Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dr. Doom Is Not a Hacker

"He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story.  And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that.  The Doom in ours—I’m a programmer.  Very anti-social programmer.  And on blogging sites I’m “Doom”. -Toby Kebbell, actor playing Dr. Doom Victor Domashev

Karen: You've probably already heard that news -that Dr. Doom in the upcoming Fantastic Four film will be radically different than his comic book persona. As in, he'll no longer be the megalomaniac genius ruler of a small European country, but instead, an internet troll.

Really, I am not making this up.

For some reason, the film-makers felt the need to change a character that has been one of the most popular villains in Marvel Comics for over 50 years. Now it's true the film has not come out yet, so these changes remain to be seen. But given the very fundamental nature of them, one can't help but think that we will not be seeing 'our' Dr. Doom on-screen (again). 

Why is it that Fox can't simply bring the character to life as-is? Marvel Studios has stuck pretty close to the characters as presented in the comics, and they've been wildly successful. It makes sense -they have been around for 50 years and are a proven commodity. They work, dramatically speaking. Sure, there have been some tweaks here and there, but for the most part, the characters on the screen are clearly recognizable, not only physically but in personality, to their comic book counterparts. Thor is Thor. Captain America is Captain America. Iron Man is Robert Downey Jr. -OK, that one is not a great example. But Iron Man's origin is still very close to the original, just updated for the times.

Why can't we have a Dr. Doom, who is named Von Doom, who is the dictator of a small country in Europe, and is both a genius technologist and a sorcerer? Look, if we're going to swallow the whole idea of people with super-powers, why is that too much to ask?

The way this movie is shaping up, it seems it will bear little resemblance to the Fantastic Four of any era. It's a shame that such a beloved group of characters can't get the cinematic portrayal they deserve. Certainly they are no harder to bring to the screen than any of the Avengers. Personally, I hope the movie, if it is as bad as feared, crashes and burns and the rights revert to Marvel so that we can finally get a decent FF film a few years down the line. Maybe then we will be able to get over the indignity of Dr. Doom being portrayed as a hacker.


david_b said...

Karen, I'm appalled.

For it's once majestic flagship title of the Marvel Universe, which in it's prime did Spiderman barely edge out in popularity.., and it's never received it's due or great care that's been given to all the other properties.

Sure there's been tweeks here and there to other characters, but nothing as profound as this. Sure there'll still be the basic conflict between Doom and the FF, regardless if they make him a super-smart plumber or something, but it's the celebrated scientific essence and scale of conflict that'll be missing here, Doom's righteous rationale and his, well, reason for being.

'Reduced now to an internet troll...?'

I'm dismayed.

Sure, I embrace my inner-curmudgeon and resign myself to think, 'Eh, it's all belongs to the 20somethings now.., who cares..?'

But look at 50yrs of comic history and ask yourself, 'Just look at what they're missing......?'

Humanbelly said...

Good grief-- somehow, I'm simultaneously unable to believe what I'm reading. . . and at the same time I'm not at all surprised. Is such a contradiction even possible-??

Two MAJOR lessons that FOX seems unwilling to learn (and this is just off the top of my head):

1) "Younger/Hipper/Trendier DOESN'T equal Good-er"-- or heck, even popular-er. Pretty much the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic U is older (or at least reads older) than pretty much everyone cast in this FF reboot. 'Cause, yeah, the obvious problem w/ the Marvel films is that young folks stayed away in droves, and that's why those movies have all been a string of devastating financial failures. It amazes me that FOX clings to this inane falsely youth-centric corporate philosophy which itself is about 15 or 20 years behind the curve.

2) Uh, did NO ONE at that studio happen to notice the pretty much universal loathing of how the Mandarin was portrayed in IRON MAN 3??? I mean, sure he was a red-herring-- but this was another iconic, intensely formidable adversary in the source material, and he was reduced to being a pathetic figure of ridicule.
So, making Doom into something as mundane (and cliched) as a super-hacker is better than this. . . how? I mean, good lord, FOX itself already gave us two seasons of that with this "Pelant" bozo on BONES (whom the fans also did not care for, mind you-).

