Doctor Doom

Rumor of the Day: which Fantastic Four character could undergo a gender swap?

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Feb 5, 2014, 4:39 PM EST

As if Fantastic Four fans' heads haven't been exploding lately already, here's a bit of news that just might spell doom for the movie among hardcore fans.

Tucked into the Hollywood Reporter's story about this week's screen tests for three of the four members of the team comes this bombshell: With the villain of the reboot said to be Doctor Doom -- well, duh -- 20th Century Fox is looking for a big name to balance out all these youngsters playing the heroes. And sources say that the studio and director Josh Trank are open to considering a woman for the part.

Wait, what?

On one level there is nothing wrong with swapping genders for a character. But with this new Fantastic Four already under intense scrutiny for what looks more and more like a younger-skewing cast -- not to mention those rumors about a drastically altered origin story -- changing the sex of one of Marvel's most infamous bad guys might, at this point, only serve to disillusion fans further. Or would it give the character (last played on screen by Julian McMahon) a fresh spin?

Remember, Fox has a lot to make up for with those last two Fantastic Four films, which are among the worst comic-book adaptations brought to the screen. It's difficult to understand why making a straightforward, classic film about the beloved quartet should be so hard to achieve, or why the studio and filmmakers feel the need to possibly alter so much of it.

Of course, the report is only that Fox is open to swapping Doom's gender, so we may end up with a traditional take on the character in the end. With production slated to begin in March for the June 2015 release, decisions will be made soon. Could you handle seeing Victoria von Doom on the screen? Who would be great for the role? Or is that just too much of a stretch (pun intended) for this version of Fantastic Four to make?