Ryan Gosling Playing Marvel’s Next Thanos-Level Villain?

Rumors abound that Ryan Gosling has been cast as Marvel's next Big Bad, Doctor Doom.

By Michileen Martin | Published

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According to the online rumor mill, La La Land‘s Ryan Gosling has been cast the next Big Bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that the villain will be Doctor Doom. That’s the word from Cosmic Book News, who cites a number of different sources who have either just been theorizing about the casting, or straight-up claiming it’s already in the bag. In the meantime, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already publicly expressed interest in “finding a place”for the Gray Man star in the MCU.

That Gosling has been cast as Doctor Doom, or is even being considered for the role, is still very much unconfirmed. In their report, CBN mentioned insider Jeff Sneider who was merely theorizing about a Gosling/Doom match-up, and a Den of Nerds tweet from earlier this week which reads, “If you don’t want Ryan Gosling as Doctor Doom, you should let Feige know ASAP.” While on one hand the notion of Doom becoming Marvel’s next big villain makes sense, Gosling would seem like a strange choice for the role.

For one, Doom is typically portrayed as an animated, overly verbose villain regularly belting out dark declarations, proclaiming his unquestionable superiority to everyone and everything around him, and often referring to himself in the third person as he does so. Imagining Ryan Gosling in a role like that is difficult. Whenever the actor plays bad guys, or anything close to a bad guy, it’s usually with a more quiet and reserved kind of menace.

Then, of course, there’s the reality that Ryan Gosling’s good looks are one of his selling points, and–unless Kevin Feige and co. plan to stray insanely far from the source material–playing Doctor Doom would mean hiding his face behind a metallic mask. However, this might go along with one of the ideas of Doom’s co-creator–the late Jack Kirby–who said he saw Doom as a man who had only a very minor scar on his face, but whose vanity transformed that scar into something monstrous in his own mind.

God Emperor Doom in Secret Wars #2, Marvel Comics 2015

The much more believable part of the rumor is that it will be Doom–whether Ryan Gosling plays him or not–who will be the next main villain of Marvel, as opposed to Jonathan Majors’s Kang. Fantastic Four is on the way, Doom will almost certainly have a major role to play in the film. We also know Avengers: Secret Wars is scheduled to arrived in November 2025, and in the source material it is an all-powerful version of Doom–referring to himself as God Emperor Doom–who is the villain of the piece.

Even if we assume these rumors about Ryan Gosling playing Doom are untrue, that doesn’t mean the star won’t be making his way to the MCU. The Blade Runner 2049 star has denied rumors that he was playing the space-faring hero Nova, but he’s openly expressed interest in playing Ghost Rider.

gabriel luna ghost rider
Gabriel Luna as Ghost Rider in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Gabriel Luna played the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but whether or not the series is considered canonical, it wouldn’t necessarily impact Ryan Gosling chances of playing the character. There have been multiple versions of Ghost Rider in Marvel over the years, including different versions remaining active at the same time.