a “Kevin Feigeman” called, and Stern is quick to correct him that it’s “Kevin Feige,” and he’ll go over scheduling with them.
When co-host Robin Quivers asked Stern if he’s working this summer, he responded “Well, I'm gonna do 'Doctor Doom.' But believe me, I'm f***ing miserable about it.”
Assuming this is actually true, the obvious implication is that Howard Stern has somehow been cast as Doctor Doom in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. (Maybe it’s a multiverse variant thing?) For now, that movie doesn’t have a cast or director — that we know of — but it appears to be a major priority for Marvel Studios. So it’s technically possible that if all the pieces quickly fall into place, some sort of work could begin this summer.
Maybe, if we’re really lucky, Stern will show up at San Diego Comic-Con in July to announce the role alongside the rest of the new Fantastic Four cast. Of course, that’s a humongous if...
Howard Stern in the MCU?
The much more realistic answer is that Stern is joking — or lying to get attention. As some on Twitter have been quick to point out, this could simply be the radio host’s attempt to keep himself in the conversation as he heads off for a relaxing summer vacation.
The chances of Fantastic Four filming this month are also extremely low. And it’s even less likely that a standalone Doctor Doom project is not only in the works but about to enter production.
If Stern is telling the truth, it’s all but guaranteed he won’t take on the villainous role. It’s more likely he’ll play himself or a fictionalized version of himself, perhaps as an answer to J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.
“Doctor Doom” could have something to do with Loki Season 2, as some fans have theorized Doctor Doom will be a variant of Kang the Conqueror in the MCU. Maybe Stern will cameo as one of many variants, the variant who became a staple of talk radio.
The Inverse Analysis — This may just be one of Howard Stern’s infamous pranks. This leak isn’t exactly from a reputable source, it’s from the show that gave us “baba booey.” Still, leaks have come from stranger places. Until Marvel officially casts someone else as Doctor Doom, maybe don’t rule it out entirely.