The comic book movie scene is absolutely booming right now – something that has resulted in an unprecedented schedule of movies being confirmed for the next few years. Never before have movie studios been so confident of future success that they lay out their plans for years to come – but that’s exactly what’s happening now, such is the popularity and commercial success in the genre.
But some movies that absolutely have to happen aren’t yet scheduled or even talked about in some cases – and that’s a real shame. In order to take the comic book movie scene to the next level, that has to change – otherwise it’s just going to be “more of the same” until the genre goes stale and audiences lose interest. We need new ideas, fresh spins on old ones, and the studios need to start listening to the fans.
With that in mind, and not including any movies that we know are already scheduled (such as those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Avengers: Infinity War, those in the DC Extended Universe like Justice League Dark, those in Fox’s X-Men universe like New Mutants, the Hellboy reboot, the Spawn reboot or Sony’s Spider-Man spin-offs), here are fifteen comic book movies that simply MUST be made in the next decade.
15. Masters Of Evil
Marvel Studios have yet to make a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that focuses primarily on a villain. Avengers: Infinity War is said to have Thanos as its main character, but we’ll believe that when we see it. Regardless, an ideal way for the MCU to do something new would be for a movie to be released with a group of outright villains as its titular stars.
The Masters of Evil are the flagship evil team in Marvel’s comic books. They have appeared in many forms and under a number of leaders, but they all have one thing in common – they’re a team made up of supervillains. A movie based on the team would give Marvel Studios the opportunity to bring in new villains, like M.O.D.O.K., Radioactive Man, Whirlwind and Moonstone, as well as old ones like the Leader, Justin Hammer, Abomination and Helmut Zemo (and maybe even some television characters like Kingpin, Absorbing Man and Graviton) – and it would be fantastic.
14. Black Widow
This is the one that Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have been crying out for since 2010, when the character made her debut in Iron Man 2 – and it’s about time Marvel Studios started to listen to them. Scarlett Johansson’s character has been fantastic. The fact that a non-enhanced human can hold her own amongst demigods, enormous green rage monsters, super-soldiers and billionaires in powered armour is incredible – but that’s not why she deserves a solo movie.
Natasha Romanoff is just an amazing character whose backstory would make a solo movie extremely unique and interesting. A movie set in the past, at this point, wouldn’t really work, but seeing Black Widow on a modern-day solo mission (perhaps with some help from a heroic supporting character) while she reminisces in detail about her past (complete with flashbacks) would undoubtedly be brilliant.
13. The Mask
Everyone remembers Jim Carrey’s iconic portrayal of Stanley Ipkiss in 1994’s The Mask – and rightly so, as it was fantastic. It was an unprecedented move in Hollywood – spending $23 million on turning a then-obscure comic book property into a movie – but it paid off in a big way.
It’s about time the franchise was rebooted. The Mask was wacky and fun, but the reality is that the comic is much, much darker than what was portrayed on screen. At a time when R-rated comic book movies are all the rage – see Deadpool and Logan for details – a darker version of The Mask would be more than welcome. The character is so different to any of the typical comic book heroes we’re seeing on screen at the moment and it’s been 23 years since he was last on screen. Getting a reboot off the ground in the next few years simply has to happen.
12. Doctor Fate
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has obviously been going for a lot longer than the DC Extended Universe and, consequently, the array of characters in the MCU is far larger and more versatile – and the DCEU is desperately trying to catch up as a result. One of the ways the DCEU could do that is to delve into the world of magic as soon as possible – and there is no better way to do that than by introducing Doctor Fate.
Doctor Fate is essentially DC’s Doctor Strange – and we’ve all seen how amazing his world looked in the MCU – so it makes sense that DC and Warner Brothers should bring him into the DCEU fold. The Justice League Dark movie is confirmed, but there is no better character to bring magic to the franchise than Doctor Fate. The visuals alone that could be created for Doctor Fate’s world would be worth making the movie for.
The 2009 Watchmen movie is one of the most underrated comic book movies of all time. It’s not that it was badly received – it was actually quite well received – but the fact is it was actually one of the best comic book movies ever made and it should have been universally lauded. But that movie was very much a standalone offering. At that point, the Watchmen were in their own little bubble universe – but that has since changed.
