The Fantastic Four Flips 63 Years Of Comic History In New MCU Theory

  • Speculation is high over Natasha Lyonne potentially playing a gender-flipped Doctor Doom in The Fantastic Four, a drastic MCU twist.
  • Doctor Doom's history of being male for 63 years in Marvel Comics may clash with a possible gender-swap in the upcoming MCU movie.
  • Unconfirmed actors, including Lyonne, have intriguing prospective roles that could either stick to comic lore or introduce surprising changes in the MCU plot.
After 63 years of established Marvel Comics history, one theory about The Fantastic Four changes everything. Since the movie's announcement, casting decisions for the first adaptation of the iconic team in the MCU timeline have steadily emerged. This began with the main cast, where a promotional image released on Valentine's Day unveiled which actors would be portraying The Fantastic Four specifically. Other actors have been linked to the project since then, though not all of them have had their roles revealed.
Speculation over which characters the three actors with undisclosed roles will be portraying has been ramping up. The Fantastic Four's Story details have yet to emerge, so theories about the plot of The Fantastic Four have mostly derived from clues within official images. While there has been no official announcement as yet of his involvement, many have presumed that Doctor Doom will make an appearance due to his close link to the eponymous team. This leaves who will be playing Doctor Doom up for rampant speculation; though recent casting announcements have given rise to a particularly unorthodox theory.
Confirmed Cast For The Fantastic Four
Pedro Pascal
Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards
Vanessa Kirby
Invisible Woman/Susan Storm
Joseph Quinn
The Human Torch/Johnny Storm
Ebon Moss-Bachrach
The Thing/Ben Grimm
Julia Garner
Silver Surfer/Shalla-Bal
Ralph Ineson
Paul Walter Hauser
John Malkovich
Natasha Lyonne
Theory: Natasha Lyonne Is Playing A Gender-Flipped Doctor Doom Custom image by Ollie Bradley Natasha Lyonne has joined the lineup of confirmed cast members (via Deadline) though her role remains a mystery. Of the three actors with undisclosed roles, one may be portraying HERBIE, the robot depicted in the promotional image. Still, the lack of a confirmed actor for Doctor Doom leaves that particular door wide open for any one of them - including Natasha Lyonne. As a woman, this would flip the script substantially on established Marvel Comics lore, given Victor Von Doom has always been a man.
News that Julia Garner would be portraying a female Silver Surfer was met with some pushback, as the role is traditionally embodied by the male Norrin Radd, but Shalla-Bal is a preexisting character, not a gender-flipped Radd.
The theory has been floated half-seriously, but it's not as if the MCU is beyond switching up established comic book conventions. The MCU has a track record of gender-swapping characters, which adds to a litany of notable changes the MCU has made from the comics, including Kamala Khan's mutant powers and Namor's origins. Nevertheless, casting Natasha Lyonne as a female Doctor Doom would be one of the most drastic changes that Marvel has made to comic book history, and would definitely lead to some divisive reactions.
Gender-Swapped Characters in the MCU
The Ancient One
Doctor Doom Hasn't Been A Woman In All 63 Years Of The Character's History Close Victor Von Doom is one of Marvel's most well-established characters, making his Marvel Comics debut 63 years ago in 1961's "Fantastic Four" #5. Throughout that time, no female character has ever adopted the mantle of Doctor Doom in the main continuity (though it would be assumed by Kristoff Vernard, Doom's named heir, after Doom's death). This is despite other mantles like Thor being adopted by other characters who happen to be female.
In Marvel Comics, Doom is a wide-reaching villain whose path has crossed with myriad characters. Most notable of these was his time as God Emperor Doom, the ruler of the Battleworld on which the 2015 Secret Wars comic run takes place. His central role in this storyline is partly why Doom's imminent MCU arrival is expected, as he is very likely to take center stage in 2027's Avengers: Secret Wars. The reason Doctor Doom is expected to debut in The Fantastic Four, meanwhile, is because he is inextricably linked to the team's origins.
All of Doctor Doom's Live-Action Appearances
The Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Fantastic Four
This is why all iterations of The Fantastic Four in live-action have featured Victor Von Doom in central roles (to decidedly mixed receptions). In all three of the Fantastic Four's live-action origin stories, Doctor Doom has played the arch-villain while his involvement in 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer made him secondary to the titular character and Galactus. While 2015's Fantastic Four, in particular, took ample creative liberties in adapting the team into live-action, Doctor Doom has always been played by a man and is depicted as such.
