As Legion showrunner Noah Hawley makes the press rounds for the fantastic FX series’ Season 2 debut on April 3rd, some questions about his plans for the adaptation of the infamous Marvel Comics villain Doctor Doom inevitably popped up. Hawley’s plenty busy with the Marvel Television property at the moment, and the impending legal quagmire that is the 20th Century Fox / Disney merger isn’t making the future for this feature any clearer. (It’s worth mentioning that, when last we talked to Hawley, he had yet to have any conversations regarding that merger and the future of properties like Doctor Doom; that appears to still be the case as of today.) But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been mulling over just how to do justice to the fan-favorite character on the big screen.
In a chat with Observer (via The Playlist), Hawley talked about his approach to Doctor Doom in comparison with both his own Marvel project Legion and another Marvel movie you may have heard of: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now while that MCU installment wasn’t totally centered on the title villain, it did take an interesting angle with the character as he related to the title hero. More to the point, Hawley appears to be a fan of that film’s genre-bending approach, one that he would like to apply to his own take on Doctor Doom.
First up, here’s what Hawley had to say about his potential take on the title character:
“As with ‘Legion,’ my thought was that the [superhero] genre has a certain kind of movie covered, but what else can the genre do? What’s interesting to me about Doom’s character is he’s the king of an Eastern European country and is there a version of this that is more of a political thriller that mixes genre?”
Hawley name-dropped the MCU hit by way of comparison and wisely repeated the fact that yet another Fantastic Four reboot is not part of he plan:
“It’s something that ‘[Captain America] Winter Soldier’ did really well, which was kind of make a Cold War thriller movie out of a superhero movie. This is different than that, but it does have this idea of, and I don’t want to say too much about it, but it is a mixture of genres. The mandate is not to re-launch the ‘Fantastic Four’ franchise as much as it is to take this fascinating and under-served character and really build a movie about him where we ask the question: Is he a hero? Is he a villain? What does he really want? We’re able to explore these questions in a serious way.”
While not directly connected at all, Hawley’s approach reminds me less of the MCU and more of Marvel’s parent company, Disney. The Mouse House made their bones with fairy tale movies and princesses, but lately, they’ve shifted into live-action features of those successful films, and even taken the relatively bold step of building movies around those films’ villains. That’s an approach I could see working for the Big Bads of the comics universe. Could Doctor Doom be the first example of how well this approach works? Time will tell!