Black Widow writer Eric Pearson reveals the doomed Fantastic Four Easter egg that never made it into the movie: the first reference to Doctor Doom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Pearson is “always” trying to tee up the metal-masked villain in his projects at Marvel Studios, where Pearson scripted Thor: Ragnarok and performed uncredited work on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Endgame. After name-dropping Marvel Comics character Crimson Dynamo — Yelena Belova’s (Florence Pugh) flubbed moniker for Alexei “Red Guardian” Shostakov (David Harbour) — and potentially introducing the first mutant in the MCU, Pearson’s Black Widow script almost referenced the home nation of Victor Von Doom.
“I might’ve had a reference to Latveria in there — I might have, but I don’t think so. I don’t think that lasted very long,” Pearson told IGN about the eastern European kingdom lorded over by Doom. “I’m always trying to throw Latveria into stuff. … It’s like one of those things where you want to be the first one to say it on an Instagram post or something!”
Despite the nod to Crimson Dynamo, a mantle of an armored character who has served as a member of the Winter Guard, Pearson can’t say whether Russia’s answer to the Avengers actually exists in the MCU.
“I’m not sure if they do or do not exist. Weirdly, I remembered the Crimson Dynamo [while writing],” Pearson said. “That was a pure callback back from having read comics as a kid. And the idea of just someone calling [Alexei] the wrong superhero name, I just put that in there. Whenever I’m writing for one of these, I always try and add in extra references, just in case an Easter egg works. … I did a quick check to be like, ‘I am thinking of a Marvel character, not a DC character?’ I was like, ‘Yep. It was Marvel. I’m just putting it in.’ And then it never got flagged. And I think it gets a pretty good laugh too.”
Legion creator Noah Hawley, who was attached to direct a Doctor Doom movie he scripted for Fox before the Disney acquisition, told UPROXX in 2019 that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige would “neither confirm nor deny” plans for Doom or the Fantastic Four in the MCU. Marvel wouldn’t officially announce its rebooted Fantastic Four until December 2020.