In 2016, the DC Rebirth saw DC Comics relaunch its entire line of comics and the Watchmen became part of the main DC timeline, with Doctor Manhattan the man responsible for it. With that in mind, bringing these characters – who have already proven themselves as being brilliant in live action – to the DC Extended Universe would be awesome.
After the success of R-rated comic book movies like Deadpool and Logan, DC and Warner Brothers might want to get in on the act – and there’d be no better character to use for such a movie than Lobo. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have to avoid such movies, given its Disney links, the DC Extended Universe has no such limitations. It’s darker, it’s aimed more towards adults, and Lobo would be perfect for it. He’s coarse, he’s brash, he’s violent and a movie starring him would be fantastic.
Talk of a Lobo movie has been doing the rounds for some time, but it’s just never happened. With a cinematic DC universe now in full flow, it’s the perfect time to finally make it so. There’s no doubting that a movie starring the “Ultimate Bastich” could be DC and Warner Brothers’ Deadpool and they should, therefore, make it happen as quickly as possible.
9. Hulk Vs Red Hulk
The Hulk is an incredibly popular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mark Ruffalo has really made the role his own since taking over from Edward Norton in 2012’s The Avengers and everyone is excited about his upcoming appearance in Thor: Ragnarok later this year. That being said, for some reason, movies that focus mainly on him tend to be relatively unpopular. You know what would fix that? Pitting him against the Red Hulk in a Hulk Vs Red Hulk movie.
The Red Hulk was introduced to comic books in 2008 and, of course, turned out to be General Ross. Ross sought the help of A.I.M. and Intelligencia to become the Red Hulk in order to make him a match for Hulk – and it resulted in the two having some epic fights. A.I.M. exists in the MCU already and General Ross has just been brought back seemingly out of the blue. Why bring him back if the idea to turn him into Red Hulk hasn’t been discussed?! Surely Marvel Studios have it in mind – and it’s something they definitely should do, because Hulk fighting Red Hulk in live action would be aesthetically superb.
8. Iron Man 4
Iron Man is the most popular character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bar none. Heck, he’s the most popular character in cinema at the moment. He was the character whose first solo movie kicked the MCU off and he deserves a brilliant send-off when Robert Downey Jr. finally says goodbye to Tony Stark. While some people are expecting that to come in Avengers: Infinity War, with Stark sacrificing his life to save the universe from Thanos, we doubt that will actually be the case.
Iron Man needs one last solo hurrah – perhaps with the character passing the Iron Man mantle on to someone else. In the comic books, 15-year-old Riri Williams took over the Iron Man mantle in 2016 – and it wouldn’t be surprising to find that Marvel had future movies in mind when they made that call. If anyone deserves to bow out in a movie with his name on it, it’s Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man.
Too many great comic books are ignored by Hollywood because they aren’t seen as being well known enough to be adapted into movies – Saga should not be one of them. It’s a space opera comic, written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, that has been going since 2012 and, quite frankly, it’s absolutely brilliant.
Talk of adapting it into a movie has actually occurred, but Vaughan and Staples don’t seem keen on the idea. That being said, it has to happen! It would make for an incredibly entertaining space opera in the mould of Star Wars crossed with Guardians of the Galaxy – and how cool would that be?! It’s mainly about a runaway husband and wife – Alana and Marko – from two warring alien factions, whose newborn daughter sometimes narrates the series, but it also has characters like Lying Cat, who can tell when someone’s not telling the truth and says “Lying” to let people know, and Ghüs, a bipedal humanoid resembling a harp seal – and who wouldn’t want to see those guys in live action?!
6. Fantastic Four
What’s that? You think the Fantastic Four have had enough chances to be a big screen success? Well you’re wrong. The Fantastic Four are Marvel’s first family and the fact that Fox have done them wrong in three movies across two different attempted franchises is, frankly, an unfair reflection on the characters. These guys were the original Marvel superheroes and they deserve to be in Marvel’s flagship movie franchise.
