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Noah Hawley 'Talking About Making' A Doctor Doom Movie With Marvel

The creator of Legion still has high hopes for his version of one of Marvel's most iconic villains.

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Noah Hawley revealed that his script for Doctor Doom — which he completed before Disney's acquisition of Fox Studios — is not out of the running for inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Legion, which is wrapping up a three-season run, is notable not only for being very good, but for being the only television series to tie in with the X-Men film series. That series, of course, has also reached its conclusion, and the X-Men and various ancillary characters are expected to be rebooted into the MCU in the future (although not necessarily the near future). Among those characters now available to Marvel Studios is Doom, one of the most formidable antagonists in all of Marvel lore — and one that has gotten ridiculously short shrift on the big screen.

Hawley teased his involvement with a solo vehicle for the villain at San Diego Comic-Con in 2017, and in his recent sit-down with THR, he explained that some of the themes that drew him to the X-Men universe also helped to shape his vision of Doctor Doom, explaining that he sees the superhero genre as a lens through which to explore human nature.

"What was interesting to me originally about the X-Men universe is these are movies that started in a concentration camp," he said. "They are clearly concerned with the true nature of human evil. It's not just some cosmic force bringing about the end of the world. That's what was always interesting to me here. Let's explore through this genre the everyday evils we do to each other, the ways we hurt each other and take each other for granted."

Hawley went on to casually drop the tidbit that he sees the character of Doom as an ideal one with which to explore such themes, and that he has in fact spoken to Marvel Studios' brass about the project. "There are different stories and characters who will bring about other themes," he said. "I wrote a script about Doctor Doom, an antihero story I really like, and we're still talking about making it."

Hawley went on to explain that although we live in troubled times, he doesn't see operating within the realm of superhero fiction as the exercise in frivolity that (apparently) many of his critics do. Rather, he hopes that by moving real-world issues into the fantastical, superpowered narratives that modern audiences simply cannot get enough of, he can help to frame difficult issues in ways that facilitate discussion.

"For better or worse, these are the stories we want to hear right now," he said. "I think you can bury your head in the sand and say, 'That's unfortunate for our culture because they're simplistic.' Some people say that. I don't look at it that way. I think they are morality tales on a larger scale, and it's better to be part of the conversation than pretend the conversation isn't happening."

The character of Victor von Doom (and really, with a name like that, how could you not be destined for supervillainy) would make for a great exploration of the corrupting nature of power. Orphaned at a young age in his native country of Latveria, Doom became obsessed with acquiring ever-greater knowledge of both science and magic (as his mother had lost her life after a failed attempt to bargain with Mephisto). As a young man, he attended State University in New York City, where he met (and quickly developed a lifelong dislike for) Reed Richards, the future Mister Fantastic.

In an attempt to free his mother's soul, Doom built a machine which he hoped would be capable of projecting his astral form into Mephisto's realm — but due to a flaw in his math (a flaw which was pointed out by Richards, whom Doom summarily ignored), the machine exploded, scarring his face. This incident led him on a journey which would see him construct his suit of powered armor, acquire knowledge of the Mystic Arts on par with Doctor Strange, and return to his home country of Latveria to install himself as a dictator.

Doom then used the country's rich resources to advance all manner of schemes aimed at taking over the world, bringing him into conflict not only with the Fantastic Four, but also with practically every Marvel hero to ever grace the page. His formidable power set is far too extensive to list in its entirety here; in addition to being one of the smartest scientific minds and most skilled magic users in the Marvel universe, his suit of armor grants him a host of abilities including superhuman strength and enhanced senses. Due to his many encounters with interdimensional beings, he has been shown to be capable of teleportation, travel between dimensions, and transferring his mind to other beings, among other things; he is, in short, one of the most powerful humans in all of Marvel lore. For all of his intelligence and power, however, Doom is easily manipulated by appealing to his vast ego.

Doom has been depicted onscreen twice before — in Tim Story's 2005 Fantastic Four and in Josh Trank's disastrous 2015 reboot — and both times, the surface of the character was barely scratched. Given the wealth of material from which an interesting cinematic origin story could be mined, it'd be an savvy strategy to introduce Doom to the MCU in his own solo film, rather than simply having him appear as the villain in somebody else's story. With Legion (not to mention the FX series Fargo, which he also created), Hawley has proven himself to be adept at examining the many facets of morally complex characters — and if Marvel Studios' brass is even halfway keen on folding his existing script into the MCU, it must be pretty special.

While we don't expect to get any firm word on any of the formerly Fox-owned properties anytime soon, this seems like a project that could see some movement sooner rather than later. The MCU is in the market for a new Big Bad or two for Phase 4 and beyond, and with a script already completed and several million fans clamoring for his inclusion, Marvel might find it prudent to begin working Doctor Doom into their plans. Of course, we'll keep a close eye out for any developments, and keep you informed.