The Fantastic Four can't catch a break. The reboot of the classic superhero team has become the proverbial punching bag for in development comic book based films. Fox Studios is restarting the Marvel Comics property after doing a lackluster job a decade earlier and has not done themselves any favors by launching an ultra-secretive marketing campaign. It almost feels like the studio is embarrassed by what they've done and are buying time to clean it up. To make things worse, every now and then an actor says something about the project that sounds ridiculous, especially out of context. That brings us to our latest bit of news...
Respected up and coming actor Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), recently sat down with Collider and shed some light on his interpretation of the famed Marvel Comics super-villain, Doctor Doom. Who traditionally is a ruler of a fictional country, Latveria, whose attempts at world domination are constantly thwarted by [The Fantastic Four](movie:34667). He is one of the most visually striking villains there are and may have even influenced Darth Vader, with his cybernetic implants, monster cape, as well as a scarred and masked face.
Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) is at the helm of the new remake, which is intended to wash away the memory of the Fox's previous attempts with the franchise. Kebbell explains the changes that they have made to adapt Doom to their new tone:
"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...' Yeah, it was cool man. Josh, the whole deal, the lo-fi way he did it, the ultra-real. It was just nice to do that. It was nice to be feeling like we had to come to terms with what was given by this incident...I’m excited to see it too, and my nerves really…The only thing I can tease you about is what I worked on most was the voice because nobody—even in the cartoons, when I was watching them I was like, “So where’s he from?”
In the comics Doom is a genius inventor and a sorceror as well. It seems that since they are going "ultra-real" they won't focus on the magic and make him a technological wizard. It would make sense and does fit into the Ultimates version of the character. But how hokey does that sound? Wow. However it is encouraging that there at least seems to be logic behind the performance, by acknowledging his foreign roots.
Fortunately he opened up to IGN later on in the day and expanded on what he had said earlier.
It is also telling that Trank chose indie style actors for the more personable character in Reed Richards (Miles Teller), Sue Storm (Kate Mara), and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan). While the physical roles were filled by actors gifted in transformations, both physically and vocally, in Kebbell and Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tin Tin). It should also be mentioned that both actors learned motion capture from the master, Andy Serkis. So their physical performances (whether mo-capped or not) will certainly inform their overall characters. Kebbell's work in the Planet of the Apes series as Koba has been garnering a huge amount of acclaim this year as well.
It seems as if Kebbell has something very specific character that he wants to create and when actors have that vision, at times it can transcend the material. How he goes from a blogger to a worldwide threat should, hopefully, be as interesting as the main heroes' journey. Or it will be a disaster. It is completely possible that Fox intentionally had Kebbell leak this info. Maybe they are pulling the Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope move. Letting all the fans and critics expend all their negative energy, before hitting us over the head with a roundhouse trailer, that knocks us out of our shoes. But somehow I doubt it...
Honestly this story gives me hope. Hope that it's not too late for me to rule of a country of Latveria. Control robots telekinetically with my mind. And get a sweet mask. I love this new realism in movies!
So what do you think of the direction? Is it refreshing? A disaster? Let us know!