Doctor Doom from 'Fantastic Four' Vol 6 - Artgerm Variant a.k.a. Stanley Lau. Image: Marvel, Artgerm

This Underdog Fan-Cast for Doctor Doom Deserves a Chance

With another Fantastic Four movie in development and the introduction of mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many are speculating who (if anyone) will be cast to play one of the most influential villains in comics, Doctor Victor von Doom. The only person getting nearly as much attention is the debate over who will be Doom’s counter, Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic. However, while Richards will likely be in a team dynamic, Doctor Doom is a villain and needs to be able to stand alone. This makes the casting all the more vital. Someone worth seriously considering is the British actor Charlie Clapham.

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Outside of a few roles like Kick-Ass 2, the British Romani actor is best known in the U.K. for movies and series like the award-winning soap opera Hollyoaks. He’s been in a dozen other projects, but in addition to the soap being Clapham’s most involved project (appearing in almost 400 episodes), connected universes and long-running serialized comics are science fiction soap operas, and I will die on that hill—especially comics where characters age much slower unless it’s imperative to the plot. Clapham would join a long line of supes who got their early career through soaps. This list includes Christopher Reeves (yes, Superman), Chris Hemsworth, and many more.

Another reason worth looking to Clapham for the role of Doctor Doom is that fans’ support has been growing. While many are just saying that Clapham looks like Doctor Doom, others are also stressing the importance of Romani representation and that aspect of Doctor Doom, as well as their love for Clapham’s filmography. After being tagged several times, Clapham also expressed interest in the character. While it’s more common for behind-the-scenes creative to dunk on Marvel movies than performers, it’s still great to see that Clapham is actually interested in the role, the MCU, and Romani representation in the media.

The only recurring hesitation is the fact that Clapham hasn’t taken on a lot of roles and is not a recognizable figure, especially in the U.S. However, newer actors (of all ages) are common, especially in more recent MCU phases. Many core characters within mainstream comics (Marvel and DC) have either been Jewish or Romani—or their stories are influenced by the experience of Jewish and Romani refugees and their descendants. It’s long overdue to bring in the actors and behind-the-scenes creative talent who will bring those experiences today with them into these stories.

(featured image: Marvel, Artgerm)

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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.