How to get Dr Doom right, a Tutorial.

Take it easy, Afghan Girl

News has come from the front that the new Fantastic 4 movie everyone expected to suck sucked as bad as everyone expected. Among other things, the one that especially jumps at me is that they apparently bungled Doom yet again, and not even in the way I knew they would. Apparently this is a telekinetic, fused to his suit, hates humanity and wants to destroy them all so he can get some peace and quiet in an alternate dimension. Motivation? Ruined. Duration of fight? Ruined. Doombots? No.

So, seeing how this is the third time Fox has completely failed to understand what makes Dr Doom a compelling character at various levels, it's time for me to do a tutorial, from someone who has not read a single Fantastic 4 comic in his life.

1) Start out by looking for images of DR Doom.

When you hit the ones that aren't from your awful films, you'll notice that DR Doom is kind of a fusion character. His cape and clothes denote Medieval Royalty, yet his armor is technological and brutal. Like all good characters, Dr Doom's appearance says it all immediately. He's an aristocrat, yet he's not a soft man. He's old fashioned, but uses technology to advance himself. He likes to flaunt, but he hides more than he flaunts.

You see, certain characters like the Joker, are constantly reinvented to invoke certain things.  Jack Nicholson Joker and Heath Ledger Joker are very different characters, but they are both built around elements that makes people like the Joker. But if we removed all that, and made Joker into an arms dealer with no other connection to the character except he gets called Joker once or twice, then obviously it doesn't look like a reinvention of a character we know. It looks like you don't know what the character was in the first place.

Appearance IS important, especially if you're gonna rejigger the character everywhere else. If it doesn't look like Doom, doesn't act like Doom, then you can't get people excited for Doom being in your movie.

2) Look for some of the comics.

 Maybe you can get them on comic stores or...ask Marvel, I'm sure they'd love to show you some.

I know some details, like Doom's quest to rescue  his mother from Hell, are always gonna be bit too bizarre for movies. And yes, Doom IRL should just shut up about his face being deformed and get the plastic surgery he probably can afford on an evil dictator salary. Hell, we don't even have made up countries in  movies anymore, so the idea of this guy coming from Sokovia Latveria might be a bit of a hard pill to swallow.

But it's not THAT what you should be looking for.The comics can give you ideas for characterization. For example, in the Books, Doom is all about hating on dat Reed Richards. That's compelling. They're both basically on a similar intellectual level. But where Reed makes inventions for the good of mankind, Doom uses them more or less for personal gain and to get back at Reed. Reed has a surrogate family that is willing to to fight alongside him, while Doom is basically alone, even with his immense resources. That's contrast. Reed and him used to be friends, until Reed kind of ruined his life. Reed carries that guilt, Doom carries that resentment.  That's characterization gift wrapped and given to you, and you just leave it on the box, unnopened.

So what are you gonna do with that? He's a rich jerk and when he gains powers he becomes an ANGRY rich jerk. And then in the new one, he's a sociopath who gets brought to an experiment, making him a super powered sociopath. Joker wouldn't just show up at the end of the movie for a quick fight with Batman.  Why do that to Doom? Unlike the Joker, we've never actually HAD the straight take to contrast with the "reimagining". And built in fanbase also leads to built in EXPECTATION. Give us the straight fuckin' take already!

"You see, Batman, I am no longer going the be riddled with grief! Now RIDDLER..."

3) Get someone with a voice.

I mean, not to knock on Julian MacMahon and Toby Kebbel. I'm sure they're great actors. But...let's look at Darth Vader.

Vader is rumored to be very directly  by Doom. Since no one even saw him without the mask until Jedi, there would have been no actual expectation of how he talked, and in fact, if they'd gone with the voice of the man behind the suit, well, it would have sounded like this.

So Lucas made a good decidfhjkdfld sorry, I had a bit of a shiver. Lucas made a good decision and dubbed his voice over with  James Earl Jones. And, he nailed it. He nailed the suave charm and the commanding force Vader had. He doesn't need 20 computer generated filters to inspire fear.

Doom needs a great voice. I don't care if in flashbacks Victor is John Leguizamo. When he put on the damn mask, you better be sure he's being voiced by a good actor. Maybe you can get Ron Pearlman, since he played a pretty good Dr Doom in Teen Titans.

4) Doom needs to be plotting, and it needs to be a good plot.

The first X-Men movie had a lot of flaws, but I think one of the things that was right about it was that Magneto had a plan. He had a plan, and everybody knew it. But nobody knew exactly what it was. It was all the more of a shock when that planned ended up involving Rogue and not Wolverine, as we where led to believe.

Dr Doom in these movies NEVER has a plan that makes you think "wow, this guy is devious!". He basically just wanted to bump off the 4 in movie 1, with no other stakes at hand. In movie 2 he basically wanted even more superpowers to again, try to wack the 4, and he wouldn't have even got to do it except General Idiot agreed to show him the Silver Surfer's board for no reason, and he more or less stole it like a druggie might steal your bike.

Again, does anyone in the new movie ever wonder what Victor is up to? I don't know. I'll find out when I pirate it next week, but it sure seems like he just wants to destroy the world. Because RULING the WORLD is such a SILLY concept, fufufufufufufufu.

Even if he Doesn't have Doombots or a Country to rule or a piece of the True Cross, Dr Doom should be devious. He's not about overpowering people with sheer force. He's not the fucking Juggernaut or Frieza. He's a MENTAL powerhouse.Is that really that hard to get?

5)Watch the Roger Corman movie

Ok, The Roger Corman movie was a laughing point for many of us just getting the internet in the early 2000's. "OMG, so stupid, I thought I was downloading the one with Jessica Alba, not this dreck. Hahahahahaha"

But as Silly and Bad as it was, it's kind of becoming  a sore point that that Ashcan movie made to keep the rights around is probably the more accurate version of F4 on live action yet. I mean, sure it's a no budget trainwreck, but they sure nailed Doom.

I mean, think about it. Dr Doom in there is the actual Doom, with the origin story and the mask. He lives in a castle. He plots his revenge against Reed. He's got kind of a good voice. And this movie was built in about a month with a shoe string budget. They didn't have the influence of the Ultimate F4 they've twice laid claim to in the newer versions. In fact, I would dare venture and say that Roger Corman probably knew Doom's story beforehand. With little time to even invent something new towards Doom, he probably went with the origin he already had, which is as compelling as anything you'll ever find: Revenge and Vindication.

6)You're not listening to a goddamn word I'm saying, are you?

You threw this thing together real quick to keep the rights, didn't you? We all know it. You didn't even touch the franchise in a decade, but as soon as that deadline was coming, you quickly wanted to reboot. You don't even care if it bombs, do you? DO YOU?

I know other people would say "give the rights back to Marvel" like you didn't just spend  $122 million to NOT give the rights back to Marvel. But at least pay attention to what Marvel is doing. You might earn something.

You don't HAVE to use the most popular villain on every version, you know? Take it easy on the Doom. Go ruin Moleman or something. We don't care and neither do you.


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