Recent news of the new Fantastic Four movie and the return of X-Men to the Marvel Cinematic Universe prompted fans to speculate about the potential actors portraying notable Marvel characters. We had two versions of Fantastic Four in the last two decades – the 2005 and 2015 generations. Both of the movies failed in certain elements, but the 2015 reboot was absolutely atrocious. One of the worse parts of the Fantastic Four reboot was the mischaracterization of the notable characters – specifically, Doctor Doom. This article will provide our opinion of Adam Driver’s potential cast as Doctor Doom in the new Fantastic Four reboot.
Adam Driver could be a good cast for the character of Doctor Doom. His experience in portraying complex and layered characters is vast, and the portrayal of villains in the movies is something Driver definitely knows – Kylo Ren from Star Wars and Jamie Massey from While We’re Young come to mind. Adam Driver is also an accomplished actor who knows how to act outside the “screen area” and is great at displaying the dramatic behavior that Doctor Doom has in the comics.
We will discuss previous Driver’s roles and how they connect with the character of Doctor Doom in the comics. Moreover, we will mention previous versions of the character on the big screen and see how they faired with the public. If you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
Overall look into the previous roles of Adam Driver
We already know that Adam Driver is a very talented actor. His rise to fame came from Broadway, and off-Broadway shows, where the actor honed his skills and eventually got cast in his first film, J. Edgar, by Clint Eastwood.
His roles were other than ordinary, and Driver went from the comedy show Girls, the historical drama Lincoln, and the black comedy movie Frances Ha to the lead role in the drama Hungry Hearts.
All of these roles were quite different from each other, which critics and viewers recognized pretty fast. J.J. Abrams also recognized Driver’s talents and cast him in the Star Wars sequel trilogy role as the villain Kylo Ren. Critics praised his character as one of the best parts of the trilogy, and Driver portrayed the villain really well.
Adam Driver gained worldwide fame and only continued his streak of good roles in the movies like Marriage Story, BlacKKKlansman, and Logan Lucky, where he showed the splendor of his talent. These facts are not exaggerated since the actor received multiple Oscars and Golden Globe nominations.
Adam Driver eventually returned to Broadway, received more praise for his performance in the play Burn This, and got nominated for a Tony award.
Driver showed amazing flexibility and talent in portraying various characters who are mostly different, and that makes him a great potential candidate for the role of Doctor Doom. But before we go into that, we need to see how previous versions and actors faired in the portrayal of Doctor Doom in the Fantastic Four movies.
Doctor Doom’s character in comics and Fantastic Four movies
As you probably know, Fantastic Four has been adapted into movies two times; more specifically, 20th Century Fox developed three Fantastic Four movies.
First, two Fantastic Four movies were released in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and the Fantastic Four reboot occurred in 2015. The Fantastic Four from the 2000s was a commercial success, but the critics gave it generally negative reviews. The main reason for the bad reviews was the campiness and silliness of the movie, even though Fantastic Four comics have a fair share of comic relief in their storylines. Regardless, Fox and the producers went “too far” in depicting the notable superhero group.
The movie, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released in 2007, and it got much better reviews from the critics, but it earned less than its predecessor, and the Fox studio ultimately canceled the third Fantastic Four movie.
I have fond memories of the 2000s version of Fantastic Four, but my knowledge of comics and the fact I was still a primary school child kind of dismisses the good feelings of these movies. However, looking back, the movies are not that bad, and the charm of the old Fantastic Four comics and the campiness were endearing during that era. Viewers never took superhero movies seriously, and the studio and movie direction definitely represents that during the movies.
The characters were … okay. The cast of the 2000s Fantastic Four movies included a group of people who got on pretty well, and their chemistry on screen was very well present.
Besides the Fantastic Four cast of Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans, and Michael Chiklis, the movie cast Julian McMahon to portray the notorious Victor Von Doom. The actor was known for his characters in the hit series Charmed and Nip/Tuck – in the latter, McMahon portrayed a manipulative plastic surgeon Christian Troy, who was partially a good match for Dr. Doom’s character.
In the Fantastic Four movies, critics and fans criticized McMahon for his dull portrayal of Marvel’s greatest villain, whose biggest strength is his ego and the maniacal drive to rule the universe. Funnily enough, Dr. Doom is exactly that in the comics, and the writers of the 2000s Fantastic Four movies failed to capture that aspect of Marvel’s villain.
Of course, the absence of magic in the movies could’ve led to the writers’ decision to create the character of Doom as an evil, intelligent businessman who wants to steal Sue Storm from Reed Richards and destroy the man. Dr. Doom in the Marvel comics is much more than that.
Ten years later, after the first Fantastic Movie, the reboot of the same name was released, and it was simply a disaster. The characters were badly directed and written, to say the least. There wasn’t any chemistry on the screen between the actors, vastly different from the 2000s movies, and the villain, Dr. Doom, was just forgettable.
Besides the awful design of the character, Tony Kebbell was let down as an actor by the writers – he had to portray their abomination of the character.
Both McMahon and Kebbell are brilliant actors, and their talents were wasted on portraying cheap copies of villains from other movies (Doom from 2005 was literally Lex Luthor and Dafoe’s Norman Osbourne in one, while the 2015 one was just an unstable whiny man).
At the end of this section, we can say that Dr. Doom in previous movies was dramatically mischaracterized, and both McMahon and Kebbell had to work with what they were given. Dr. Doom is an egoistical maniac but a skilled and powerful man who uses science and magic for his deeds.
Moreover, Doom is a selfish man who occasionally helps the superheroes to save the Earth – ultimately, Dr. Doom doesn’t want the whole planet; he just sees the world differently from others. Victor von Doom is a complicated and layered character that only a few can portray if the writers create a good character for the big screen.
Is Adam Driver capable of that? In my opinion, he definitely is.
Could Adam Driver be the next Doctor Doom?
After analyzing the previous portrayals of Doom on the big screen and looking into the villain’s aspirations and personality in the Marvel comics, we strongly believe that Adam Driver could do an amazing job as the new Doctor Doom.
The actor had many different roles in his career, and he proved himself a talented actor in Hollywood. Moreover, Driver has already been in a huge movie franchise (Star Wars) and knows how to portray “the characters from the comic book sphere.”
Besides his Star Wars experience, Adam Driver is versatile in acting, and he has shown numerous times that his characters are complex and emotionally flexible. Doom is that kind of character – he can go from good and ally to the absolute monster in seconds, and Driver definitely can do a good job.
Of course, Fantastic Four writers and Marvel Studios need to work really hard to adapt the character of Doctor Doom to the MCU. Firstly, he is an iconic comic book character, and secondly, they do not have any more excuses.
There were two previous portrayals of Doom on big screens, and they did not hit the mark with the fans, to say the least – Studios already used the lack of magic in the universe and other excuses. Doctor Strange 2 opened a huge door to the magical aspect of the MCU, and the Multiverse will be at the center of this phase.
Adam Driver can be an amazing Doctor Doom, but only if the writers develop a great character for the MCU. We can only hope that will be the case, regardless of the actor portraying one of the biggest villains of Marvel comics history.