Hawley plans to write the script as a potential directing vehicle for himself. He has been developing the Reese Witherspoon film Pale Blue Dot at sister studio Fox Searchlight.
The primary villain in the Fantastic Four comics, Doctor Doom was previously played on the big screen by Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell. Hawley would likely recast the role, according to insiders.
Fox needs to keep making movies based on the Fantastic Four comics in order to hold onto rights to the Marvel characters, and they’ve been exploring ways to do just that without making another film about the Fantastic Four themselves.
The Doctor Doom project is still in early development, so details remain scarce and it’s unclear which director Hawley will take the character, who is also known as Victor Von Doom — a scientific genius who wears a metal mask to hide his disfigured face.
The last Fantastic Four film, directed by Josh Trank and released to scathing reviews in August 2015, grossed $167 million worldwide on a reported $120 million budget, leading Fox to scrap plans for the sequel, which the studio had assigned a release date at one point.
Hawley, who is also developing an adaptation of the Kurt Vonnegut novel Cat’s Cradle at FX, is represented by CAA and attorney Joel McKuin.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief