Be careful around microphones.

Howard Stern should know that much; he’s been a radio host for decades. But this week Stern got caught talking about what is seemingly a top-secret project — something for Marvel involving the iconic Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom — on a hot mic that picked up his conversation despite the fact that his show was airing commercials at the time.

“They’re going over the schedule with me, and it’s going to suck, ” Stern says in the clip before adding “I’m going to do Doctor Doom. I called Robert Downey Jr. and I was asking him acting techniques.”

You can hear Stern talk about the project below; beware there’s a little NSFW sprinkled in there between the commercials and the Marvel chatter.

Obviously Stern would never play Doctor Doom. And it also seems possible there’s no project at all, and that Stern was deliberately messing with the entire world by “accidentally” talking about the project on a “hot mic” only to later reveal it was a prank. The other likely scenario is that Stern has a cameo as himself in an upcoming project that also will introduce Doctor Doom, in much the same way Loki featured a surprise appearance by Jonathan Majors’ Kang. (Marvel has already announced a Fantastic Four movie in development, but the project is years away.)

At this point it’s silly to speculate further. But if Stern wasn’t just pulling an elaborate prank on the superhero news world (and bigger sites like TMZ, which also picked up the story), then the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get a major addition.

The next Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters on July 8.

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