He helped make the bomb, and now he may try to take down Marvel’s First Family. Our trusted and proven sources tell us that before the SAG-AFTRA strike began, Josh Hartnett was officially offered the role of Marvel’s Doctor Doom. If Hartnett says yes, however, he won’t be in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot for very long.
We’ve exclusively learned that Josh Hartnett has been offered the role of Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four.
Our sources say that if Josh Hartnett says yes to the role, his part in Fantastic Four will be a relatively small one, but that his appearances will be longer and carry much more weight in subsequent projects.
We don’t know if this means Hartnett’s appearance will amount to a teasing cameo (like Thanos in multiple films before 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War) or if Doctor Doom will at least appear in a scene or two of Fantastic Four before graduating to Big Bad in another project, like Jonathan Majors in first Loki and then Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania.
Josh Hartnett is a very interesting choice to play Doctor Doom. Blessed with a classic Hollywood star look and feel, he seems to most often be chosen as characters more action-oriented and less cerebral. Men like Operation Fortune‘s Danny and Penny Dreadful‘s Ethan Chandler are exactly the type of people Marvel’s Victor von Doom wouldn’t consider worthy enough to even kill with his own hands (he’d send Doombots).
This may be a sign Marvel is looking to learn from Fox’s past mistakes. After all, Doctor Doom was the chief antagonist of both the very first official live-action Fantastic Four film in 2005 and in the 2015 reboot.
It seems likely that Josh Hartnett’s casting against type in Oppenheimer — as real life physicist and Nobel Prize winner Ernest Lawrence — had something to do with Marvel’s choice.
For any Marvel fan, however, it may be disappointing to learn that — whether he’s played by Josh Hartnett or someone else — the likelihood that Doctor Doom will not be the main antagonist of the Fantastic Four reboot. His presence not only in the FF comics but in the Marvel Comics universe as a whole is so huge that fans have likely not even bothered to question whether or not he would be the film’s Big Bad.
This may be a sign Marvel is looking to learn from Fox’s past mistakes. After all, Doctor Doom was the chief antagonist of both the very first official live-action Fantastic Four film in 2005 and in the 2015 reboot. Meanwhile, to give an example, in the first entries for both Sony’s own The Amazing Spider-Man and the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, the filmmakers chose villains (Lizard and Vulture) who hadn’t made it to the big screen yet, rather than just casting a new actor to play Green Goblin.
Other Fantastic Four Casting Reports
You can add Josh Hartnett’s name to a growing list of actors who have been reported to be in contention for Fantastic Four roles. Back in May, we exclusively reported Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) had been offered the part of Ben Grimm aka, The Thing. The following month, Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible — Fallout) dodged questions about possibly being cast as Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman.
While most of the reports came before the actors’ strike, that hasn’t stopped all the reports. Earlier this month, Matt Smith of Doctor Who fame went back on forth about whether or not he had been offered the part of Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic.
Fantastic Four‘s release date is currently May 2, 2025, but with WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes going full steam ahead with no end in sight, nothing is set in stone.