Nothing. Original. Here.

The source material WAS original, which is why it can still resonate if it's used as a starting point.

GRngh-- I'm with Karen. I hate to wish ill on any enterprise (well, maybe TRANSFORMERS. . . ), but having this movie fail again could be a solid lesson-learned for thick-headed FOX. . .
GNNNARGH-- I'm w/ Ka

Humanbelly said...

Hunh-- my word processing is a trifle clunky, eh?


Anonymous said...

But Stan Lee will cameo in this travesty and give it his seal of approval :(

david_b said...

Y'know Colin, I reeeeally hate it when you're right.


Humanbelly said...

Heck, he was all-aboard, full-steam-ahead for TURN OFF THE DARK. (Although, admittedly, footage of his backstage pep-talk is a hoot, and comes across as vintage Stan Lee Hypethusiasm. I would have LOVED to have been in the cast circle for that!)

I mean, he'll never disassociate himself from any iteration of his personal co-creations, regardless of how removed they are from the original. And he really shouldn't. 'Cause even then, they STILL wouldn't exist w/out him, y'know?


J.A. Morris said...

Wow, the Doom from the earlier FF movies was bad enough. I hope this changes, but I didn't have much hope for this movie before hearing this news.

Anonymous said...

HB, imagine the day when we stage our own local production of TURN OFF THE DARK!?! Oh, the stories we could tell.....

I'll try to keep this brief before the internet cuts me off again.

The Spider-Man I grew up with, albeit Marvel Tales, was the geeky high schooler who was always chasing after Betty Brant. Who!?! Betty Brant, JJJ's secretary. At the same time, I was reading the modern version who was dating Gwen, Gwen Stacy. As we all know, he eventually ends up with Mary Jane Watson.

Jump forward to the 90s and Fox comes out with the Spider-Man cartoon. I really liked the way they handled the stories. It was a mix of one and dones yet with an overall story arc winding through each season. BUT!!!! Mary Jane Watson was not only his only girlfriend SHE WAS ALSO A CLONE!!!! WHAT!!??!! I know! Right? Then came the first trilogy, the one with Tobey and Kristin. She's not only the only girlfriend, she's the one the Green Goblin goes after.

Is this getting too long?

Too late......

The Prowler (and if this all blows up and goes to Hell).

Anonymous said...

What does it all mean??? I have a point, promise!!!

Okay, now we can jump forward to where we live. Marvel came out with a cartoon called The Avengers, Earth Mightiest Heroes. The story of Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man who band together when all the super villains bust out of their prisons. I think there's three of them. High points: The Wasp is in every episode, they bring in Capt America and The Black Panther, Hawkeye is originally locked up in one of the prisons but helps out when things go hinkey.

What happened to it? Marvel's The Avengers blew the lid of the pot!!!! So they dumped Earth's Mightiest Heroes and replaced it with Avengers Assemble. Tells the story of how Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, Hawkeye, The Black Widow and new recruit The Falcon team up to form the Avengers. No mansion this time, they live in Stark Tower!!!

What am I trying to say? One man's meat is another man's poison. And that being said, I really think this FF movie is going to SUCK!!! Like a Hoover, like a straw, like an ant eater, like an elephant.......!!!!

The Prowler (you can still find us sitting on a bed in some hotel, telling all the stories we could tell).

Humanbelly said...

Dude. . . like Dracula at an Ear, Nose & Throat convention-!

. . . Like the Salt Sucker from the first Star Trek episode!


Edo Bosnar said...

You know, if we had already had a decent FF film, I wouldn't mind a concept like this is a sort of re-imagining (like an Elseworlds story), i.e. the FF as a bunch of plucky hackers who fight for justice in cyberspace, with their archnemesis being an internet troll named Dr. Doom.
However, that's the problem, there hasn't been a decent FF film. It's really too bad the rights didn't revert to Marvel Studios long ago, because then we would have had an awesome FF film folded into the already awesome Marvel Studios universe...

pfgavigan said...


