<i>Comic-Con International</i> begins this evening. Marvel has reserved no less than <i>three</i> opening weekends for unnamed movies - May 6, 2016, July 8, 2016, and May 5, 2017. <p>Do the math. <p>While it's no definite Marvel Studios will be making big news identifying one, two, or even all three even of those unnamed movies on their schedule, it’s a pretty good bet we’ll be getting <i>some</i> news on at least one of them over the weekend. <p>So who could be starring in those films? Of course sequels to existing or upcoming films are strong possibilities and Doctor Strange has been confirmed to "definitely" be in movie plans by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.. <p>This then begs the question - who's left? Are there really any big, important Marvel characters that haven't yet been depicted in a live-action feature film? The answer to that question is a resounding, "Yep!" and here are our picks for the 10 biggest. <p>Keep in mind that for the purpose of this list, we're not counting characters like Doctor Strange or Ant-Man — though their movies are still years away and anything can happen between now and then, they certainly appear to be pretty solidly on the books as of right now (especially <i>Ant-Man</i>, which has an announced release date of Nov. 6, 2015). <p>We're also discounting Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver — given that it looks like the latter will be in at least two movies. And we’re leaving one certain X-character on the list as well, because even though a <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/18356-report-kick-ass-2-director-writing-fox-s-x-force-film.html>Fox <i>X-Force</i> movie seems to be happening</a>, we don’t yet know exactly what characters it will feature.
Starting out with a tie, if only because of the many similarities that these villains share. They're both extremely powerful threats, they both would-be conquerors, they both have their own "Age of" events (the landmark '90s crossover "Age of Apocalypse," and the currently unfolding "Age of Ultron"), and they've both been major players in recent comic book stories. <p>Both would represent a massive step up in competition for the heroes of their respective franchises. In 13 years of X-Men movies, the Children of the Atom haven't faced anyone on the scale of Apocalypse yet. And though the Chitauri invasion of New York City was a tough battle, the aliens weren't as complex of foes as Hank Pym's creation. <p>They both seem like fairly good bets for upcoming movies, though maybe not for a few years down the line — post-<i>Days of Future Past</i>, Apocalypse would be a reasonable choice to escalate things for Fox's mutant world. It certainly appears that the Avengers will be busy with Thanos or Thanos-related threats in the second movie, but Ultron makes sense for further into the future — especially with an <i>Ant-Man</i> movie, very possibly featuring the Hank Pym version of the character, in theaters in 2015.
Just a couple of years ago, Nova would have been considered a very long shot for movie stardom. Then a couple of things happened: The <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> including cosmic characters Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon were announced to be headlining a 2014 Marvel Studios film, and a new Nova named Sam Alexander was introduced in the <i>Ultimate Spider-Man</i> cartoon, who is now starring in a currently ongoing Marvel series. <p>Considering that each of the Guardians are arguably lesser-known characters than Nova himself, it may very well be less of a "why hasn't Nova been in a movie yet?" situation and more of a "how long until the Nova movie comes out?" situation. (And if not a Nova solo film, another cosmic feature with Nova as part of an ensemble certainly sounds like a thing that could happen.) <p>The recent rumors that the character of Rhomann Dey — who led the Nova Corps in the comic books — might be appearing in the <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> film seemingly make a Nova appearance an even more likely prospect for the near future.
All signs point to Wasp on the big screen in the near future. Joss Whedon has said that the character was in the original draft of his <i>Avengers</i> script, surely making her a favorable candidate to join the cast in a sequel. Given her close ties to Ant-Man, she could quite possibly show up in that movie, as well, and she resurfaced in the comic books last year after a long dormant period of presumed death. <p>And though Wasp hasn't yet been in a live-action production, she's an animation alum, most recently with her central role in <i>Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes</i>. (She also played a big part in '90s show <I>Avengers: United They Stand</i>, but most people tend to try to overlook that series.)