Related 10 Things The MCU’s Fantastic Four Can Do Better Than Previous Fox Marvel Movies The Marvel Cinematic Universe"s upcoming Fantastic Four film has the chance to learn from the mistakes of the previous entries featuring the team.
How Doctor Doom Being A Woman Would Change The Villain's MCU Story Close Doom attended New York State University with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, which is also where he received the disfigurement that would lead him to permanently don his iron mask. His rivalry with Reed is rooted in their exceptional intelligence, with Doom's vast ego struggling to cope with the notion that Reed could mentally outperform him. The two would often come to blows verbally, but Reed Richards and Ben Grimm were also not beyond pulling pranks on Doom to frustrate him.
This dynamic would be altered drastically if Doctor Doom was a woman. While Doom and Richards could still easily be rivals, the machismo that appears to have motivated Doom to some degree in some iterations of his comic past would need to be tweaked, thus adjusting the specifics of their feud.
Additionally, Doctor Doom marries a variant of Reed Richards' wife, fellow Fantastic Four member Sue Storm, in the 2015 storyline Secret Wars. While this is far from being untenable in the MCU, it would mean imposing and exploring an as-of-yet unexplored sexuality on both characters should Avengers: Secret Wars decide to recreate that particular facet of the original story faithfully, thus equaling another change were the Avengers movie to adapt the 2015 iteration of the plotline.
All this is to say that Marvel would have to make some substantial changes to certain story beats in aid of portraying a female Doctor Doom. This might overcomplicate things for the studio while risking the wrath of comic book aficionados in the process. Previously gender-swapped characters in the MCU aren't nearly as central as Doom, which allows plenty of room for the MCU to switch up their stories. Gender-swapping Doom, meanwhile, is tantamount to gender-swapping Iron Man in terms of its implications, and the other adjustments that would need to be made going forward.
Is Natasha Lyonne Really Playing Doctor Doom? Close With that in mind, Natasha Lyonne being cast as Doctor Doom is unlikely. In fact, the same can be said of all three actors in thus far undisclosed roles in The Fantastic Four. As it stands, Paul Walter Hauser is most popularly theorized to be portraying Mole Man, while John Malkovich is considered too old to portray Doctor Doom and is, therefore, more likely to be playing someone like Puppet Master. If both theories come to fruition, then the movie will be pretty stuffed with villains, which lends credence to the most popular theories surrounding Lyonne's role.
Instead, Natasha Lyonne is likely set to play Alicia Masters, the blind girlfriend of Ben Grimm. The as-of-yet uncast role is central to The Fantastic Four's story, and also lines up perfectly with the presence of the Silver Surfer and Galactus, as Masters was responsible for convincing the Surfer to rally against Galactus. Coincidentally, this would be the second time that Lyonne has portrayed a blind woman in a superhero movie, as she also played Sommerfield in Blade: Trinity.
Another alternative, of course, is the voice of HERBIE. Lyonne is a past master at voice acting roles, with her most recent gig seeing her voice several characters in The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy, but she has also worked on The Simpsons, Stephen Universe, and Super Pets. Why Marvel would be keeping a lid on this role remains to be seen - as it does suggest the reveal might spoil certain plot points - but until further details on The Fantastic Four are revealed, audiences can only speculate.
The Fantastic Four (2025) Not Yet Rated Marvel's Fantastic Four is the first MCU movie to feature Marvel's First Family in the same live-action universe as the Avengers. It introduces the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm, and precedes Phase 6's Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.
Director Matt Shakman Release Date July 25, 2025 Cast Pedro Pascal , Vanessa Kirby , Ebon Moss-Bachrach , Joseph Quinn , Ralph Ineson , Paul Walter Hauser , Natasha Lyonne , John Malkovich , Julia Garner Upcoming MCU Movies
Release Date
Deadpool & Wolverine
July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New World
February 14, 2025
May 5, 2025
The Fantastic Four
July 25, 2025
November 7, 2025
Avengers 5
May 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret Wars
May 7, 2027


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