The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) continues like the juggernaut it is (pun intended for those comic book savvy fans). With Kevin Feige’s announcement earlier this month that Marvel has movies planned through 2028, I’ve wondered what new heroes Marvel could introduce to keep its movies interesting and expand the universe.
“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man” and likely a film version of Doctor Strange are all new movie franchises that Marvel is tapping, but they’re going to need more if they are going to fill 14 years worth of movies with something other than sequels. Plenty have voiced their desire for certain franchises, but I’m more interested in figuring out which franchises are most likely to be made.
Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel
She can fly, has super strength, is impervious to most physical damage and at one point in time could tap into the powers of a “white hole” (the opposite of a black hole). For all intents and purposes, she has powers akin to DC’s Superman – minus the lasers, X-ray vision and cape. More importantly, she’s a female superhero – something that Marvel movies have sadly lacked.
Yes, I know Scarlett Johansson has played Black Widow in three Marvel movies and has done a wonderful job in my opinion, but she’s always taken a back seat, playing a secondary character instead of the central protagonist. And you better believe I’m going to ignore the “Elektra” movie altogether.
Ms. Marvel, whose powers she got from a freak accident with an alien device, has the most potential to claim the title of being the first major female superhero with her own film franchise in the MCU.
There are two Batman-type characters in the Marvel Universe. The first is Iron Man: he’s rich, a genius and a self-made hero. The second, Black Panther, is perhaps not as well known, but probably has more in common with Batman than the former. He dresses all in black, takes after a predatory animal, has an insane amount of money, can go toe-to-toe with some of the most overpowered heroes in the Marvel Universe and he makes most of his own tools and weapons.
He has no relation to the Civil Rights movement, but he does bear the mantel of being the first black superhero in comic books.
Oh yeah, and did I mention he’s a king?! Albeit the king of a fictional African nation, but how cool is that?
Fans have been calling for a solo Black Panther movie for years now, and there were rumblings for a while that Wesley Snipes was set to play the titular hero, although nothing was ever set in stone. Chances that if Marvel has movies planned till 2028, we’re bound to see the king of Wakanda in the next decade or so.
Since Marvel doesn’t own the rights to make X-Men movies, the Inhumans should be the next place producers look to for super powered people. A race of superhumans that live on the moon, the Inhumans remained hidden from the people of earth for a long time. Tensions ensued when humanity finally discovered the Inhumans and realized that a superior race lived a relatively short distance from the planet.
With the numerous characters and story arcs within the Inhumans comics, Marvel would be foolish not to see this as a possible new movie franchise within the MCU that could last for years without getting old.
Vampires are still cool, right? OK, maybe they’ve taken a bit of a hit since teenage girls decided to plant their pop culture flag on them, but I’m still a believer that the vampire image can be redeemed. And who better to do that than the man who hunts them as a past-time?
Blade is half man and half vampire, which means he gets most of the cool perks of vampirism with only one of the cons (he has an appetite for human blood that he has to control). And no, he isn’t the offspring of some weird teenager/vampire romance; rather his mother was attacked and bitten during the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
While a trilogy of movies based on the character already exists, a reboot could introduce viewers to the supernatural side of the MCU – minus any unnecessary romances. However, of all the movies on this list, Blade is probably the least likely to be made given that the material is inherently darker and more violent than any other movie in the current MCU.
(To avoid any SPOILERS for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” stop reading here. You’ve been warned!)
The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier made for a terrifying villain in the new “Captain America” movie, although I would argue that he didn’t get nearly as much screen time as he deserved. Revealed to be the presumed dead friend of Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s terminator with his cold and calculating assassinations and unstoppable nature. The fact that he was able to take on both Captain America and Black Widow singlehandedly and hold his own should tell you something about him.
With the fact that he started to overcome the brainwashing that made him into an assassin at the end of the movie, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel did what James Cameron did with the Terminator and cast him as the protagonist in his own film. I’ve also theorized (as have many other people on the Internet) that he could probably take up the Captain America mantel when Chris Evans decides he no longer wants to play the character anymore.