Doctor Doom

Noah Hawley on his magical Doctor Doom script, Cat's Cradle, and Pale Blue Dot

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Jan 6, 2018, 5:43 PM EST (Updated)

The second season of FX and Marvel TV’s Legion returns in April, but crafting the continuing existential journey of David Haller (Dan Stevens) hasn’t been the only genre project on creator/executive producer Noah Hawley’s plate. He’s got a full slate of film scripts to write, including the origin story of Marvel’s Doctor Doom for 20th Century Fox.

After the Television Critic’s Association panel for Legion today, SYFY WIRE talked to Hawley about the status of the Doom story, which he says is perhaps a bit more traditional in its treatment of a Marvel character than his current take on Legion.

“I’m still writing [Doom], and it’s really fun and exciting,” said Hawley. “It’s its own movie. I feel like those [superhero] movies often work best when you marry genres. Captain America: Winter Soldier, I thought was a great marrying of a Cold War movie and a comic book movie. And this has its own alchemy of genre that I am really excited about. It won’t be surreal. I’m not trying to do that, but it’s going to tell me what it wants to be on some level. You have a character in Doctor Doom who uses magic, so the movie should be magical on some level. It’s all an exploration that I’m going through.”

Hawley also is working on the script for Pale Blue Dot, about an astronaut who returns home from space experiencing reality in a different way. Natalie Portman was originally attached to star, but then Reese Witherspoon was cast. She left the project for HBO’s Big Little Lies, and Hawley confirms casting her replacement is still pending. “You’ll know before I do, probably,” he jokes. “Also, I don’t have a greenlit movie yet [with Fox Searchlight], but that’s also where my efforts are.”

Last but not least, and perhaps most in line with Legion, is Hawley’s adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. “It’s going good,” he said of the script's progress. “I’m a little busy, but I’m working on a script that I really like. I said yes to too many things, which is my fault,” he laughs. “But that shouldn’t indicate that I’m not crazy passionate about getting Kurt Vonnegut right for the screen.”

But don't fret, Legion fans, Hawley says if he shoots Pale Blue Dot this summer, he does plan to return in the fall for a third season of Legion, if FX picks it up again.

Let us know which Hawley project you're most excited about in the comments!