Fantastic Four: Nicolas Cage as Original Dr. Doom Concept Art Shows

Before Nicolas Cage set the big screen on fire as Johnny Blaze in the Ghost Rider films, he was set to be Dr. Victor Von Doom in Fox's 2005 release of The Fantastic Four before being replaced by Nip/Tuck's Julian McMahon. That is, according to Ryan Unicomb, the Australian filmmaker behind the upcoming Justice League: Mortal documentary, who managed to get a hold of some makeup work and concept art of what Cage's Dr. Doom could look like. Unicomb posted on his Instagram with the following.

nicolas cage
Nicolas Cage 019 attends the special screening of Color Out Of Space at the Vista Theatre on January 14, 2020, in Los Angeles, California, courtesy of JNAM /

"Back before Julian McMahon took over the role, Nicholas Cage had been cast as DOCTOR DOOM for 2005's FANTASTIC 4," Unicomb wrote. "The production team decided to approach Cage after a concept artist used the likeness of singer Marilyn Manson for some of their pieces. At the time, the project was considerably darker & Doom's look was definitely walking a line between PG13 & R (as seen in these production maquette's of his skinless, bio-metal arms). This obviously never panned out but it's interesting nonetheless. #NicholasCage #Fantastic4 #FantasticFour."
The 2005 Fantastic Four was directed by Tim Story and written by Mark Frost and Michael France. It starred Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans as the foursome. The film was a success at the box office generating $333 million globally at the box office, which lent to the 2007 Rise of the Silver Surfer that wasn't as commercially as successful. Fox tried to remake the franchise with Josh Trank in 2015 to disastrous results as a pronounced flop.

Fantastic Four: Nicolas Cage as Original Dr. Doom, Concept Art Shows
Julian McMahon as Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four (2005). Image courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Cage's Ghost Rider films in 2007 and its sequel, The Spirit of Vengeance in 2011 made significantly less with a combined gross eclipsing $350 million globally. Didn't help both films had significantly different creative changes with Mark Steven Johnson performing writing and directing in 2007 whereas the 2011 sequel had Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor sharing directing duties and taking writing duties were The Walking Dead's Scott M. Gimple, Seth Hoffman, and David S. Goyer. Given the current state of affairs with Disney's acquisition of Fox, there's no telling when Marvel will introduce The Fantastic Four as official MCU canon though there was an Easter Egg in the recent Spider-Man films alluding to the Baxter Building, which houses the group. The only incarnation officially in MCU canon of Ghost Rider is Robbie Reyes, which was played by Gabriel Luna in ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D—leaving open the possibility of Cage's Johnny Blaze acknowledgment. It's further made possible with Marvel's introduction of the Multiverse stemming from the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it's re-introduction of Jamie Foxx's Electro from Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) in the upcoming untitled third Homecoming series film, and the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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