WHO'S NEXT?1 of 12Marvel Studios is well into the third phase of its Cinematic Universe, culminating with 2018's Avengers: Infinity War - and it's due to the forward-thinking planning of movie studios, they're already looking ahead not just one year, but two. Marvel has staked out a few dates in the far future, well past their current plans – and while we recently made some guesses about what will land there, we did predict there would be at least one new property taking one of those dates.
And what could that property be? Well, we’ve got some ideas. Some of them are safe bets – others, well, not so much.
Sure, some of these are out of the box, but we'd wager any of them would make a compelling movie. And if you don't believe us, bear in mind that the last time we ran a list like this, we predicted several less obvious properties that are now in development – including Mr. Immortal (as part of Freeform's New Warriors, believe it or not).
MARVEL/MIRACLEMAN2 of 12Let’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.
MS. MARVEL3 of 12Sticking with Marvel namesakes...
With Captain Marvel on the way for a March 2019 release, what better time than early 2020 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 12Yeah, we could've gone with a safer bets like redo of Blade, but given 2020 is still a few years awat, 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?
KILLRAVEN5 of 12Oh 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 12Think 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, they could either recast them, or look at - yeah we'll say it - the next generation of heroes.
BLACK WIDOW7 of 12C'mon, seriously? Do we need to explain why Marvel should make this movie?
Scarlett Johansson is one of the biggest movie stars in the world - and her Black Widow is one of the biggest fan favorite characters of the Avengers franchise. The only thing more criminal than Natasha's espionage record is Marvel's always-a-bridesmaid treatment of the character.
Black Widow could also be a fitting way to close shop on Marvel's first Avengers-generation of heroes.
THUNDERBOLTS8 of 12The 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 direct a Thunderbolts film at this point, he could sign on as a producer, a laIron Man director Jon Favreau on subsequent Marvel movies.
POWER PACK9 of 12Of 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 12Let'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.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn have both said they plan to use him in a future film, with Gunn even saying an early script for Guardians Vol. 2 included Warlock.
But they've also said he won't be in Avengers: Infinity War, which leads us to the next point: we think after Guardians Vol. 3 (which James Gunn has also said would be an end to his story, and the start of a new phase for Marvel cosmic), the inevitable reality is a full-on Infinity Watch movie.
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 12There is almost no way Fox can revisit the Fantastic Four for the third time, left to their own devices. Okay, okay, there is a small chance it could work if they sit tight and just crush the X-Men films for a few years and then reboot it (again) as part of a shared Marvel Universe.
But right now the most obvious play is to reach some sort of deal similar to the one Sony has with Marvel Studios for Spider-Man, and allow FF to be its best self - firmly entrenched in the full MCU.
Marvel Studios would still have it’s 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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