Marvel Studios need to acquire the rights to the Fantastic Four quickly and establish them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where they belong. After Avengers: Infinity War, when everything that has happened since 2008 will culminate in a cosmic battle with lots of casualties, new characters will be needed in the MCU – and those new characters simply must include Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Sue Storm and Ben Grimm (not least because Doctor Doom and Galactus would come with them, and they are two of the only Marvel villains who could truly follow Thanos as the franchise’s new “big-bad” without being underwhelming).
5. Spider-Man: One More Day
It’s now a well known fact that Spider-Man is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also a well known fact that there have been two Spider-Man movie franchises prior to Tom Holland’s casting as the character in the MCU. With that in mind, something needs to be done in the coming years to completely differentiate this Spider-Man from the others – and with magic and the supernatural now prevalent in the MCU, a Spider-Man: One More Day movie would be a brilliant way to do that.
The Spider-Man: One More Day comic book arc was a 2007 story that saw Spider-Man giving his marriage to Mary Jane Watson to the demon Mephisto in order to save his Aunt May’s life after she was shot. It would make for an incredibly emotional live action story and one that would be drastically different to any previous Spider-Man movie. While Mary Jane Watson might not be included in the MCU, the story could be adapted to include whichever Spidey love interest is.
4. Blackest Night
In the coming decade, the DC Extended Universe needs to convert a storyline based on a company-wide event into live action. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing it with Avengers: Infinity War (loosely based on Infinity Gauntlet) and, while some people will point to stories like Final Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths for DC’s big adaptation, there’s no better idea than turning Blackest Night into a movie.
Blackest Night was an arc that ran from 2009 to 2010 and featured the villainous Nekron, who was essentially death personified and someone who reanimated deceased superheroes as he sought to eliminate all life and emotion from the universe. It combined two hugely popular elements of pop culture – superheroes and zombies (without being as ludicrous as Marvel Zombies) – and it would involve bringing all of the different coloured Lantern Corps to the big screen, which would be extremely exciting to see.
Imagine a team with more power than the Avengers combined with the setting and quirkiness of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Done it? Then you’ve probably just envisaged the Annihilators. It goes without saying, then, that it’s certainly worth giving the team a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The team act as a deterrence to intergalactic war and could include the likes of the Silver Surfer (should Marvel Studios gain the rights to him from Fox), Gladiator, Beta Ray Bill, Quasar and Cosmo the Spacedog (who already exists in the MCU). Should they get a movie in the MCU, the likes of Iron Man or Thor could even be drafted into the live action version of the team to give it some familiarity. They could take on all manner of galaxy level threats, including the likes of Galactus, should he ever be acquired by Marvel Studios.
When live action comic book movies have already boasted characters like Superman, Thor, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, Vision and Ghost Rider, how do you one-up all of those? Easy – by introducing a hero who could kick every single one of their asses!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has the demigod, the enormous green rage monster, the vibranium-infused android and many other powerful heroes, but none of them can hold a candle to the Sentry. The powerful alter-ego of Robert Reynolds has a unique backstory as well – the world had forgotten about him, due to him wiping their memories – and his powers include super-strength, speed and durability, flight, telepathy, energy manipulation, matter manipulation and intangibility. He also has a dangerous dark side – known as the Void – who could be a unique and intriguing villain in the MCU to boot. A Sentry solo movie would be simply superb.
1. Avengers Vs. X-Men
By 2027, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have been going for almost twenty years and Fox’s X-Men franchise will have been going for close to thirty. If nothing truly unique has been attempted by that time, they will both be on their last legs. In order for them to become even longer term successes, something truly spectacular has to happen before then – and what could possibly be more spectacular than the two universes colliding and their flagship teams facing off in live action?
By bringing Spider-Man over to the MCU, Marvel Studios and Sony have proven that deals can be worked out between studios. Surely, for the sake of the fans – and the fairly obvious incentive of a truly humongous worldwide grossing – Marvel Studios and Fox simply must join forces to bring the Avengers and X-Men together for a colossal confrontation. Dimensions and alternate realities collide on a regular basis in comic books – and there are a million possible ways for it to happen, such as cosmic beings playing God and powerful items tearing holes in reality – so there really is no excuse. Get this done, powers-that-be!
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