There Are Still Marvels Left1 of 13
With the plans for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now a matter of record following the studio’s Hall H presentation at Comic-Con International: San Diego, speculation has already begun about what we’re not seeing in the announcements – and what may come in the inevitable Phase 5.
Stoking that fire, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says that the next still-unannounced Avengers movie will feature a rostercomprised of “people you’ve already met, and some people you haven’t met yet.”
And, on top of that, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds may be lobbying to join that potential cast himself.
With all of that in mind, here are 10 characters that we’re ready to see come to life in the MCU.
DISQUALIFIED2 of 13
Before we get to the Top 10, important to note the characters we were forced to disqualify.
Those include the characters whose rights are still actively held by other studios (like Venom and Morbius), and those characters who we already know are on the way to the MCU proper like Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, Blade, Kate Bishop, Monica Rambeau, Shang-Chi and the collective Eternals. And we’re also including all characters that fit under the Fantastic Four and X-Men umbrellas since that’s just a matter of time.
And while we think there is a legitimate question as to whether Kevin Feige considers all of these classes of characters in the MCU, we’re presuming for the purposes of this exercise all characters that have debuted in ABC, Netflix, Freeform and Hulu shows are off the table - which includes everyone from Deathlok to Hellcat to Damian Hellstrom.
With that out of the way, onto the Top 10...
KA-ZAR3 of 13
The Savage Land-dwelling Ka-Zar may have you saying "who?", and we really can't blame you. This lesser-known Marvel hero, his lover and adventuring partner Sheena, and his tiger Zabu had a moment in the spotlight in the 90s with a well-received series, but Ka-Zar has largely gone under the radar since then.
But with Marvel constantly working to explore new genres in the framework of superhero films, Ka-Zar might be a perfect choice. With a story sorta like Tarzan's (minus some of the problematic elements and with a sci-fi veneer on top), Ka-Zar could be a high-flying adventure film that also introduces the Savage Land to the MCU... and with that, dinosaurs.
(Devil Dinosaur... is that you peeking out in that underbrush?)
And hey, Marvel Studios has made mountains out of molehills before - look at the Guardians of the Galaxy.
HERCULES4 of 13While not an original Marvel superhero, of course, (hey, neither is Thor), the Marvel version of the Greek-Roman god is one of the publisher's oldest characters, a longtime, well-regarded Avenger and a fan favorite.
The ‘Prince of Power’ is kind of like Avengers: Endgame's 'Bro Thor' without the self-doubt, and even though Odinson seemed to get his mojo back at the end of the film, the MCU has room for another hard-partying, powerhouse hero that revels in being a powerhouse hero, particularly with the God of Thunder seemingly preferring outer space to Earth these days.
While not initially revealed as a cast member, Hercules has been rumored to be part of Eternals, which makes some sense given their ties to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Hercules may just make for a perfect bridge between Marvel Studios’ newest franchise and the Avengers when the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes return in their next incarnation.
NOVA5 of 13
Just a decade ago, Nova would have been considered a very long shot for movie stardom. Then a couple of things happened: The Guardians of the Galaxy movie of course, and a new Nova named Sam Alexander was introduced in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and is co-starring in the comic book team book Champions (though his current status as Nova is complicated).
Considering that the stars of 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.)
Of course, the Nova Corps appeared in a somewhat different form in Guardians, and though Nova wasn't in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there are still plenty of places that Sam Alexander, or even original Nova Richard Rider, could find their way into the MCU - even though Thanos did blow up Xandar in Avengers: Infinity War.
ADAM WARLOCK6 of 13
Even though Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn admitted that the cocoon’s presence in the first film was no coincidence, Adam Warlock didn't show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - but he did get a cryptic mention as a new creation of Elizabeth Debicki's Ayesha at the end of the film, portending his appearance in a later MCU film.
Soon... but not yet.
KAMALA KHAN7 of 13
The star of the breakout hit Ms. Marvel, one of Marvel's top-selling digital titles, is kind of a no-brainer when it comes to a film adaptation.
An Avengers super-fan who takes the mantle of Ms. Marvel after her latent Inhuman gene is awakened, Kamala has quickly become the latest heir to the classic Peter Parker archetype. She's an obvious choice to take the role of a nascent hero coming into her own in the shadow of the already prevalent Avengers.
On top of that, Kamala hits a lot of important buttons for onscreen diversity - a not so subtle topic when it comes to Marvel's films. Her youth, energy, ties to elements that certainly appear central to the future of the MCU, and background make Kamala Khan a character that would be more surprising as an omission than an addition to the MCU.
And of course, Captain Marvel star Brie Larson and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige have both namedropped Kamala as well.
SPIDER-WOMAN8 of 13
Given Spider-Woman's history as both an agent of Hydra, and as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., it seems like a no-brainer that Jessica Drew should show up in the MCU at some point.
It's been assumed for some time now that Spider-Woman has been tied up in Sony's Spider-Man rights, but now that Marvel and Sony are sharing some of those rights, Marvel may also have access to Jessica Drew as well.
With Sony pursuing films about some of Spidey's other supporting cast it seems likely that a version of Spider-Woman could make her way to the big screen in the foreseeable future - MCU or not.
BLACK KNIGHT9 of 13
The wielder of the Ebony Blade, the Black Knight has ties to the mystic history of the Marvel Universe - a concept that is central to several of Marvel Studios' upcoming Phase 4 properties.
On top of that, Dane Whitman is a classic Avenger - his ties to the team go back to the 60s - so whether he's the star of a solo movie or part of an ensemble cast, Black Knight seems a shoo-in to be one of those "characters we haven't met yet" for the next Avengers roster, and the MCU.
MOON KNIGHT10 of 13
Somehow, Moon Knight feels like an "always the bridesmaid" candidate for a Marvel movie - his name is always being rumored, but when the announcements come, there's no Moon Knight to be found.
But we know the schizophrenic vigilante is on Marvel's radar, with multiple filmmakers expressing a desire to helm the film.
Still, it's one of those things that ain't happening till it happens.
SHE-HULK11 of 13
Marvel's had an issue making a Hulk solo film due to a reported agreement that would give Universal distribution rights to a movie with ol' Jade Jaws name on it.
With Marvel Studios expanding directly into TV with the Disney+ streaming service, they may be looking for more shows that could tie-in to the stories of core movie Avengers, a la Loki, Hawkeye, and WandaVision.
To that end, may we suggest Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk? Yeah, her origin may require some tweaking for the MCU, but the fact is she'd offer a POV and an attitude very different from what we've seen in any Hulk movie yet.
Just make sure she's driving that purple Cadillac...
NAMOR12 of 13
Namor the Sub-Mariner is not only one of Marvel's most important characters, he's also one of the oldest, literally — his first appearance was in 80 years ago Marvel Comics #1 in 1939.
The film rights to Namor appear to be a little bit complicated. Back in 2006, it was reported that Universal had a Namor movie in development, but that film wound up *ahem* dead in the water.
But it seems as though Marvel Studios may have found a way to secure the rights to one of Marvel Comics' first characters, with Kevin Feige saying the studio is searching for a place to use the Sub-Mariner.
Dare we suggest going all the way back to the timeline of Captain America: The First Avenger to team him up with Jim Hammond as the Invaders?
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