It's pretty obvious that the film makers have zero regard for the source material and feel that they have to improve it for the movies.

On a side note, for those who have casually dismissed the changes in the Johnny Storm character, how would you feel if Jennifer Lawrence was cast as the lead in a remake of "The Color Purple"?


Bruce B. said...

Well, thanks for the warning. This will be the rare superhero movie that I won't see. If they are getting Doom that wrong (again), I don't have any interest in it.

Like you said, why can't we get a FF movie with the real Dr. Doom? He's arguably the most complex, interesting villain in the Marvel Universe - you would think some director would love to bring Dr. Doom to life.

Anonymous said...

Remember a while back when that theory was floating around about Marvel cancelling the FF comic because they didn't want to give the Fox FF movie free publicity? I'm just wondering if Fox isn't tanking this movie on purpose, so that when the rights DO revert to Marvel Studios the franchise will be basically ruined for any new movies? At the very least, it seems they're trying to ruin Doom (who would make a great opponent for the Avengers, especially if they tied him in with Kang somehow...or they could have him join the good guys like in Infinity Gauntlet).

Maybe Fox is just trying to "salt the earth" as it were...or maybe that's just my conspiracy-addled mind talking :)

Mike W.

david_b said...

Pfgavigan, all good points..

"So how come Reed Richards isn't a hispanic science major with meth issues..?"

"Whaaaat do you have against Hispanics, eh Fox..??"

Racism PURE Racism, let's go rumble in the streets.

(Disclaimer: Apologies to Missouri citizens.)

cerebus660 said...

I've just picked my jaw back up off the floor...
This "FF" movie ( who are they kidding? )sounds terrible. I wasn't too impressed with the last two FF movies but at least they made some attempt to stay faithful to the original characters. But this reboot sounds like a complete travesty.
To echo previous comments, the sooner this movie disappears into the Negative Zone the better. I'm sure Marvel Studios could make a decent version if the rights ever revert to Disney... sorry, Marvel...

Anonymous said...

I forget this earlier and pardons to Karen/Doug Doug/Karen if I'm straying off topic. Won't be the first time!!! I know! Right?

We have a local show here, runs for about an hour on Saturdays, live at 6pm Central, replay at 10pm. Covers comics, movies and all things geek. And wrestling.

Anyhoo, they were mentioning that Columbia?, whomever has the rights to Spider-Man at this point, has announced a prequel focusing on May Parker. It's a movie about how she came to be the character we know her to be today. In the Spider-Man movies.

I hope she was part of some ultra super secret government project a la Bourne. Now that would be a movie.

The Prowler (talkin' to myself again wondering if this travelin' is good is there something better we'd be doing if we could).

dbutler16 said...

Wow, this sounds like a bad joke. I guess I'll be missing this Marvel movie. Frankly, many of the characters in the X-Men movies bore little if any resemblance to the comic book counterparts, but at least they were good movies, and they did get some of the characters, like Professor X and Magneto, spot on. This FF nonsense does not sound good on any level.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another bonehead decision by Fox studios, seriously why don't they respect the character? They're radically changing the Doom character? Why? Marvel studios didn't tamper with Rocket Raccoon and GotG was one of the biggest hits of the year!

I dunno why, but the cinematic FF has always been problematic for some reason. Marvel's first family deserves better than this! The sooner it reverts back to Marvel Studios the better, in my opinion.

- Mike 'Victor Von Doom forever' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

They shouldn't lead with Doom in the first movie anyway, except maybe as a cameo. It's too much stuff. Maybe lead with the Wizard and the Trapster.
I think the F.F.'s origin would fill up most of a film.

Humanbelly said...

