Noah Hawley's 'Doctor Doom' Movie Will Be A Political Thriller

Plenty of Marvel movies have gone on to become acclaimed hits since the comic book movie boom really kicked off in 2000 with X-Men. Despite two different iterations hitting theaters, Fantastic Four isn't one of them. The initial adaptation in the mid-2000s was a goofy family comedy trying to wear a super suit, and the more recent attempt was a hollow, gritty mess that may have once had its heart in the right place, but was an absolute disaster.

Therefore, it was surprising to hear that 20th Century Fox was keen on working with Legion creator and executive producer Noah Hawley to make a Marvel Comics movie focusing on Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom. For those wondering just how a movie about this comic book villain is going to work without the superhero team, Hawley provides some insight into what he hopes to do with the project.

The Observer recently had a chance to talk to Noah Hawley about his developing Doctor Doom movie, and while he wasn't prepared to offer up specific details, he did provide a hint as to what kind of approach he's taking:

"What's interesting to me about Doom's character is he's the king of an Eastern European country and is there a version of this that is more of a political thriller that mixes genre?...It's something that [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] did really well, which was kind of make a Cold War thriller movie out of a superhero movie. This is different than that, but it does have this idea of, and I don't want to say too much about it, but it is a mixture of genres... the mandate is not to re-launch the Fantastic Four franchise as much as it is to take this fascinating and under-served character and really build a movie about him where we ask the question: Is he a hero? Is he a villain? What does he really want? We're able to explore these questions in a serious way."

The general prospect of a villain's origin story doesn't sound all that enticing. However, we've also never gotten a movie like this before to effectively judge whether it can work or not. It's interesting that Hawley wants to focus on Victor Von Doom as the leader of the fictional nation of Latveria, much like Black Panther focuses on T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) as the king of Wakanda. The difference, of course, is that the man who is the protagonist in his origin story could turn out to be the antagonist of another.

However, it remains to be seen if audiences are interested in a movie about a villain with no superheroes to fight. We're talking about a comic book movie that doesn't fit into the parameters of what we've come to expect from the genre. But maybe that's exactly what this genre needs. We've seen innovation in the form of an R-rated drama like Logan and a raunchy, meta comedy like Deadpool, so it would make sense that the studio behind those movies is still interested in shaking up what the formula for what a comic book movie can be It's certainly a different approach to what Marvel Studios is doing, and that's not a bad thing.

Will the Doctor Doom Movie Ever Get Made?

Though Noah Hawley might have a compelling idea for the Doctor Doom movie, the question is whether it will actually get made. Disney is still in the process of purchasing 20th Century Fox, and with the overarching plan that Marvel Studios has for all their comic book movies, there's a chance some of the developing Marvel Comics-based titles won't ever get in front of a camera.

For Hawley's part, he's not privy to what's going on behind the scenes, "That's not clear to me yet. I haven't had any larger Marvel-based conversations about if they have plans for the X-Men universe or if they have plans for their other Fox-controlled comic properties. I would have to imagine there's a plan in a drawer somewhere."

That uncertainty isn't enough to stop Hawley or 20th Century Fox from developing their own projects for the time being, so for now fans can hold out hope that Victor Von Doom might get his due diligence on film. Perhaps this is a way to make a comic book villain a little more engaging if Fantastic Four ever makes a comeback. Villains are the hardest characters to crack in comic book movies – even Marvel Studios still has trouble. So maybe giving a bad guy a rich backstory in his own movie could set him up for future appearances in more traditional comic book adaptations.