"Fantastic Four" fans, meet your new villain: British actor Toby Kebbell is in negotiations to play the superhero quartet's arch nemesis, Doctor Doom, in Fox's upcoming franchise reboot, according to Variety.
Kebbell, 31, beat out fellow rising stars Jack Huston and Domhnall Gleeson for the role, Variety said. The actor has appeared in such action movies as "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Wrath of the Titans," as well as more serious-minded fare including "War Horse" and "The East." He also stars in the upcoming "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."
The actor is the latest fresh face to join "Fantastic Four" and its band of characters given superpowers by a science experiment. The film, which Fox set to start shooting shortly in Louisiana for a June 2015 release, represents a youth movement of sorts in the superhero renaissance. It's directed by Josh Trank, the under-30 helmer of found-footage superhero hit "Chronicle" and will star a who's who of up-and-comers including Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Miles Teller as the elastic genius Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as the elusive Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), and Jamie Bell as strongman the Thing (Ben Grimm).
It's also a rare attempt to bring back a franchise that not only hasn't been gone that long but wasn't a mega-hit on the first go-round. Tim Story's two "Fantastic Four" films in 2005 and 2007, which also starred Michael Chiklis and Jessica Alba, were solid if not spectacular performers at the box office but maligned by critics and even some fans.
The closest analogue to this reboot may be Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man," another youth-oriented revival of a 2000's comic book film franchise, though Sam Raimi's original films were much more well-received than Story's efforts. Fox, though, hopes it has the formula with personalities such as Trank and Jordan, whose "Chronicle" won accolades for its fresh take on a familiar genre.
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