Going back up to you, Mike W--- yyyyeah, it's almost certainly your conspiracy-addled mind whispering all-to-loudly in your inner ear. Don't listen to it, brother. The movie industry is just about as immediate-results-oriented (especially in this century) as almost anything can get. A long-game that involves spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in order to sink a project for the sole purpose of making the property nonviable for a rival studio is something that would get the scheme's author laughed out of the pitch-meeting and likely written off for any further work once word got around. Nah- never happen. Too many careers at stake.

Mind you, that has absolutely NO bearing on the abundance of stupid, misguided decisions and lack of artistic risk-taking that can be so prevalent. There's no shortage of disasters being created by folks who think they're gonna rake in the big $$$.


Anonymous said...

@HB: So THAT's why I can't get work in Hollywood...damn!

You're probably right, but that theory came to me, so I decided to share it.

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

You could do Doom in a film, and stay fairly close to the source material.
A poor, impoverished kid whose parents are taken from him happens to somehow win a scholarship to the same university Reed Richards in going to.
He blows off his face in a lab, blames Reed, but nevertheless makes it back to his own tiny East Balkan country to lead a revolution (actually, this is starting to sound like Dark Knight Rises a bit) but with the aid of supernatural tutoring from, say, Diablo, and technological assistance from, er, let's say the Skrulls, (why not), becomes the most dangerous man in the world. Throw in a little Bane and Darth Vader, and badda-bing, you got Victor Von Doom.
But not some nerd eating pizza in front of a monitor. Oh please no.

Dr. Oyola said...

It could still be a good movie . . I mean, probably not, but it could be. . . It just won't be an actual FF movie. . . we'll see.

Oh, and I loved the way they handled Mandarin in IM3 - only good part of any otherwise crappy movie. Face it, the original Mandarin (like Yellow Claw and others of his ilk) is a racist caricature of the type there is no excuse for anymore.

Karen said...

There's a script synopsis floating around the interwebs right now that may or not be accurate (the movie's writer says it is not). But it describes Reed as a smart kid working in a convenience store, who solves some sort of time travel equation. Dr. Storm (JOhnny and Sue's dad) brings Reed and his best bud Ben to the Baxter Building where they work on the equation but open up a portal to the N-Zone, which is how they get their powers, and from their, hilarity ensues. Yes, N-Zone. Because I suppose that sounds cooler than Negative Zone.

If the synopsis is for real it just sounds like utter garbage. No spaceship, the FF are kids with a mentor, and you already know about Doom. Again, I just don't understand why the studio is so afraid of taking the basic premise and using it for the film. Look at Iron Man. They took the basic premise (genius weapons manufacturer injured in a wartime situation, taken hostage, creates super-suit, escapes and becomes super-hero with a conscience). Yeah, they tinkered with Stark's personality but for the better I'd say. And the main thrust of the character is intact.

I was annoyed when I heard Marvel was cancelling their FF comics for awhile, apparently in some attempt to hurt the FF movie. Now I wonder if it is because they knew this thing was going to be a steaming pile, and wanted to distance themselves from it as much as possible?

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, re: your last point about Marvel wanting to distance itself - could be.

Otherwise, I have to agree with Osvaldo, in that I think Mandarin was pretty well handled in IM3. Also, I have to once more come to that movie's defense. I actually liked it...

Rip Jagger said...

Given the recent rumblings of Vladimir Putin you'd think a megalomaniac rummaging around in Europe would strike a nerve they'd want to explore.

Latveria would make for a wonderful metaphor. Oh wait, it already was.

Rip Off

Humanbelly said...

Oh, surely that's a hoax-y synopsis-- not only is at a jaw-droppingly absurd departure from anything identifiably "FF" (including the Ultimate U version), it's also too stupidly Spy Kids/Cody Banks-sounding for a Fox Studios action film. It sounds, if anything, like a Disney Channel attempt at a super-hero series. . .

