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So The Fantastic Four now has its Doctor Doom, one Toby Kebbell. It's an interesting choice, as Kebbell's an interesting and aggressive onscreen presence. It's not hard to imagine him conjuring up some nastiness that places our heroes in peril. But what is Kebbell's Doom going to do? Doctor Doom's schemes in the comics ranged from petty crime to world domination and outright terrorism. But in the movies, he hasn't had the chance to show the insanity and grandiosity of his most elaborate plots. Fortunately, this movie might take a page from the comics in showing exactly that.
The Nerdist reports that a source has revealed that Doom will utilize his prized Doombots in this film. In the comics, Doombots served two functions. Some, the kind more likely to be utilized in the movie, were attack drones modeled after Doom himself, capable of flight, superhuman strength and energy projection. Often these would serve as bodyguards, though, designed with Victor Von Doom's likeness, they often engaged in battles Doom himself did not want to fight. The second kind were more overt A.I. Models capable of making diplomatic appearances on Doom's behalf as a dictator of the country of Latveria. Often, these Doombots would be stand-ins for extended periods of time, a clever way for comic writers to place the character in certain death situations, then have him appear a couple of panels later, a nice luxury for a potential franchise.
What most people forget about Doom, and what the earlier films ignored, is that he's a special brand of crazy. He's not just a tyrant and a supervillain – he also rules over Latveria with an iron fist. As such, he has all the neuroses not only of a major political figure, but also a madman who looks down upon the entire planet for their weak intellect. This guy speaks in third person perspective unironically. Will Kebbell be playing the more outlandish Doom, who made grand pronouncements and ridiculous gestures, or a more grounded, evil terrorist type? Everything about this movie says the latter, but Doombots suggest the former.
Of course, Doombots have an actual precedent in real life. Several world leaders are in the crosshairs daily for their political ideologies and belief systems. That's led many of them to pursue lookalikes to stand in for them, with some of these mimics eventually sacrificing their lives in botched assassination attempts. The wildly-speculative Lee Tamahori flick The Devil's Double (trailer below) takes a look at the life of the man who would be Uday Hussein's stand-in, and is well worth a look for this sort of idea onscreen. Will The Fantastic Four explore the chilling implications of a man who would program machines to die the thousand deaths his crimes have clearly earned? Or will they be cannon fodder?