Dr. Doom Speaks
On Monday morning, after his film reported $56 million in box office on opening weekend, Fantastic Four's Julian McMahon was not fielding calls from the studio with sequel offers. In fact, he was still talking to journalists about his role as the comic book supervillain Dr. Doom. "No actual calls yet, but I think it was a pretty good start," he laughed modestly.
Still, based on his knowledge of the comic books, McMahon is pretty confident that Dr. Doom is here to stay. "Firstly, it's Dr. Doom and he can never die. I don't know if you know the comics at all, but Dr. Doom just never goes away. He's like the Joker in Batman. I remember watching that as a kid and going, ‘How does he keep coming back?' So Dr. Doom is endless. I love that kind of comic book take on the continual battle with those kind of arch villains."
As much as Fantastic Four established the origin of Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and Sue and Johnny Storm into Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Invisible Girl and Human Torch respectively, it simultaneously chronicles Victor Von Doom's fall from billionaire investor to electric-powered madman.
"You know, with a name like Von Doom, you wonder how did he ever turn to the dark side?" McMahon laughed. Still, his portrayal is fairly light compared to the comic books. "Dr. Doom, had this lair set up in tents and things. He was very dastardly. He's a real flaunting guy, but the Victor that we have is kind of different. He's bigger and wealthier and it's kind of a different expanse. I'd like to get to that. I really like the sniveling kind of evil guy behind the curtain, so I'd like to see that at some point in time."
For the middle of the film, Victor is off in his own world dealing with his company's collapse and his growing super powers alone, while the Fantastic Four become celebrities. This isolation actually grew from the editing process.
"There were five or six pretty big scenes that didn't even end up in the movie that I had with all the other characters individually. And then on top of that, maybe three or four scenes that we had all together and they were taken out as well. So it didn't feel like that when we were shooting it, but watching the movie, it definitely feels kind of individualistic. But I kind of like that. He's kind of over in his building, stewing and trying to plot against them while they're trying to deal with their new powers and newfound fame."
After over a decade on long running television dramas and a soap opera, Julian McMahon has grown accustomed to some level of public recognition. But in the short time of Fantastic Four's release, he has not yet encountered the massive fan base of children that surely know his face, be it covered in a metal mask or not.
"Well, the movie only came out on Friday and I don't think I've been out since Friday."
Even with the media blitz preceding the film's release, McMahon kept too busy to notice a public reaction. "I really haven't been out much at all because in the last three-four weeks, I've been shooting my TV show and flying back and forth to New York every week to promote the movie. And so my time out in public has been very limited. What I'm trying to say is I haven't recognized anything yet but maybe that's just because I haven't been out and about."
If the reports he's are true, McMahon will have to get ready for an onslaught of kids. "Somebody said to me the other day, ‘Do you realize that in one day more people have seen you than have ever in the whole of your TV career?' Some pretty astounding figure. I was like, ‘Okay, that's kind of scary.'"
Fantastic Four was released July 8th, 2005 and stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Hamish Linklater, Kerry Washington, Laurie Holden. The film is directed by Tim Story.