Noah Hawley has provided an update on his long-gestating Doctor Doom film, explaining that Disney's takeover of Fox has left it in limbo at Marvel Studios. First announced at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, Hawley's script has been of large interest to fans of the Marvel villain, as well as those who are rabid to see Hawley's take on another comic book character after the recent series finale of his critically-acclaimed TV show Legion.
Hawley seemed to have a deal nearly locked up with Fox back in summer of 2018, when the character of Doctor Doom was still owned by the studio. Two incarnations of the villain had already been brought to live action along with his arch-enemies, The Fantastic Four, and both had failed to live up to fans expectations, contributing to critical and box office busts for the franchise. Fox was hungry to make a success of its IP, and were apparently pleased with Hawley's take on the narrative. But then the Marvel-Fox deal was struck, and all the characters went back home to their place of origin, at which point Hawley's script was shelved.
Now, in an interview with Uproxx, Hawley has revealed that there is still hope for his Doom movie, even if it's only a shadow of a hope. In a sit-down with Kevin Feige, the Marvel Studios head asked Hawley directly whether he was still working on the project. Hawley asked in return, "Should I still be working on it? I assume you guys have a plan in a drawer somewhere for The Fantastic Four.” Feige's only reply was a cryptic smile, although it has actually been confirmed that an MCU version of The Fantastic Four is officially on the way. Whether or not those plans include Hawley's Doctor Doom remains frustratingly unclear.
The story of the disfigured dictator pitched by Hawley is certainly intriguing. Thus far, Doctor Doom has only been seen on the big screen as an antagonist for Reed Richards and family, but Hawley's screenplay would portray him as more of an anti-hero. Using terms such as "Cold-War parallel film," and "geopolitical thriller," Hawley paints a picture that would begin with Doctor Doom already in power as ruler of the fictional nation of Latveria. Having closed off the country to the rest of the world by installing a giant dome, he invites a journalist to come and hear his side of things. And thus, the story of how Doom was born is relayed to the audience.
While fans may find that Marvel's dealings with Hawley have been less than optimistic, the possibility of his Doctor Doom being initiated into the MCU shouldn't be dismissed - especially not if the hype and ticket presales of Joker are to be believed. Once the DC universe has a hit on its hands with a solo villain film, it will only make sense for Marvel to want to take a dip into those same waters. And what more interesting, more exquisitely complex Marvel villain is there than Doctor Doom?
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