When Iron Man hit the big screen in 2008, he brought the rock-and-roll of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - and cinema hasn't been safe since! From the action-politics of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to off-beat successes like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios are dining out on the wealth of potential in over 50 years of comic-book publishing!
We know a lot of what to expect up to [The Avengers: Infinity War](tag:738027) - but what other rabbits could Marvel Studios pull out of their hats?
RUNAWAYS - the film that almost was!
In 2003, Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona launched a fan-favourite series starring a group of super-powered kids! It faced some seriously cool characters with the shock of their lives, when they discovered that their parents were super-villains! The concept's brilliant, the characters are utterly three-dimensional, and the potential is obvious.
This is one idea that nearly got off the ground. According to rumours, Brian K. Vaughan got to work on a script in 2008, casting began in 2010, and filming was scheduled for 2011. But the success of The Avengers caused Marvel to change their plans, and Runaways was the sad sacrifice.
Here's the thing; there's no reason Runaways couldn't come back. And, frankly, it doesn't even need to come back as a movie - this is pretty easy to picture as a Netflix series!
Do you want a RUNAWAYS series or movie?
AGENT BRAND AND S.W.O.R.D. - but do they have the rights?
In 2004, none other than Joss Whedon was writing the ASTONISHING X-MEN series. And one of his creations was the sarcastic, green-haired and seriously dangerous Agent Brand. The idea was that, while S.H.I.E.L.D. focus on protecting the world from home-grown threats, S.W.O.R.D. are dedicated to extraterrestrial menaces. Brand's the boss of that team, and her dialogue is typically hilarious.
There's a snag, though. Because Agent Brand is half-alien, half-mutant - and because she cropped up in an X-Men book, and has been teamed up with the X-Men a lot of the time - the film rights to Agent Brand might just fall to Fox.
In which case, man, why aren't Fox pursuing this idea themselves--?
Would a S.W.O.R.D. movie work?
SPIDER-GWEN - a surprising new arrival!
According to rumours, Sony were fascinated by a major development in the Spider-Man comics last year. The "Spider-Verse" event took comic book fans to an alternate reality where Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider rather than Peter Parker, and she became Spider-Woman. The costume design was awesome, and Twitter went berserk under the hastag #SpiderGwen. The first solo series was popular, but came to an end due to "Secret Wars" - but she's back in September for a new run.
Of course, the catch for Spider-Gwen is that Sony had just killed off Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Ah, well, guess they could only go Spider-Gwen if they, say, did a reboot...
Not that they actually need to do a reboot. They could actually keep the alternate-universe thing - Doctor Strange is reportedly going to introduce concepts like alternate universes and string theory to the MCU. So it wouldn't be too hard to bring Spider-Gwen into the MCU, one way or another...
Do you want to see SPIDER-GWEN take to the big screen?
BLADE - the comeback king?
This is the one that I consider most likely. Neither Marvel nor Wesley Snipes have made a secret of their mutual interest in bringing Blade into the MCU, with a Blade 4. But with an older star, what angle could Marvel take?
Well, how about this; later this year, Marvel are releasing BLADE THE HUNTER, a new ongoing that unites Blade with none other than his daughter.
Meet Fallon Grey. A normal sixteen year old girl from rural Oregon. Nominated for Prom Queen, Captain of the Debate Team, most popular girl in her class. But there is another side to Fallon. A feeling like there’s something else going on inside. When terror strikes her small town, she’ll find out just how right she was. As fearsome supernatural forces invade her town, hunting her down – she’ll come face to face with something even more shocking than the monsters on her tail.
Now imagine a dark Netflix series in which a teenage girl discovers her dad is an undead killing machine, and winds up taking up the family business. I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel aren't testing the water for another breakout character in BLADE THE HUNTER, and if this might be where the BLADE franchise is going next...