Friday, July 21, 2017

Noah Hawley Developing DOCTOR DOOM Movie for Fox

Show me the puny mortal who does not tremble at the name of Doctor Doom!

According to the Hollywood Reporter, at the end of yesterday's San Diego Comic-Con 2017 panel for the FX series Legion, showrunner Noah Hawley teased that he's developing a movie based on Marvel Comics supervillain Doctor Doom for Fox, which holds the rights to the character and his archenemies, the Fantastic Four.  

"Two words," said Hawley. "Doctor.  Doom."

The article claims "Hawley is developing a feature project centering around one of Marvel Comics' most recognizable villains with an eye to direct."

The project would presumably be part of another attempt to create a Fantastic Four film franchise for Fox, which had mediocre success with 2005's Fantastic Four and 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, followed by the outright failure of Fox's 2015 Fantastic Four reboot, a box-office bomb that reportedly cost $120 million to make and only brought in $56 million in domestic ticket sales.

Doctor Doom was featured in all three films, played by Julian McMahon in the first two, and Toby Kebbell in the reboot.

Created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Doctor Doom first appeared in Fantastic Four (vol.1) #5 as Victor Von Doom, who was part of a tribe of Latverian Romani people under the rule of an unnamed nobleman called the Baron. Victor's mother was a witch named Cynthia Von Doom who died by Mephisto's hand while Victor was young.  His father, Werner, was the leader of the tribe and a renowned medicine man who kept his wife's sorcery quiet in order to protect Victor from a similar fate.  Soon after Cynthia's death, the Baron's wife grew incurably ill from cancer and Werner was called to the capitol to heal her. When she succumbed to illness, the Baron labeled Werner a murderer and called for his death. Werner escaped with young Victor, having realized the night before the woman would die. He died of exposure on the mountainside, cradling the boy in a final embrace and giving him his garments to keep him warm. Victor survived and, on return to the Romani camp, discovered his mother's occult instruments and swore revenge on the Baron.  Victor grew into a headstrong and brilliant man, combining sorcery and technology to create fantastic devices which would keep the Baron's men at bay and protect the Roma people.  His exploits attracted the attention of the dean of Empire State University, who sent someone to the camp.  Offered the chance to study in the United States, Victor chose to leave his homeland and his love, Valeria, behind.

Once in the United States, Victor met fellow student and future nemesis Reed Richards, who was intended to be his roommate, but Victor immediately disliked him and asked for another roommate.  After a time, Victor constructed a machine intended to communicate with the dead. Though Richards tried to warn him about a flaw in the machine, seeing his calculations were a few decimals off, Victor continued on with disastrous results.  The machine violently failed and the resulting explosion seemingly severely damaged his face. Expelled after the accident, Victor traveled the world until he collapsed on a Tibetan mountainside.  Rescued by a clan of monks, Victor quickly mastered the monks' disciplines as well as the monks themselves.  Victor then forged himself a suit of armor, complete with a scowling mask, and took the name Doctor Doom.  As Doctor Doom, he would go on to menace those he felt responsible for his accident—primarily, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.  He succeeded in taking over Latveria, taking an interest in the welfare of the Roma.

In his first appearance, Doctor Doom captured the Invisible Girl, using her as a hostage so the Fantastic Four will travel back in time to steal the enchanted treasure of Blackbeard which would help him conquer the world, but he was fooled by Reed Richards, who swapped the treasure with worthless chains.  Over the years, Doctor Doom became the central foe of the Fantastic Four and eventually menaced Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Doctor Strange, and other Marvel superheroes.  

In the recent Secret Wars storyline, Doom usurped the power of the Beyonders with the aid of Doctor Strange and the Molecule Man,  collecting what he could of the destroyed multiverse and forming a new Battleworld consisting of different alternate realities.  He also assumed the role of God and claimed complete dominion of this new world and its inhabitants, controlling them into thinking he was always the almighty force of creation. Richards and a ragtag collection of heroes and villains that survived the destruction of all universes challenged him and, with the help of Molecule Man, were able to take his power and restore the multiverse.  Opting to heal rather than harm, Richards finally uses the Beyonder's power to heal Doom's face and turn him into a good man.  Following the defeat of Tony Stark at the hands of Captain Marvel at the conclusion of Civil War II, Doom remembered his unsatisfaction as a God and decided that it was his role to help heal the world.  Inspired by Stark, Doom currently fights for his unique brand of justice as the Infamous Iron Man.

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