Edo & Osvaldo- I don't know if I'd exactly agree that the Mandarin was well-handled in IM3. . . but I totally recognize that he couldn't possibly be portrayed on film the same way he's been in the comics for 40-some years. Honestly, I think it would have been better to suck it up and lose that specific name. . . and keep the powerful character himself in a more up-to-date package. The power rings are that character's hook, not his name, really, or his often-horrendous costume. Heck, his ethnicity doesn't have to be carved in stone. And the rings could have fit in very nicely with the whole powerful-artifacts overplot that's been underway.
Mind you, I thought Ben Kingsley was an utter hoot-- he NEVER does enough comedy, and he's a darned funny guy on screen-- but it was like having Lex Luthor reduced to playing Boss Hogg, y'know?

Ooo- hey, and I'm going to once again echo you, edo, with my own support of that film, overall. I liked it quite a lot-- it wasn't perfect, but was a darned sight better than IM2, IMO!


Edo Bosnar said...

HB, personally, the three IM films rate about the same, although I think the first one is slightly better than the two sequels. However - and as I've said here before - IM3 has one of my favorite scenes in any superhero film, ever: when IM rescues all of these people who flew out of the giant hole in that airplane's fuselage.

Unknown said...

If I was doing a Fantastic Four movie, I would use the Skrulls as the first villain, and thus create the impetus to create the stardrive in attempt to head off the invasion. The stardrive becoming damaged in a conflict then presents itself as the means in which they gain their powers. I would have Doom as a cameo, having just taken over Latveria and having Nick Fury questioning Reed about his relationship with him.

If the movie was a success, then have Doom in the second film, perhaps with Namor.

Robert L. said...

It sounds more like a comedy than a Fantastic Four movie. I believe the first two Fantastic Fours were meant for children and young adults. However they did stay true to the material. The reason why they weren't the effects heavy extravaganza fans wanted? Director Tim Story didn't have the mega budget of the other Marvel film makers.

I'll have to wait and pass judgement when I see the film.

However when I see how badly the Amazing Spider Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2 did at the box office and the fact that they have strayed so far from Spider Man he stops becoming the character we all know.

I don't have a lot of hope this will be on par with the Fantastic Four movies already produced. I don't get why the creators of the movies feel they have to stray so far from the source material. Who is going to want to see this film if it doesn't resemble what was in the comic. Perhaps they don't care. Perhaps the director considers things like having family values and honesty a joke in the real world.

I can only speculate here, however the changes the director is proposing makes the Fantastic Four unrecognizable.

Robert L. said...

While on the subject of the Fantastic Four:

I'd have to recommend for this year:

The 1994 DVD animated series set


The FF Anime Version on Cartoon Network in 2005 or 2006...The DVD set was called... The Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes

Both of them were decent adaptations of Marvel's first family of super heroes.

It looks like we are going to have to forget about a good FF movie for awhile.

On the comic book front I purchased a nice hard cover entitled:

The Last Fantastic Four Story

It has a great final story of the FF along with an unpublished Kirby illustrated story from the late 60's.

Kirby left because of promises made and not kept by Stan Lee and his boss about a share of the profits when the characters became a success.
Jack migrated to DC in 1970 and went on to create the New Gods, Kamandi, OMAC, and The Demon. Spider-Man Co-creator/artist Steve Ditko left also much earlier for the same reason.

Crowdaddy said...

I couldn't agree more. I won't elaborate, because you said it all.

Doug said...

I just saw the following on today:

Take this as a grain of salt from the rumor mill but the following information does come from two reliable sources in what appears to be an official synopsis for Josh Trank’s upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR movie. This has not been confirmed with Fox and we will update this report as soon as we hear any new information.

THE FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel's original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy. (C) Fox

The reboot of the Fantastic Four is being directed by Josh Trank and stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Kate Mara and Miles Teller will play the Fantastic Four team. Toby Kebbell will also appear as Dr. Doom along with Reg E. Cathey as Dr. Franklin Storm and Tim Blake Nelson as Harvey Elder, aka The Mole Man. The Fantastic Four is set for release on August 7, 2015.

Sources: Rotten Tomatoes, Comic Book Movie


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