The Avengers roster continues to expand on the big screen, with the latest reports placing Ant-Man, Black Panther, Winter Soldier and Agent 13 as part of their roster for <I>Captain America: Civil War</I>, and Captain Marvel waiting in the wings. <p>But will that be the team going into <I>Avengers: Infinity War</I> and beyond? Some might die, some might retire, some might be busy (as Hulk and Thor seem to be for <I>Civil War</I>)? It'd be wrong to under-estimate Thanos when he eventually comes knocking on Earth’s door. <p>So we’re digging deep into the all-time comic book roster of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, even throwing a full-on dream pick or two into the mix. Check out the next ten big-screen Avengers we want to see here. We got a <i>lot</i> right last time we did this, so you just may be looking into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
<p>Sentry??? <p>Nah. <p>Moving on…
What better way to introduce Jen than in a franchise that's already got her cousin in it? There's no learning curve from introducing the concept, as audiences already get the Hulk. She-Hulk also brings an interesting dimension of wisecracking personality to the team, another profound difference between her and Bruce (aside from her femininity, of course). <p>She-Hulk has been eyed by Hollywood for quite some time (who can forget the Bridgette Nielsen test shots? Okay, maybe you should), and it would be cool to see her. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: LARGE professional wrestlers and the like always seem to get the nod here, but given the Hulk is all motion capture CG, a real woman painted green wouldn’t match, so we’re going out of the box to cast the bookish, unimposing Jennifer Walters/wearer of the motion capture suit. How about <i>Masters of Sex</i>’s Lizzy Caplan?
The second of four ladies on the list, Tigra's here partially because she represents a completely different character category: the archetypal were-person. The movies have been covering people in fur for decades, so Tigra would probably be an easy character to add. Her aggressive, playful persona could also bounce off of the other actors in a positive way. <p>We're also reminded that Tigra was indeed a member of the animated team of the '90s. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: the Internet has speculated on Michelle Rodriguez for Tigra before.
Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu is a recent Avenger, but he’s got a long history in comic books dating back to the ‘70’s. With Iron Fist already headed to TV, Shang-Chi may seem like overkill, but his deadly hands could add a strong human element to a future team made up of Gods, wizards, and mythical swordsmen. <p>Shang-Chi is a master of martial arts, crafting his body and his mind to be the ultimate weapon. And while he’s often had an element of spirituality, there’s nothing magical about his ability to kick any ass that gets in his way. His stoicism would be a welcome foil for the onscreen Avengers, who have often been shown to pour on the snark and wit whenever possible. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: Sung Kang from the <i>Fast & Furious</i> franchise has the action chops to pull off playing a butt-kicking kung fu master, and he’s got enough experience acting as a part of an ensemble to hold together the Avengers’ group dynamic.
One of the more complicated origin stories amongst the Avengers, Wonder Man a.k.a. Simon Williams, would need a bit of tweaking in order to make it to the big screen, especially amongst what we already know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with that tweaking, he could fit shockingly well. <p>Take Simon Williams’s history as a washed up actor/stuntman. What if he struck a deal to get all the success he ever wanted – all he has to do is serve as the henchman of a supervillain until it’s paid off. You could even use the villain who gave Williams his powers in comic books, Baron Zemo as that supervillain – assuming he survives <i>Captain America: Civil War</i>. It wouldn’t be a hug leap for him to betray Zemo and join the Avengers, just as he did in comic books. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: Call it left-field, but what about Jon Hamm? He's got the "been around the block" feel that a younger actor would struggle to project, and these days, Hollywood can turn any actor with enough determination into a superhero.
There's already one Captain Marvel scheduled to join the MCU, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for a former holder to that name -- especially when it's Monica Rambeau. <p>Created by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. back in 1982, Monica Rambeau has some claims to fame ranging from being the first female Captain Marvel and the first female African- American Avenger. But what earns her a spot on this list is her characterization by Stern and others. <p>Pardon our french, but Monica Rambeau cut through the B.S. pretty quick -- even though she was by far the rookie when she joined the Avengers. Down-to-earth with more than a little sarcasm, Rambeau-as-Captain Marvel quickly rose throught he ranks to become leader of the team in the late 1980s. She was written out of the <I>Avengers</I> in a sea change at Marvel, and changed codenames a couple times, but Rambeau resurfaced in 2006's <I>Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.</I> as Pulsar. Although short-lived, <I>Nextwave</I> solidified Monica's place as someone to watch -- and she came full circle in her lastest chapter as part of <I>Mighty Avengers</I> as Spectrum. <p>In comic books her next destination is part of the upcoming <I>The Ultimates</I> title alongside the current Captain Marvel Carol Danvers, but that doesnt' stop her from also joining the ever-expanding MCU Avengers. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: As for who we see playing Monica on the big screen? <I>Scandal</I>'s Kerry Washington would be a good choice, and could bring the sass and sarcasm needed to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and crew.
