The dream team of Disney and Marvel has, for the past few years, been pushing the boundaries of what's possible with movies, choosing to do things a little differently and a lot bigger than things have been done before. Still, with Disney's announcement yesterday that they have set the release dates for two unnamed Marvel movies, this might be the first time in Hollywood history that a studio has set release dates for two movies without actually knowing what movies they might be - or at least revealing them.
The dates indicate big tentpole flicks (as if Marvel does anything else) set to lead successive summer blockbuster seasons: May 6th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017. Even without the films being set in stone, this is a savvy move on the part of Disney to preemptively stake their claim on these prime dates, thereby not only securing them for the Marvel films but also scaring away any potential rival releases that might have been eyeballing those timeframes, as well. And with a whole slew of Marvel films rumored to be on the table, let's have some fun speculating about what these two upcoming mystery movies might be.
First, let's be honest. The two movies are more than likely going to be the ones already confirmed to be in the works: Doctor Strange and 's long-gestating Ant-Man. While we're pretty stoked here at Moviepilot about the idea of finally seeing Dr. Stephen Strange on the big screen, we were equally intrigued by the rumors circulating a few months ago about the possibility of stepping into the role of Hank Pym/Ant-Man. A release date was set for November of 2015, but as release dates tend to get bumped back on a regular basis, it would not be surprising to see it happen with Ant-Man. We know we're getting these two movies. It's just a matter of finalizing the details.
Still, what if it's not them? What if these unnamed movies are one of the other rumored projects in development over at Marvel? It's become clear at this point that if a comic book exists at Marvel, it will eventually be kicked around as an idea for a movie adaptation. And Marvel has already shown a willingness to bring some of its lesser-known superheroes and mutants to the big screen. After all, we're living in an age when Guardians of the Galaxy - Guardians of the Galaxy! - is hitting theaters in 2014.
Here are a few of the other rumored projects that might have the best shot at being given the green light:
Seriously, when are we going to see the Deadpool movie we've always wanted? It's been rumored for years, and hey, we already have the actor attached to it. While some fans feel ' portrayal of the wise-cracking, fourth wall-breaking and unstable antihero in the flaming pile of rubble that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine was less than stellar, most fans seem to feel that he is a perfect fit for the role and could kick some serious ass if given a script that is actually decent. The only thing that may hold Reynolds back is that studios could potentially see him as a risk: He's already been in a handful of different comic book-based films (Green Lantern, Blade: Trinity, Wolverine), and all three have been flops, for the most part. Does he lack the intangible "it" factor to draw large audiences and justify the huge budget that a Marvel movie requires? Or has his string of bad luck in blockbusters been the result of poor scripts? It's hard to say, and that could be one of the reasons Disney hasn't yet pulled the trigger on a standalone movie. The success or failure of July's upcoming R.I.P.D. could go a long way in determining whether or not a Reynolds-starring Deadpool movie happens. [EDIT: As some of you rightfully pointed out in the comments, I forgot to clarify that a Marvel-created Deadpool movie would only happen if the rights to him reverted back to Marvel from Fox.]
Black Panther is an intriguing concept, and one that himself has confirmed that is in development. Granted, Lee admits he doesn't have much influence on the actual decision-making, but still, we know it's being worked on. Actor also leaked an interesting tidbit about two months ago on both Twitter and Facebook about it being time to get familiar with the character, more or less confirming his casting in the role of T'Challa Udaku/Black Panther. Plus, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far being built on the backs of ripped white guys, isn't it time for some diversity up in here? It would be great to see a vehicle that showcases the skills of Marvel's first black superhero. Speaking of which...
That's right. One of these projects that has been speculated on for a while is a Blade Reboot. We already know there's definitely a script in the works, and the internet rumor mill was churning hard a few months ago when potential actors for the lead surfaced, including and as new reincarnations, and even original Blade expressing interest in reprising his role. Studios have shown a willingness to completely reboot successful movie franchises without much time passing between the original and revamped versions, provided those franchises show the potential to make money - and Blade is one that has already proven to be wildly successful. New Line Cinema took a little-known comic book character and spun it into a franchise worth almost a billion dollars. Now that the rights have reverted back to Marvel, Disney can build upon the brand recognition of the franchise while using its vast marketing machine to create something even bigger.
Along the lines of getting more diversity in the comic movie sphere with Black Panther, ladies in comic books are woefully underrepresented - at least in film. In the comics themselves, women kick all sorts of ass, and there's nothing men do that they can't do just as well (and, in some cases, even better). Unfortunately, that hasn't translated to the screen yet, with both recent attempts at superhero films with a female protagonist, Elektra and Catwoman, failing miserably in theaters. But all of that is slowly changing, as the comic book film, once seen as a niche genre, has now become the genre with the most massive and widespread appeal. Yes, it's still largely seen as a boys' club, but more and more women are becoming fans and finding themselves angry at a lack of representation. And, with a script already in development and Hollywood heavyweight and nerd guru going on record as saying it pisses him off there are no female superheroes, expect to see a superpowered femme fatale roundhouse kicking her way into theaters sooner rather than later.
So there you have it. Are there any I've left off this list? Maybe a Daredevil reboot? Iron Fist? Runaways? Are there any other characters you'd love to see come to life on the screen? Let me know.
You can follow Alisha on the Twitter machine @alishagrauso.