It was a bittersweet moment when the Legion producer and screenwriter, Noah Hawley (also known for his spectacular work on the critically acclaimed drama Fargo and his recent novel Before the Fall), announced that his next project would be a Doctor Doom individual film. A sweet and inticing sensation came at the thought, as a writer as talented as Hawley even thinking of constructing such a character of mystery and depth really tickles any tastebud for it to happen. Though, there seems to be very little significance here when the Fantastic Four still feel as though they are heavily lacking in terms of depth or identity within the cinematic universe. This film added to the work of Legion suggests, however, that Fox are seeking the opportunity to have the very talented Hawley work very closely within their superhero ecosystem. Now that’s a thought worth thinking.
For those of you who have experienced any of his recent work – whether that be Fargo, Legion, Before the Fall, The Good Father or anything else – you’ll know why the prospect of him being an influential figure in this field is very exciting for comic fans and movie-goers alike. He has a very clear understanding of what he wants to say and where he wants to say it, but with a cinematic finesse that touches upon directional beauty and astonishment. His characters have usually always provided a large amount of depth and individuality that differentiates them from the norm. In short, he’s one of the writers of the decade that should be cherished for both his innovation and creative expression within many forms of art mediums.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t make mistakes or that his judgements are completely infallible, but it does give some hope that the future may be bright for both the X Men and Fantastic Four franchises and this film may provide the stepping stone needed to (finally) make it a reality.
The biggest question currently has to be surrounding his choice of character. Doctor Doom has featured in all the Fantastic Four films – a highly used, somewhat misunderstood character – and hasn’t really shown any interest to the general viewer. It was an unexpected reveal, something most people never thought of predicting. Hawley may be able to reinnovate the character and give the viewers an actual reason to sympathise with him, not just dislike him because the narrative has a clearly transparent bias against him. This could set the stage for Hawley’s masterplan, but it’s too early to say for certain just what he is planning.
Here’s hoping that it doesn’t disappoint.