Marvel Creates Speculation on Which Characters Will See Big Screen Next

marvel comics

As the wait is finally over for Marvel Studios’ release of the film Guardians of the Galaxy, speculation is increasing about which other characters from the comics will be next to grace the big screen. Guardians is Marvel’s first attempt at introducing a wider audience to some of their lesser-known comic book characters. The anticipation for the movie was built up greatly by a storm of advance promotion. If the film is a success at the box office, then Marvel will have a workable template for adapting some of their other characters into stories for feature films.

Comic book fans are already coming up with lists of the ones who most likely deserve a solo movie.  Because of rampant speculation that Marvel has already created a big-screen vehicle for him, the character who fans seem to most believe will be next is Doctor Strange. Many could consider him the Harry Potter of the Marvel universe, though with an edge. He first appeared during the psychedelic period of the 1960s, and has been greatly received by readers. He has lived up to his name by providing some of the company’s most bizarre storylines and concepts. Doctor Strange draws his power from magic and invocation instead of technology, and he can offer an obvious opportunity for Marvel Studios to move in on the still popular witchcraft and wizardry trend.

The difficulty with this character as the subject of a feature film is the ability to create a decent balance between seriousness and camp that the comics have. In addition, it will take the right actor to boldly deliver signature lines like “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!” in a manner which will have audiences cheering instead of laughing. Recently there have been rumors that a film adaptation is in the works with actor Joaquin Phoenix suiting up for the role, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Another character who has appeared on a list or two is She-Hulk. Based on the history, it has appeared unlikely that a female Marvel character could deliver in a solo film. The best example of this is the 2005 movie Elektra, starring Jennifer Garner as the warrior assassin. The film was a spin-off of 2003’s Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck, which was also a box office disaster. Elektra got critics and non-geeks to believe that, other than Spider-Man and X-Men, other Marvel Comics characters who are not on film do not deserve to be. Fans, however, have demanded the opposite.

Despite the character’s popularity, one of the things which are preventing She-Hulk from being made into a movie is Marvel’s struggle to get a franchise going for the classic Incredible Hulk character. In 2003, Marvel and Universal Studios released Hulk, starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly. The movie was not well received, mainly due to the fact that it did not truly stick to the basic story of the comic book. In 2008, after Marvel Studios was established, they released the re-boot The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as Hulk and his alter ego Bruce Banner. What made this film successful was in part the fact that it paid homage to the 1970s television series of the same name. The film also, unlike the Eric Bana film, referenced the comic book. Fans cheered when the Hulk delivered one of his famous lines, “Hulk smash!” The character returned to the big screen in 2012’s successful blockbuster The Avengers.

The difference between Hulk and She-Hulk is that the female Hulk is permanently in her green-skinned state. Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk when he gets angry and when he turns his mind stays under the influence of that anger. She-Hulk, on the other hand, is not influenced by anger and she has the same awareness and intelligence in her mutated form as when she was an ordinary person. As of now, there is no confirmation about any sequels to The Incredible Hulk, although the character will return in the sequel to The Avengers. If a Hulk franchise happens, it is quite possible that She-Hulk, and other female characters, will be considered for a movie adaptation.

One character who has been on the big screen in The Avengers  is the character who appears most likelyj to receive a solo film based on the popularity of the character with audiences in that movie. This character is the archer, Hawkeye.  He has been a fan favorite for a long time, and many screenplay writers would agree that his origin story would translate well into a movie. In particular, his time as a criminal before he became a member of the government agency called S.H.I.E.L.D to team-up with fellow superheroes makes for a compelling storyline on paper.

In The Avengers, Hawkeye is portrayed by actor Jeremy Renner. He first appeared as the character in a cameo in 2011’s Thor. When The Avengers was released a year later, it was the most successful film that year. Renner will reprise the role in the upcoming sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. As of now, Marvel has not said if a Hawkeye film is in the works, but with the Avengers success there appears to be a good chance of it happening.

The Marvel universe is populated with myriad characters  known only to the devoted readers of the comic books.  The release of Guardians of the Galaxy is an attempt by Marvel to translate that readership into a significant theater audience. If the film does well, then the company will have confirmation of their ability to capitalize on even the lesser-known characters from the comics.  It will no longer be speculation that the characters created in the print version of the Marvel universe are able to make the next step and leap off of the page and onto the big screen.

Opinion By Andrew Cerecedes

What Culture

2 Responses to "Marvel Creates Speculation on Which Characters Will See Big Screen Next"

  1. Fred U   August 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    They should make a female-led movie. Not for the politically-correct “diversity” or feminist arguments ( nothing against them, but they won’t cut it ), but for the mere reason that it would be more interesting, more unique, more different than what we already have heaps of, and a nice little challenge for a capable director. It would make the news, it would make history — and it would make tons of cash, if made well! “Guardians” is doing well not because of the love for the characters or because it has a male lead, but because it is a darn good flick — and the lackluster script leads to “Lucy” failing. So: there is an underexplored and big niche out there — and that means big business opportunity. I wonder who grabs it first.

  2. Annoyed feminist   August 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    The big issue. I have with the ‘Based on the history, it has appeared unlikely that a female Marvel character could deliver in a solo film’ is that you. and it seems many others, blame women for fox and WBs failures.

    Nobody says Fox shouldn’t make male led films, but they have more male led failures then female led failures (Daredevil, Xmen Origins Wolverine), or that they shouldn’t make team hero films as more have failed then female led films (Xmen 3, Fantastic Four and it’s sequels). Poor Elektra is one failure in a sea of failure but it gets all the blame.

    Now it’s the same for WB, they blame supergirl, yet superman 3,4 and 5 were just as bad if not worse. They blame Catwoman yet Batman 3 and 4 were just as bad. And don’t forget Green lantern.

    Let’s face it the truth is that Fox and WB just want a quick book, they treat their women like quick cash ins, supergirl was a spinoff, Catwoman was a spinoff, elektra was a spinoff (of a failure of a film I might add, great start)…. They highlight what it wrong with those producers, not what is wrong with women.

    Marvel have not tried yet. If they put as much effort into a female lead as they do into the rest of their films it will be a success. If it’s not a spin off of another hero it will probably succeed automatically as she won’t appear a cash cow (or in the case of elektra a dead horse) that producers are fobbing the audience off with.

    I say female marvel characters have never failed, its Fox that have failed and will continue to do so as long as they are making a quick buck off. Marvel Characters, I dread to see what their latest Fantastic Four turns out like.


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