2015’s Fantastic Four took a lot of creative liberties with its source material, and Doctor Doom was no exception. Played by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Kong: Skull Island’s Toby Kebbell, this take on the Marvel antagonist differed greatly from his classic comic book counterpart, and was one of many aspects of the reboot that just didn’t work. Over half a decade later, Kebbell has opened up about what went wrong with his “goofy” version of Doom.
Debuting in the pages of 1962’s Fantastic Four #5, not only is Doctor Doom the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis, he’s long been cemented as one of Marvel Comics’ most famous supervillains. Toby Kebbell acknowledged the character’s prestige status in an interview with Forbes, and said that Doom being mishandled in 2015’s Fantastic Four was a byproduct of the issues this reboot was dealing with behind the scenes. In his words:
Aside from being an intellectual rival to Miles Teller’s Reed Richards, Toby Kebbell’s Victor von Doom (who was originally going to be called Victor Domashev) barely resembled the traditional depiction of the Fantastic Four baddie. This version was a computer technician mentored by Dr. Franklin Richards who was mutated by the effects of Planet Zero, just like Reed, Kate Mara’s Sue Storm, Michael B. Jordan’s Johnny Storm and Jamie Bell’s Ben Grimm. After initially being thought dead, Victor returned with a vengeance, having been fused with his space suit and gained telekinetic abilities. He attempted to destroy Earth using the Quantum Gate leading to Planet Zero, but his plan was foiled by the title quartet.
Granted, this wasn’t the first time a cinematic depiction of Doctor Doom was shown having natural superpowers, as Julian McMahon’s incarnation was able to manipulate electricity in the Tim Story-directed Fantastic Four movies. Nevertheless, it’s obvious to Toby Kebbell that the final version of the reboot, which differed greatly from director and co-writer Josh Trank’s original vision, failed to properly do Doctor Doom justice. Of course, it’s no secret that 2015’s Fantastic Four had a rough production, and Kebbell’s experience on the project resulted in him not being interested in returning for a sequel.
Fortunately for him, then-20th Century Fox scrapped Fantastic Four 2 following the first movie bombing critically and commercially. A few years later, the Disney/Fox merger happened, and now the Fantastic Four property is under Marvel Studios’ umbrella. Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Jon Watts is now developing a new Fantastic Four reboot, and while we don’t know any specific details about it yet, it stands to reason that whether it’s in this movie or a later story, the MCU’s version of Marvel’s First Family will eventually fight their own Doctor Doom. Hopefully Kebbell likes that version of the character better than his own.
While we wait for more news on the next Fantastic Four cinematic tale, there are plenty of other upcoming Marvel movies to look forward to in the coming years. Toby Kebbell can be seen playing Sean Turner in Apple TV+’s Servant, which has been renewed for a fourth and final season.
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