The Shady Truth Behind Fantastic Four's Villain

There’s a lot of criticism that's been directed towards last year’s Fantastic Four reboot, and one of the top issues on the list was Victor von Doom, a.k.a. Doctor Doom.  While Toby Kebbell’s performance was satisfactory purely from an acting standpoint, this movie’s version of the famous Marvel villain was an even less faithful interpretation than Julian McMahon’s from the previous series. It’s been 10 months since the movie hit theaters, and now Kebbel has revealed an eye-opening truth about his time as the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis: it wasn’t even him in costume for most of the time.

While speaking with The Daily Beast about his latest movie, Warcraft, Kebbell informed the publication that not only was the Fantastic Four that folks saw in theaters last year was not director Josh Trank’s original version, but the actor himself only got to play Doctor Doom (i.e. the character masked) three times. He explained:

I tell you, the honest truth is [Trank] did cut a great film that you’ll never see. That is a shame. A much darker version, and you’ll never see it. …  Unfortunately, I played Doom in three points: Walking down a corridor, killing the doctor and getting into the time machine, and lying on the bench. They were the only times I played Doom. Everything else was some other guy, on some other day… doing some other thing. I was infuriated that he was allowed to limp like that!

Toby Kebbell made it clear in this interview and other times in the past that he put a lot of time into crafting his portrayal of Doom, including figuring out the right kind of accent to use. It’s understandable, then, how he would be frustrated that his time as Victor as a full-on villain was cut down to only a couple scenes, while someone else filled his shoes for the rest. He had plenty of screen time in the first half of Fantastic Four, but his time was significantly reduced in the second half. As for the theatrical version not being the “great cut,” Josh Trank previously alluded to that in a tweet he sent last year right before the movie was released.

In the Fantastic Four reboot, Victor von Doom traveled with Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm to Planet Zero, but he was presumed dead after he fell off some of the collapsing ground. A year later, when a new portal to Planet Zero was opened, Doom was discovered alive, but his space suit had been melded to his body and he now possessed incredible abilities, like telekinesis. Believing that humanity needed to be eradicated, Doom went back to Planet Zero to enact his master plan, but he was defeated by the four heroes and was subsequently disintegrated by the portal’s energy beam.

As it stands now, Fantastic Four 2 has been pulled from its July 2017 release date, though 20th Century Fox has yet to announce a cancellation, and producer Simon Kinberg sounds keen on moving ahead with the sequel. Whether it gets made or not, Toby Kebbell doesn’t seem keen on returning as Doom, so he doesn’t have anything to worry about.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.