It looks like Marvel TV is about to get a whole lot bigger, and way more awesome.
Heroic Hollywood has dropped a whole host of confirmations and speculations about the future of Marvel TV. ABC is apparently developing not one, not two, but three more Marvel TV shows. It seems the rumors about a Ms. Marvel TV show are true, and we can also expect Cloak and Dagger and a Hulk prequel coming to the small screen.
Netflix will also be expanding their vision of bringing the darker, grittier side of the Marvel Universe to life. We know already that Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage will all be getting their own shows, culminating in a miniseries of The Defenders (expected to air some time around 2017). Now, following the runaway success of Daredevil Season 1, a second season is in the works, and Elektra will definitely be joining the party. The most awesome part? Execs are toying with the idea of adding some of Marvel's biggest badasses into the mix.
We're talking Ghost Rider. We're talking The Punisher. And we're talking Blade.
Heroic Hollywood do somewhat rain on the badass-vigilante-parade by pointing out adding these beloved characters may not be an easy task:
Not only are they darker and more violent, but two of them require supernatural elements in order to tell their stories. The inclusion of these characters could send Netflix over to the goofy side, which is something they’re very afraid of Ghost Rider would also rely on CGI too much for the studio’s taste.
Would adding this trio be tricky? Yes. But impossible? Absolutely not. Given Daredevil's TV-MA rating, "darker and more violent" actually fits the bill. The CGI required to bring Ghost Rider to life will probably involve an obscene amount of time and money, but it's not unfeasible.
We also know that Marvel are actively expanding the MCU to include more supernatural elements. Not only is Dr. Strange getting his own film, but the execs are actively pushing to get him involved in The Defenders series. If this were to happen, having Ghost Rider and Blade already embedded in the universe - along with the demons and vampires they bring along with them - would make a whole lot of sense.
There's also the question of just how big a role Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade would take. Decision-makers are apparently concerned that Blade and Punisher in particular are too "one-note" to carry their own shows. They could always take a leaf out of DC TV's book and soft-launch the franchises through existing shows, (see Firestorm in The Flash). Even if they didn't get their own shows, it would still be incredible to see these three characters on the small screen - I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd love to see Daredevil and Punisher clashing horns and fighting crime.
Of course, filling these three meaty roles would involve some serious thought on behalf of the casting director. Personally, I think these gents would be assets to the MCU:
Ghost Rider: Charlie Hunnam
I'm far from the first to suggest it, but I think Hunnam could bring a lot to this role. As a Sons of Anarchy alumnus, Hunnam obviously knows his way around a motorcycle, and has proved he can portray bereavement - something which will be crucial if Netflix decide to delve in to Johnny Blaze's back story. Also, he's a looker - with Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, it seems only fair we get some man-candy too.
Punisher: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
If you haven't seen Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian in Watchmen, go see it immediately. A truly brutal vigilante with a military background and hidden emotional turmoil? Enough said, I think.
Tom Hardy has expressed interest in taking on the role of Punisher, and I could definitely see this working well, too. Having dazzled audiences in The Dark Knight Rises and narrowly missed out on a starring role in Suicide Squad, it's seems like only a matter of time before Hardy takes on another superhero film or TV series.
Blade: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Hear me out on this one. For me - and for many, many others - Wesley Snipes is Blade. I think any effort to outright replace Snipes is going to ultimately be pretty disappointing and infuriating for a lot of fans. One way to work around this might be to focus on a younger Blade; perhaps as an origin story, focusing on his tutelage under Jamal Afari.
For a younger Eric Brooks, I think Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (who's most famous for appearing in British drama Misfits) could work really well. British? Check. Experience playing someone with super powers? Check. Right height? Check (well, nearly - Nathan's about an inch away from Blade's 6 ft 2 stature). All in all, I think this would be a great role for Nathan to sink his teeth into.
Do I have an exciting career as a casting director ahead of me, or is this cast completely off the mark? Let me know in the comments!