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Mark Ruffalo is now known to movie fans far and wide as The Incredible Hulk. However, it was very nearly the second comic book role he played, though he lost out in his bid to play the first. Previously, he auditioned to play Doctor Doom in The Fantastic Four. No, not in the 2005 version starring his Avengers co-star Chris Evans, but rather the infamous 1994 version which was directed by B-movie legend Roger Corman.
When Fox scored the right to The Fantastic Four, the deal with Marvel required the studio to make a movie within a particular time period, or else the rights would revert back to Marvel. By the mid-1990s the studio wasn't really ready to make a Fantastic Four movie yet, but they didn't want to lose the rights, so they hired Roger Corman to direct a Fantastic Four movie on a shoestring budget. The point wasn't to make money, or even release it, it was all a business decision in order to hold onto the film rights.
A documentary has been released which tells the story of the infamous film and Yahoo reports that it details that a young Mark Ruffalo actually auditioned to play the part of Doctor Doom. Ruffalo would have been in his mid-20s around the time The Fantastic Four was filming. Needless to say, he was not the name then that he is now. He only had a handful of credits to his name, and none of them were anything you're likely to have heard of.
The role of Doctor Doom eventually went to Joseph Culp, an actor probably best known for playing Don Draper's father on Mad Men. Nobody involved in Roger Corman's film really went on to stardom, it's probably a blessing that Mark Ruffalo wasn't cast.
To date, few people have actually seen Roger Corman's version of The Fantastic Four and it is generally agreed by those who have that it's pretty terrible. The only reason to actually watch it would be to see just how bad it is. Although, considering the quality of the actual theatrical releases that the property has seen, there's an argument to be made that Corman actually made the best Fantastic Four movie so far. It had to have been better that the most recent endeavor.
If you've actually seen Roger Corman's Fantastic Four we'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comments. Could Mark Ruffalo have added anything special to the production?