MCU Rumor: Marvel Wants An Oppenheimer Star As Doctor Doom (Not Cillian Murphy)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe casting rumor mill spins once again. According to Giant Freakin Robot, Josh Hartnett — who audiences recently saw in Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer" as Ernest Lawrence — was offered the coveted role of Doctor Victor Von Doom in Marvel's upcoming "Fantastic Four" film. This, quite notably, is a role that "Oppenheimer" star Cillian Murphy recently spoke of after his fan-casting went viral. In 20th Century Studios' first two "Fantastic Four" projects, Julian McMahon played Doctor Doom and, in the studio's attempted reboot of the franchise that bombed at the box office, Toby Kebbell lent his talent to the villain. If GFR's rumor is true and he accepts, Hartnett will be the third actor to portray Doctor Doom live on the big screen.

The report is far from confirmed, and as such, everything should be treated as a rumor until proven otherwise. However, GFR isn't the only site jumping on Hartnett's potential casting. According to Comic Book Movie, they decided to write about the rumor because both GFR and The Hot Mic podcast reported it. Cinema Blend, too, seems to believe that Hartnett is a top contender for the film, although their money is on Hartnett playing Mr. Fantastic himself, Reed Richards.

Although it shouldn't be expected, neither Marvel nor Hartnett have addressed the topic. But the story is still young, even by internet news standards, so it's possible that one or both might make a comment in the near future, just to keep the buzz rolling. 

Josh Hartnett might not be interested in Marvel fame

Josh Hartnett started acting professionally in the late 1990s, and it didn't take him long to find fame, because he starred in Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor" and Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down" before he'd worked in the business for even five years. His other notable credits, aside from "Oppenheimer," include "30 Days of Night" and "Lucky Number Slevin," both of which saw him in starring roles, as well. It was all that fame all at once that apparently led to some public pushback against Hartnett. During a 2020 interview with The Guardian, he said, "People got a chip on their shoulder about me after that. They genuinely thought I'd been thrust on them. It was a very weird time."

Whether or not Marvel is really offering Hartnett the role of Doctor Victor Von Doom, it might not be the sort of thing he would want to do. In that same interview with The Guardian, Hartnett confessed that he almost turned down "Pearl Harbor" because he didn't want to become a public figure. He went on to say that he's grateful that he took the role but that his fears came true, nonetheless. He was thrust into the spotlight, and people noticed.

The Fantastic Four are a big deal in Marvel Comics. There's a reason why so many fans are keen to follow casting rumors, and a large facet of that popularity stems from Doctor Doom's importance. It's not unfair to say that he's one of Marvel's greatest villains. If Giant Freakin Robot is on the money with the reporting, here, then Hartnett's currently facing the same question he faced with "Pearl Harbor." But this time, he might respond differently.