Marvel has had a tricky time getting a Hulk movie franchise off the ground following mixed receptions to both 2003's <i>Hulk</i> and 2008 reboot <i>Incredible Hulk</I>, so it's not entirely surprising that a She-Hulk movie hasn't happened yet. <p>But the high-profile of Jennifer Walters within the Marvel Universe — she's led several solo books in the past, inspired subsequent She-Hulks like Betty Ross and Lyra, and is currently part of the <i>FF</i> — combined with the warm reception to Mark Ruffalo's Hulk in <i>Avengers</i> does make it feel at least possible that she'll pop up somewhere sooner than later. There was talk of a She-Hulk film in the early '90s, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a character on this list (or in comic books in general) that hasn't had a movie in some form of development (or at least heavily rumored) in the past couple of decades.
Iron Fist is another character that's long been discussed for a possible movie, usually with Ray "Darth Maul/Snake Eyes/Toad" Park attached. It hasn't happened yet, but as one of the bigger name characters solidly under the Marvel Studios umbrella, it may only be a matter of time before an Iron Fist movie starts picking up some momentum. <p>And if not a solo film, maybe a buddy movie with the next character on this list, whose identity you've already figured out.
The prospect of a Luke Cage movie has been floated for years, with John Singleton attached to direct since a decade ago, and Tyrese Gibson and others (including Isaiah Mustafa from the Old Spice commercials) expressing interest in the role. <p>There haven't been any updates in a while, but there appears to have been enough sheer motivation out there that something just might happen eventually. Given the character's close association with the Avengers in recent years, he's also a possibility to turn up in a sequel in that franchise.
At this point, Carol Danvers is perhaps the most high-profile female superhero in Marvel's comics. She's a major part of the Avengers and stars in her own solo series, and last year changed code names from "Ms. Marvel" to "Captain Marvel," establishing herself as clearly not an adjunct to Mar-Vell, or anyone else. <p>With that, she also got a uniform that was a whole lot more practical than her old costume. And live-action superhero movies are (often) all about the practical costumes. For all these reasons, she seems destined to show up in a movie sooner rather than later, be it an <i>Avengers</i> sequel or a solo jam.
It's tricky to find a prominent X-Men character that hasn't been in a movie yet. Sure, a lot of them haven't been featured heavily at all, or even necessarily had any speaking lines, but thanks to cameo-filled films like <i>X-Men: The Last Stand</i> and <i>X-Men Origins: Wolverine</i>, a multitude of mutants — from major players like Psylocke to the super-obscure Arclight — have turned up in tiny roles. <p>One that most assuredly has not is Cable, the time-traveling offspring of Cyclops, despite being one of the most visible X-characters of the last 25 years. He's headlined his own series and multiple incarnations of X-Force (including the current <i>Cable and X-Force</i>), and yet has gotten relatively little other media love outside of a few video games and a handful of episodes of the '90s <i>X-Men</i> cartoon. But if they keep making X-Men movies, surely his number will get called — hey, <i>Days of Future Past</i> is all about time travel, isn't it? Any room in that cast?
Namor the Sub-Mariner is not only one of Marvel's most important characters (currently part of the all-Illuminati <i>New Avengers</i>), he's also one of the oldest, literally — his first appearance was in <i>Marvel Comics #1</i> in 1939. <p>Like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the film rights to Namor appear to be a little bit complicated. He's a big part of the Fantastic Four mythos (Fox has the rights to that), and recently was a member of the X-Men (also Fox). Back in 2006, it was reported that Universal had a Namor movie in development, and in later years, reports surfaced that the project was dead. Not much has been said recently about Namor's live-action prospects, but there are several possibilities out there if it ever comes to pass.
As the first black superhero, Black Panther is incredibly important to comic book history, and also important to the fictional world of the Marvel Universe. He's been a member of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, headlined his own solo series on multiple occasions, and is currently part of the <i>New Avengers</i> cast. <p>Yet he hasn't been depicted in a movie yet, though it's not for lack of trying. A Black Panther movie has been in the ether for more than 20 years, with Wesley Snipes declaring his interest in the role way before he ever played <i>Blade</i>. That didn't happen, but there are still signs of life: In 2011, Marvel Studios hired documentarian Mark Baile to work on a script. There haven't been many updates since, but given Marvel's aggressive schedule with putting new material out there, T'Challa could be coming to theaters soon.