WHO'S NEXT?1 of 12
The Walt Disney Company is closing in on finalizing its purchase of 21st Century Fox, and Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige has been mum about exactly how the influx of X-Men and Fantastic Four characters that come with the deal will affect the MCU.
But with next year’s Avengers 4 closing out the current chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio has a wide open road to bring new heroes to the forefront.
With that in mind, here are ten movies that Marvel should strongly consider for its next big thing.
MARVEL/MIRACLEMAN2 of 12
Let’s face it, Marvel is a multi-media entertainment company in the truest sense of the word now. Yes, no doubt the comic book division still operates with a certain amount of autonomy and we’re not suggesting everything is developed as a comic book with eyes toward a feature film, live-action, or animated TV series in mind.
But Marvel has spent a looonnggg-time and undoubtedly some considerable legal fees to apparently finally iron out the rights issues surrounding Marvelman. So the question becomes, did they go through all that strictly for the comic book publishing rights?
Maybe. But could there be a bigger play here?
The Marvel Universe doesn’t really have a Superman archetype among its core stable of characters (though Hyperion, a direct Superman analogue, has appeared in Avengers and Squadron Supreme, and even briefly held a solo title in recent years), and no doubt Marvel Studios is probably feeling pretty good about what they could turn out if they had one.
Marvel/Miracleman has an interesting enough back-story to fuel free press were Marvelman developed into a big screen property and Neil Gaiman potentially being in the mix offers some intriguing possibilities as well.
A long-shot yes, but something to keep an eye on - especially considering that Marvel went through to acquire the character.
MS. MARVEL3 of 12
Sticking with Marvel namesakes...
With Captain Marvel on the way for a March 2019 release, what better time than right after to show her immediate impact on the world? With the Inhumans introduced, a new young Inhuman named Kamala Khan in Jersey City, inspired by the cosmic Avenger, takes up a similar mantle and costume, calling herself Ms. Marvel and giving super heroics a shot.
Now that Spider-Man is back under the Marvel movie umbrella, Kamala's place as the MCU's likely Peter Parker type isn't as strong a foothold, but her youth and energy are still something special. The fact that she’s a non-Christian woman of color really doesn’t hurt things, either, giving a three-pronged booster shot of diversity into the MCU.
MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR4 of 12
Yeah, we could've gone with a safer bets like redo of Blade, but we're going wild with an out-of-the-box suggestion.
We’ve often said the MCU needs some youth. And sure, now it’s got Spider-Man crawling up the walls, but let’s go even younger – how about Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur?
It might be the weirdest concept Marvel would put to film, but what’s not to love about the story of an 8-year-old super genius and her pet dinosaur? Bonus points if they can get a cameo from Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark. Quite frankly we’d pay full ticket price just to see him argue with a little girl about quantum physics for a couple hours.
That Moon Girl would open up an almost entirely new demographic in superhero movies is just an added bonus. How many superheroes are little girls – let alone little girls with best friends who are dinosaurs?
Marvel Animation is already working on a Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur series, and animation and movies are often close together on what characters they focus on - so why not?
KILLRAVEN5 of 12
Oh right, like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man were obvious, likely choices?
This one would need some liberal adaptation of its comic book roots, however. Just think ‘gladiators and descendants of superheroes in a post-apocalyptic Marvel Universe.‘ Think 300 meets The Avengers meets any post-apocalyptic film ever, really.
And the apocalypse could be from any number of events – aliens, robots, or how about zombies? The Marvel Cinematic Universe decades afterMarvel Zombies.
Sign us up.
(And don't forget, Marvel has unpublished comic book series by Robert "The Walking Dead" Kirkman and Robert "Deadpool" Liefeld they could pick from, even if just for the name value alone.)
CHAMPIONS6 of 12
Think of a potential Champions movie working the same way a Young Avengers movie might work - with younger heroes banding together to save the world without the approval of the elder heroes.
Some of the pieces are already in place - Peter Parker could easily be the MCU version's Spider-Man, given how Tony Stark seems to have him at arms length from the Avengers. Add in Ms. Marvel (tying into a solo film!), and a young version of Nova, and you've got the core of the team.
Just think about this: when the Avengers actors inevitably start retiring from their roles (like in 2019), they could either recast them, or look at - yeah we'll say it - the next generation of heroes.
X-MEN7 of 12
Yes, we know Dark Phoenix isn't in theaters yet, but Marvel Studios is almost certainly planning how to raise the franchise from the ashes of Fox's films once Disney's buyout of 21st Century Fox is complete.
There are a few paths Marvel could take to differentiate their films from Fox's - but one thing's for certain, it won't be much like what's come before. And that could be a good thing - given one likely direction for an MCU X-Men film would be to hew closer to comic books.
THUNDERBOLTS8 of 12
The ultimate answer to the ongoing critique of Marvel's one-note movie villains is simple - make a movie that's all villains.
In a way, Thunderbolts would be Marvel's answer to Suicide Squad (not that they necessarily need one) but with a twist - these bad guys actually would try to take over the world, even while they're saving it.
With Captain America: Civil War having put the pieces in place - and we're not just talking Baron Zemo; you can read our theory right here - and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn previously expressing interest in directing, you know Thunderbolts is already on Marvel's radar.
And even though Gunn likely wouldn't be involved in a Thunderbolts film at this point, there's nothing stopping Marvel from moving forward with a good idea.
POWER PACK9 of 12
Of course, let’s not forget with whom Disney’s bread and butter still lies.
Kids like watching kids on the screen (notice how few Disney Channel and Nick Jr. hits feature adults in the lead role?) With the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s appeal among families/younger audiences at all-time highs, wouldn’t a team of superhero kids set firmly in the MCU and even more firmly in the pure-PG category be a good bet for the movie studio that both defined and is defined by family entertainment?
Even a high-end CGI-animated treatment could give Disney a cousin to Pixar’s The Incredibles and Big Hero 6. The possibilities here are endless.
ADAM WARLOCK & INFINITY WATCH10 of 12
Let's face it - when it comes to Adam Warlock appearing in the MCU, the writing is on the wall. It's not a matter of if he'll appear, but when.
After a teaser in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and later confirmation that Adam Warlock would come to the MCU at some point, we’re wondering if they’re saving him for showcase in the next slate of Marvel films.
Maybe there’s even room for the Infinity Watch in the MCU. C'mon - someone has to look after the Infinity Stones after Thanos' defeat - why not the team designed to do exactly that?
FANTASTIC FOUR11 of 12
Now that the FF's film rights are almost certainly headed to Marvel Studios, a new shot at a Fantastic Four movie seems like an inevitably.
Marvel Studios will still have its hands full overcoming the 2015 stinker and the radioactivity surrounding the property, but again considering how deep into their bench they already are, an MCU Fantastic Four just makes too much sense on too many levels NOT to happen.
Phase Four... Fantastic Four... it has a certain ring to it.
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