Before Nicolas Cage took on the role of Johnny Blaze in the Ghost Rider films, he was the original choice for the role of Dr. Victor Von Doom in Fox’s 2005 release of The Fantastic Four. However, later he was replaced by Nip/Tuck’s Julian McMahon.
The film, which was directed by Tim Story, showcased the origin of the superhero team who then faced off against McMahon’s Dr Doom. Although the film did not receive critical acclamation, it was box office success which led to a sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Julian McMahon, who played the dull version of the classic Marvel villain Dr. Doom in Fantastic Four, did fairly well as compared to the insipid script he was given. Recently, concept artist Ryan Unicomb, who is also producing a documentary about George Miller’s cancelled Justice League movie, revealed on Instagram that McMohan was not the original choice for the role of Dr. Doom in the 2005 flick The Fantastic Four.
Unicomb said that Nicolas Cage was the original choice for the role and when he was approached to play the character, which was a far different version than the McMahon’s role. The character version given to Cage had skinless, bio-mechanical arms and a face inspired by Marilyn Manson’s stage makeup. Cage turned down the role and it went to McMahon.
Sharing a picture of skinless, bio-metal arms on Instagram, Ryan Unicomb wrote, “Back before Julian McMahon took over the role, Nicholas Cage had been cast as DOCTOR DOOM for 2005’s FANTASTIC 4. 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.”
Tim Story’s directorial 2005 film The Fantastic Four also featured Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and a pre-Captain America Chris Evans as the foursome.