Robert Downey Jr nearly played Doctor Doom in a Fantastic Four movie

Robert Downey Jr nearly played Doctor Doom

Robert Downey Jr is synonymous with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For more than a decade and nine action movies, he played Iron Man, the series unofficial mascot, but he very nearly played another armoured Marvel character, the villainous Doctor Doom.

According to The Direct – who’ve read The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new book all about, you guessed, it the making of the MCU – Downey met with Marvel when 20th Century Fox first started planning their Fantastic Four movie.

Jon Favreau, the man who brought Iron Man to the big screen, was the one who spilt the Doom flavoured beans. “Marvel had already met with [Robert Downey Jr.] before,” he claimed. “I think, to play Doctor Doom.” Of course, in the end, Downey didn’t don Doom’s iconic mask and green cloak. The role went to Nip/Tucks Julian McMahon, who played a reinterpretation of Doom who joined the Fantastic Four on their trip to space. When the cosmic rays struck, he was transformed into living metal in a nod to his comic book armour.

Fans weren’t pleased with this version of Doom, believing that he failed to live up to the majesty of the comic book character. Doom is widely considered one of the greatest villains in comic history, whose depth and characterisation belies his ridiculous name.

There have been other attempts to bring the majesty of Doom to the big screen, but they’ve all been duds. Toby Kebbell did his best to bring the good Doctor to life in 2015’s dreadful Fantastic Four reboot, but a lifeless script and gloomy visuals doomed this incarnation to the pop-culture rubbish bin.

There were plans for a Doctor Doom standalone movie with Noah Hawley attached to direct, and Mads Mikkelson of all people set reportedly in negotiation to play the title character. Unfortunately, these plans fell through when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, and Kevin Feige announced plans to once again reboot the Fantastic Four at the end of Phase 4.

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