15 Characters Marvel Needs to Get on Screen
Aug 01, 2014
Somewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's room for these 15 characters.
With Comic-Con in our rearview mirror and Guardians of the Galaxy due out this week, comic book movies and TV series have once again taken over pop culture. Once again, Marvel basically took Twitter out of commission for a few hours during its panel at Comic-Con where they showed footage of their sure-fire hits and teased a few tidbits about future projects.
But this year, there was something missing from Marvel's big presentation. While in the past we've gotten announcements/hints about Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and other Marvel properties, this year all we got was a Guardians of the Galaxy 2 release date-there weren't any new film or TV announcements. So to help Marvel along, we put this list together of 15 Marvel Comics characters/teams who should get their own movie or TV show. They're loosely ranked in order from "Admittedly, this is a longshot" to "How has this not been announced yet?!" A quick caveat: This is the part where we remind you Marvel only owns the rights to certain characters-so the list doesn't include anyone who primarily exists in the worlds of X-Men, Fantastic Four (film rights both owned by Fox) or Spider-Man (film rights owned by Sony). In any case, hopefully plenty of these will soon make their way to a theater near you.
By Ryan E.C. Hamm
Can you imagine a weekly, hour-long drama starring a merry bunch of space pirates who act all tough but have hearts of gold? Of course you can. It was called Firefly. But that's also what a series based on The Starjammers would be. In the comics, The Starjammers are a swashbuckling team of space pirates led by a dashing gentleman named Corsair. Basically, they fly around the galaxy making Han Solo-y mischief, and oh yeah, Corsair is also Cyclops' (from X-Men) dad. That might make licensing a little tricky, but it also makes this a perfect way for Marvel to start softening that icy relationship they seem to have with Fox. Plus, Corsair has the greatest '70s dad mustache in history, and that should be on a screen somewhere.
Once again a book that would be perfect for a weekly TV drama (but probably on The CW), this surprisingly very well-written (like, very well-written) series follows a bunch of teenaged superheroes and their adventures with crazy inter-dimensional travel, magic, and hormones. A diverse cast of characters would make for an always entertaining show, and the mixture of high school drama and high stakes action would make for ratings gold.
A character who pals around with the Guardians of the Galaxy (she's sort of Drax the Destroyer's daughter-long story), Moondragon is the story of an Earthling pushed to her apex by space monks on the same planet that produced the murderous Thanos. Plus, she sometimes becomes the avatar of a super badass dragon demon. If Marvel takes a chance with a talking raccoon, why not a bald, bisexual psychic who helps save the universe?
The Inhumans are experiencing a bit of a renaissance right now thanks to a Marvel crossover event, but they would also make for a great movie. Initially created by an alien race (The Kree) as mutants who would eventually conquer the Earth, The Inhumans eventually settled on the moon, where they were led by Black Bolt, who possesses the power to level entire mountains with just a whisper. The cast of characters includes his Queens, including his only real love, Medusa, his insane brother who always tries to rule the galaxy, and the best teleporting dog in the universe, Lockjaw. The movie would be filled with spectacle and family dynamics, along with a puppy that would be the best thing on any summer screen.
Created by superstar scribe Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Saga), this series follows a group of teenagers who discover their parents are actually supervillains. Along they way, they discover their own superpowers and join forces to become a team. And of course, there are crushes, heartbreaks, betrayal, and everything else you can imagine from a group of teenagers who discover they have real powers. This series has been in movie talks for years, with the project stalling seemingly every year since the book first came out. But Joss Whedon is at the height of his powers, and he happened to have written six issues of The Runaways. Maybe a nudge from Mr. Whedon might get this thing moving again?
Perhaps one of the more tragic characters in Marvel's arsenal, The Sentry is Bob Reynolds, a man trying to find out what his mark has been on the Marvel universe. Along the way, he discovers The Void, his archnemesis, is just another projection of his own psyche, an evil persona intended to balance the good actions of the heroic Sentry. Basically, if Marvel ever wants an Oscar statue on its shelf or "Daniel Day-Lewis" mentioned in the same sentence as "comic book movie," The Sentry is the obvious choice.
