Wednesday, 12 November 2014

2015's Fantastic Four Film - Doctor Doom Is Dead

As if fans of Marvel's first family didn't already have enough reasons to hate Josh Trank's decisions of late, they now have an entirely new gripe to fume over. Rather than featuring the Fantastic Four fighting the famous metal masked dictator of Latveria, they will be fighting a Russian blogger.

No, really.

Revealed on Colldier, the following information was discovered on the DVD release for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Speaking with Toby Kebbell, who will be playing not-Doctor Doom, he conveyed the following information to audiences:

"He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story.  And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that.  The Doom in ours—I’m a programmer.  Very anti-social programmer.  And on blogging sites I’m “Doom”."

A full video can be found on the link covering the entire interview, but notable terms picked out from quotes were Kebbell stating "even in the cartoons, when I was watching them I was like, “So where’s he from?”" and further confirming Trank's approach to be "lo-fi". This only further slams audiences with the confirmation that no one on this project even begins to understand the basics of why Fantastic Four works. It has never been about being lo-fi, it's not about extreme street level grittiness, it's about high adventure and outlandish science.

As mentioned in previous articles, the creative forces behind this project are trying throwing the source material completely out the window. They're trying to write the Fantastic Four as a group they were never intended to be, and even ignoring past mistakes which were made by previous creators. Turning the Four into teenagers, making their powers act like disabilities, trying to turn Doom into a more "believable" character, these were all attempted in the Ultimate universe. You know what else as well? That incarnation of the team split up and never again reformed, only really working once they were integrated into other parts of the setting.

There are many teams this could work with, X-Factor, the Morlocks, perhaps even the recent Inhuman outbreaks in comic, or even the Runaways at a stretch. They were built from the ground up with this sort of thing in mind and it's since been well integrated into their style, their mythos, their overall identity. Trying to turn the Four into this is not only driving away the most interested group in seeing a film, it's also making terrible use of the source material. There are ways certain ones can be interpreted into a wide variety of different viewpoints, ideas and shifted to fit certain concepts. However, when a film goes as far as this one does though, with the creators behind it apparently being openly ashamed and embarrassed of what they're working with, it takes a miracle to get anything truly good out of it.

Ultimately this idea has removed anything fantastic or remotely fun from Doom and seems intent upon ignoring anything which could work as it might not be taken seriously. The problem is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already shown many times over people can happily accept some of the more fantastical elements. If directors tired to do the same with them, it would spell disaster.

Imagine if Tony Stark was envisioned not as a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist but as a homeless man living off of scraps or someone at a dead end call centre. It would lose half the idea behind the character, his entire drive, and the core message which was at the very heart of his creation.
Imagine if Thor was never used as the actual God of Thunder, but as a deluded lunatic locked away in a mental asylum merely thinking he was the god. The entire film would lose all of its biggest strengths, in terms of characters, setting, motivations and the contrasting cultures which gave the films their best gags.
Imagine if Captain America was reduced to being a failed genetic experiment stuck with half his body trying to actively kill the other half, living his life as a cripple and unable to fight.

Iron Man 3 was the closest any film came to doing this, which still offered plenty of big battles and futuristic tech scenes. Despite doing so, even then that film received flak from sizable parts of the fandom over trying to dodge the more outstanding elements of the comics. Audiences don't want to see this sort of thing with characters who were never intended to embody it, and this is just spelling disaster for the film.

On a personal note, I do truly hope that this film does somehow manage to capture some elements of what made the comics so good to begin with. That said, a Doom best known for being grand, operatic and bombastic, master of science and magic? How could that ever be seen as the weaker option when compared with "Internet troll gains super powers, goes insane"?


  1. Yeah, this is no longer a Fantstic Four movie. It feels like they are trying too hard to be different and daring with its changes. This sounds like it be more suited or a sequel to Chronicle.

    1. That could well be what Trank is attempting, using it as a platform to further his ideas for Chronicle. It's the other extreme to having executives completely running the show, allowing for someone to run rampant all over the production with no guarantee they will stick to the film's actual premise.

  2. So how do you even pitch ideas like this? I'm not as surprised by this change after everything else, I just want to know how the idea started.
    Actually with all of these changes it's really reminding me of Tim Burton's Superman, however they were smart enough to never make that movie.

    1. Odd you should bring up Tim Burton's Superman, as this seems like the studio itself has forgotten every single lesson the film industry as a whole has learnt over the last decade. It's as if they're willingly ignoring failings for some reason or another.