One of the saddest aspects about the American film industry’s inexplicable inability to get the Fantastic Four right is the lack of a worthy cinematic representation of their primary foe, the menacing, megalomaniacal, mysterious Doctor Doom. He’s a great character, with all the gravitas of a disgraced royal (he rules over the fictitious kingdom of Latveria, which is not the same as Latvia, in one of my childhood’s most major disappointments) and the volatility of a man driven by revenge. His mythology — the trademark green cape and metal faceplate, his grandiloquent manner of speaking — has already inspired at least one legend in the world of music, and now the movies will finally catch up.
A lot of people were disappointed by last summer’s Fantastic Four. The reboot, directed by Josh Trank, was supposed to relaunch one of the most popular comic-book series in history, and erase the memory of two previous, unpopular Fantastic Four movies in the process. It had a great cast, including Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan. It had Trank, coming off his acclaimed superhero film Chronicle. It should have been the start of something huge.