Speaking of characters who exhibit signs of mental instability: Moon Knight! Perhaps the best way to describe him is as a very violent Batman. Long story short, Marc Spector is resurrected by a vengeful Egyptian moon god to extract justice... or, Spector invented the entire thing as an excuse to fuel his blood-soaked rage. Either way, it makes for a great story! And, of course, it would make for a great movie.
This is a weird one to write about, since leaked footage from Comic-Con got plenty of fans eager to consider what a Deadpool movie might really look like. Well, based on the footage, it was basically going to be Van Wilder in a mask. Nothing against the perfectly coiffed Ryan Reynolds, but he lacks the darkness-around-the edges that makes Deadpool, well, Deadpool. Basically, the guy jokes because he's crazy, but also because he doesn't know how to make sense of how awful and senseless everything is. If there was ever a Marvel movie that required the services of Quentin Tarantino, it would be this one. Call him up, Marvel!
Another Marvel cosmic character, Adam Warlock is mostly known as a prime opponent to Thanos. A sometime-companion of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Warlock has incredible, magic-based powers, and is basically the universe's last hope on a number of occasions. Plus, he sometimes also gets turned into his evil version, The Magus, who is, as you can imagine, the worst. But if Marvel wants to go totally crazy and huge and awesome, start with Adam Warlock.
Even though Jessica Drew has a really dumb origin story (either spider-lasers or spider-serum, depending on the writer), there is not a comic character with more twists and turns than Spider-Woman. Is she a double agent? Yes! Is she an Avenger? Yes! Is she an alien? Yes! Does she have anything to with Spider-Man? Not really! She'd be a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and would make a great Avenger and a great standalone movie.
Okay, this one is cheating a little bit. Yes, there have been three Punisher movies. But they've all been terrible. So let Marvel Studios take over and go nuts. Hand over the reins to Scorsese and baptize this character in the blood of his enemies, or something. Antihero Frank Castle has always needed an R-rated big screen treatment in the same universe as real heroes who don't really like him (like Daredevil). Plus, it's not like Karl Urban gets to be in a Dredd sequel anytime soon, so why not give him the next best thing?
This is another one that is sort of cheating. But c'mon-the Surfer's story has only appeared onscreen in 2007 in a movie not even Chris Evans remembers. So now it's time for Norrin Radd to get his moment in the spotlight. Plus, Marvel could use this character to change what a superhero movie can be. The Surfer is always pondering the nature of reality, going to look at galaxy starscapes to reflect on his many sins in service of Galactus, and just generally be a pensive dude sad about what he's become. Essentially, it's a Terrence Malick film with a lot more wielding of Power Cosmic.
Assuming Guardians of the Galaxy does well (and it certainly looks positive for Marvel's space opera gamble), Marvel has the opportunity to double-down on the cosmic realm and finally get Richard Rider on the big screen. This is also a perfect opportunity to make the first Marvel TV-series-into-standalone-film. It would be great to have a two-to-three season Netflix show about the adventures of the Nova Corps, which would end with the events of Annihilation (don't worry, no spoilers here) and then transition into a movie. If Marvel brings Annihilation to life on the big screen, there is no way our money can be taken quickly enough.
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. A superhero who is also King of the nation of Wakanda (a fictional African nation) and has awesome powers bestowed on him by a crazy herb and a panther goddess. In short: HOW IS THIS NOT A MOVIE YET. Marvel, seriously, get Chiwetel Ejiofor on the phone already.
The biggest flaw in Marvel's cinematic universe so far is the lack of female superheroes-Black Widow is cool and all, but so far, she's played second fiddle to the men of the movies. Captain Marvel (the Carol Danvers version, which, let's be honest, is better than the other ones) is the perfect chance to rectify this. She'd be an integral member of the Avengers team, but could carry more than one movie on her own. She's smart, an accomplished pilot, and mixes the sarcasm of Tony Stark with the heart-on-the-sleeve bravery of Captain America. It's a can't miss for Marvel, and hopefully rumors about an impending announcement are more than just rumors.