We saw the Nova Corps in <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> - albeit as more straightforward space cops than as interstellar superheroes - but that movie ended with Nova Prime losing most of her forces, and stashing away one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe. With the Nova Corps numbers dwindling, and an Infinity Stone in her possession, could Nova Prime take the leap of empowering one (or more) of her remaining soldiers? <p>The prime candidates to take on the role are both Earth-men – Sam Alexander and Richard Rider. This may seem far-fetched, considering the lack of Terrans (as their called in <i>Guardians</i>) among the Nova Corps, but with <i>Guardians</i> connecting Earth to Marvel’s larger cosmic tapestry, and other forthcoming films such as <i>Captain Marvel</I> expanding on that theme, Nova could be a perfect character to capitalize on that wing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the company moves forward. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: Marvel’s been sniffing around <i>Neighbors</i> actor Zac Effron for a while now. And while he might be too old to play the teenage Sam Alexander, he’d be just the right age for Richard Rider. His dashing good looks and heroic physique don’t hurt matters, either.
With Dr. Strange joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year, it’s only a matter of time before Marvel’s magical floodgates open and more of its supernatural characters are allowed into its film world. Enter Black Knight – a character with a recognizable backstory and an easy to digest mystical twist. <p>Bearing a cursed sword forged by Merlin himself, Dane Whitman is a hero who fights to overcome the blade’s bloodlust, and who has often found himself caught in a struggle between his heroic nature, and the blade’s dark personality. <p>If the rumors that Dr. Strange will anchor a new Avengers line-up in the inevitable Phase 4 are true, Black Knight could be an easy addition to that cast, with his magic sword taking the place of Mjolnir, or even Captain America’s iconic shield as the weapon every kid wants to wield. Add in the fact that Dane Whitman is enough of a blank slate to survive some reinvention on the big screen, and you’ve got a recipe for film success. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: When it comes to Black Knight, it’s tough to cast a character who is a relative cipher. But we suggest Richard Madden, better known as Robb Stark from <i>Game of Thrones</I>. He may seem a bit young, having played a boy king on <i>GoT</i>, but the 29 year old actor has the presence and gravitas to pull off a modern hero with old world sensibilities. Plus, he already knows his way around a sword.
Now that Marvel is allowed to use Spider-Man in their cinematic universe, would it be overkill to bring a second spider-person into the Avengers? Not so fast. Aside from their iconography, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman share very little in common. Even their powers are drastically different. <p>In fact, Jessica Drew’s history as a superhero is much more closely tied to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers (you know, the cornerstones of the MCU) than to Spidey’s world. It’s those connections that make Spider-Woman such an obvious inclusion into Marvel’s film canon. <p>And, if they’re really worried about the similarities between Spider-Woman and Spider-Man, superficial as they may be, they can always use her alter ego Jessica Drew as a badass S.H.I.E.L.D. super agent, or even a Hydra double agent as she was in comic books. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: This was one has Eva Green written all over it.
Sooner or later, Marvel is going to have to move on from the mighty Thor, either when Chris Hemsworth decides his time in the cape has run its course, or simply when the story dictates. But that doesn’t mean Marvel has to give up on mythology-fueled, fantasy adventure stories – especially when they’ve got a character like Hercules waiting in the wings. <p>Hercules is similar to Thor, in that he’s a brash, super-strong hero with ties to ancient deities, but his dark past sets him apart from the God of Thunder. Hercules once forgot what it means to be a hero, forcing him to overcome great labors and feats of strength to redeem himself. In the modern age, he’s a gregarious, bounding adventurer who still occasionally has trouble taking himself seriously. <p>With Marvel planning a film universe that seems to have no end in sight, Hercules could be just the character they need to continue Thor’s themes once the man himself has been retired. <p>Semi-obligatory casting suggestion: How about <i>True Blood</i> and <i>Magic Mike</i> hunk Joe Manganiello? He’s not lacking on superhero physique, and his hirsute masculinity bears more than a striking resemblance to the prince of power.