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Chris Evans hardly had so much as a single toe out the door before the rumors of his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe began. Now, the same kind of nostalgia and multiverse shenanigans that fueled the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to their superhero roles in Spider-Man: No Way Home is helping to feed reports that Evans is likewise on his way back to Marvel, but not as Captain America. A very interesting entry on the IMDb page for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is causing speculation that Evans will appear in the film as Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four.
Screen Geek pointed out the intriguing crew member entry on Doctor Strange 2‘s IMDb page. The entry doesn’t list Chris Evans as being part of the film, nor does it list the Human Torch as a character. However, under the heading of the Costume and Wardrobe Department, it does list Nicanor Mendoza III with the job description, “costumer: Human Torch.” It’s worth noting that when it comes to Marvel superheroes, Doctor Strange 2 is far from Mendoza’s first rodeo. IMDb credits him as working as a set designer on WandaVision, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the upcoming series Agatha: House of Darkness. Mendoza is likewise listed as a costume designer for the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, lending credence to the idea that he would be tapped in the costume department for Doctor Strange 2 to handle a Fantastic Four character.
There are, as always, a few reasons to take this news with a grain of salt. On one hand, anyone can make an entry in IMDb; though, to be fair, if Mendoza’s entry is fake then it’s also pretty clever. Someone with a smaller IQ would be more obvious and just list Human Torch as a character. On the other hand, even if we assume Mendoza is working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on a Human Torch actor, that doesn’t necessarily mean Chris Evans will be the one playing him.
As many will remember, it was Chris Evans who played Human Torch in 2005’s Fantastic Four and the 2007 follow-up Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. But not only is Evans not the only actor to play a live-action Human Torch, he isn’t even the only MCU actor to play a live-action Human Torch. Michael B. Jordan played Johnny Storm in the almost universally hated 2015 Fantastic Four reboot. Simon Rex played him in the 2008 spoof Superhero Movie and Jay Underwood played him in the infamous unreleased Roger Corman Fantastic Four from 1994. Of course, those last two actors might seem like long shots for Doctor Strange 2 cameos, but considering one of the most heavily rumored cameos is of Tom Cruise as Iron Man — an actor/role combo that never actually happened — Rex and Underwood have more reason to be in the film, since they actually played the guy.
There’s another, easily overlooked possibility — assuming Human Torch does appear in Doctor Strange 2, it could be a version of the Human Torch that has nothing to do with Johnny Storm or the Fantastic Four. Marvel’s first Human Torch — who first shows up in 1939’s Marvel Comics #1 — was the android Jim Hammond. He’s briefly featured in an Easter egg in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Of course, if it is Jim Hammond, Marvel could always tap Chris Evans to play him anyway, if Evans was amenable. We’ll find out for sure about the truth behind all the rumored cameos when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.