The last significant piece of the new Fantastic Four puzzle is set. The character Victor von Doom, more commonly known by his only slightly more evil-sounding name Doctor Doom, will be played by Toby Kebbell. Deals are being finalized, but assuming everything goes according to plan, he’ll join Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell in the film.
Variety reports the deal without offering many more details about how Doom will end up on screen in this version. But it can’t be worse than the Julian McMahon version in the 2005 film, right?
We do know that the Josh Trank film, scripted by Jeremy Slater and rewritten by Simon Kinberg, is leaping off from Marvel’s Ultimate Fantastic Four comic series. The characters will be younger than the traditional versions, and some precise origin details will likely differ from the original story written by Stan Lee in the early ’60s.
The Ultimates version of Doom actually has the “regular” name Victor van Damme. (Variety specifies the “von Doom” name, but that could be incorrect.) He is an aristocrat who is (no joke) descended from Vlad “the Impaler” Tepes. He’s involved in the same scientific program as Reed Richards, and is instrumental in the accident that gives the Fantastic Four their powers. How many of the Ultimate details will end up in this film? We don’t know at this point.
Regardless of the details of Doom’s character, Kebbell will be an exciting actor to watch with this team. He got my attention in Control where he had a small role as Joy Division’s manager Rob Gretton, after which I tracked down Dead Man’s Shoes. He cut a memorable figure on the poster for RockNRolla, and in the film, and quickly established himself as an actor who can do a lot with very little. Put the guy in just one scene and audiences will still remember him after the credits roll. (See The Counselor for just one recent example.) Fantastic Four will give Kebbell a lot more screen time than many projects offer him, and that alone is a great thing.