Noah Hawley may be busy working on the final season of his mind-bending series Legion and his upcoming directorial debut Lucy in the Sky, but the filmmaker always has time to talk Doctor Doom. Hawley’s long-gestating project about the Marvel antihero seemed like it was — well — doomed following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and its superhero characters. But Hawley is here to assure us that Doctor Doom is not dead yet, and that talks have restarted, this time with Marvel Studios.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hawley confirmed that he had recently sat down with Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige presumably to discuss Doctor Doom, during which time Hawley pitched going even wilder and more experimental than the Marvel Cinematic Universe had gone before:
I did sit down with [Marvel Studios’ president] Kevin Feige recently and I said that I look at myself as sort of the Marvel R&D department. I know the genre can do all of these amazing things that [the Marvel Cinematic Universe] is doing, but my feeling is, what else can we do with it? Can we make it surreal? Can we make it musical? Not as a gimmick, but all of these techniques are about putting you into the subjective experience of these characters.”
Hawley is probably not making these suggestions specifically for a Doctor Doom movie (though seeing Victor von Doom break into song would be entertaining as hell), but looking for ways to push the envelope in the superhero genre as he’s done with FX’s Legion. Hawley has described his Doctor Doom as more of a geopolitical thriller, focusing on the character’s pressures as the king of the fictional Eastern European country.
Hawley has been trying to get Doctor Doom off the ground for the past two years, but the impending Disney-Fox deal had presented a daunting roadblock for the film. A script is reportedly already written, but Disney and Marvel aren’t in a rush to reintroduce Fox’s Marvel characters into the MCU just yet, though with the future of Phase 4 still a blank slate, there may be hope for Doctor Doom yet. Although Hawley has his hands full with Legion, Fargo, and Lucy in the Sky, he clearly is passionate about bringing Doctor Doom to the big screen, adding to THR:
I wrote a script about Doctor Doom, an antihero story I really like, and we’re still talking about making it. I’m trying to get out from under this movie I made and this last season of Legion, and Fargo is coming back up… but for better or worse, these are the stories we want to hear right now. 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.”
Could Doctor Doom make the cut as the next part of Marvel’s Phase 4? Or will Hawley have to wait a few more years until he makes this passion project? We may find out come Comic-Con.
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