While official details on The Fantastic Four have been sparse, one thing is certain: this film will be a radically different interpretation of Marvel's First Family. There are the obvious differences, like the main characters being younger and the film being set in a "grounded" world, and then there have been hints of more unusual changes like a revised origin and unusual costumes for the foursome. But the changes aren’t just limited to the protagonists. The film’s main antagonist, Doctor Doom, will also be adapted in ways never seen before.
While being interviewed about the Blu-Ray/DVD release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Toby Kebell, who is playing Doom, spoke with Collider on his time playing Doctor Doom and revealed some interesting information about the character’s origin, including a name change and his occupation.
Evidently the film has decided to forgo using his original comic book name Victor von Doom and will use something that sounds more normal. Granted, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the real world with the last name "von Doom," but part of the character’s charm is that he already had a worthy supervillain name before he turned to the dark side. It’s worth noting the name change isn’t entirely unprecedented. This film’s primary inspiration is Ultimate Fantastic Four, a comic book series from Marvel’s Ultimate imprint that features re-imagined versions of their classic characters in an alternative universe. In this world, Doctor Doom’s original name is Victor van Damme. Domashev may be a more common last name, but it just doesn’t have the same intimidating ring as von Doom or van Damme.
However, the main issue isn’t the name, but rather his background. In almost every adaptation of the character, Victor is experienced in numerous scientific disciplines. In fact, it was an experiment of his own doing that scarred his face and led him to becoming a supervillain. This movie has tossed all that aside to make him a computer programmer who blogs in his spare time. Considering the Fantastic Four will gain their powers through an extra-dimensional portal in this film, Victor may be the programmer brought on board to manage the computers for the experiment, and this will be how he meets his sworn nemesis Reed Richards. The only problem is that programming isn’t enough to defeat people with superpowers. Without the necessary engineering skills, it’s unclear how he’ll invent the Doombots and other gadgets need to take down the Fantastic Four, unless of course his intelligence is boosted to superhuman levels the same way the heroes gain their abilities. Also, isn’t the idea that people who are skilled with computers antisocial a clichéd movie trope at this point?
With all of these changes, it’s a good bet Victor won’t be the heir to the Latverian throne in this film series. Latveria will probably end up being a fictional country he built for himself on Minecraft.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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