Disney is expected to enter the streaming game next year, and it’s bringing the Avengers with it.
According to Variety, Disney is developing TV series for the platform that spin out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, starring the likes of Loki, Scarlet Witch, and even characters who haven’t been introduced yet.
The MCU has already landed on the small screen thanks to Netflix’s Marvel shows like “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist,” as well as network shows like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter.” But those are loosely connected to the MCU. What Disney reportedly wants to do with its streaming service is on another, more ambitious level.
It’s also perfect for characters who haven’t been included in the MCU’s big screen adventures who may be better suited for television.
Since Variety notes that characters who haven’t appeared yet could star in their own shows, we’ve rounded up seven superheroes from Marvel comic books that would fit nicely into the Marvel streaming universe.
Below are Marvel characters that Disney should introduce on its streaming service that haven’t been included in the MCU yet:
Not since “Blade: Trinity” in 2004, Wesley Snipes’ last film in the role and a critically panned finale to his trilogy, has the half-human, half-vampire “daywalker” been seen on the big screen. He appeared in a TV series in 2006 that only lasted one season.
The film rights to the character have reverted to Marvel, but we haven’t heard a peep about any prospects for the character. It seems he has been forgotten, even in the comic books — as this Hollywood Reporter piece points out, Blade was set to star in a new comic series in 2015, but after the creators walked away, Marvel never went through with it.
Blade doesn’t exactly fit Disney’s family-friendly image, or even within the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. But that’s why Netflix was a perfect place for street-level, gritty characters like Daredevil and Luke Cage. The same can be said of Blade, whose more mature elements would put him at odds with the MCU on the big screen, but fit adequately in a streaming series that has fewer limitations.
After the Disney/Fox merger, the future of the “Deadpool” movies is up in the air. The character’s R-rated foul mouth and violent tendencies, like Blade, don’t fit well into the MCU as we know it. But Deadpool and a streaming service might be a perfect match (think of the jokes!).
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that he’d want Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to oversee Fox’s “X-Men” franchise, which “Deadpool” is technically a part of. When asked if Deadpool could become an Avenger, he said, “Kevin’s got a lot of ideas. I’m not suggesting that’s one of them. But who knows?”
The prospect of Deadpool being an Avenger is a silly one, but Iger’s comments do suggest that the X-Men could be introduced to the MCU, which would open up a can of worms when it comes to Deadpool. A “Deadpool 2” spin-off movie starring the X-Force team is in development with “The Cabin in the Woods” director Drew Goddard, and it’s unknown how the merger will affect it. It’s possible that it could still move forward, but under Disney, it makes sense for the character’s future adventures to take place on the small screen.
The last three “Fantastic Four” movies haven’t exactly been successful. They’ve made less than $800 million worldwide, combined, and the last attempt in 2015, a reboot directed by Josh Trank, only made $63 million domestically. It also has an abysmal 9% Rotten Tomatoes critic score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The MCU has managed to breathe new life into characters like Spider-Man and make little-known characters like Black Panther global phenomenons. But if Disney didn’t want to take that risk with the Fantastic Four, a TV show on its streaming service might be a better bet.
This is cheating a tad. Ghost Rider, the “Spirit of Vengeance,” briefly appeared in ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” but the character deserves an expanded storyline that is more closely connected to the MCU — and doesn’t star Nicolas Cage, who was a major miscast for the 2007 “Ghost Rider” movie and its 2011 sequel. There have been multiple Ghost Riders in the comics, which could be an easy way for Disney to get around the character’s debut in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Miles Morales, an alternate universe version of Spider-Man who is half-black and half-Hispanic, has become extremely popular in the comic books to the point where he has not only been introduced into Marvel canon alongside Peter Parker, but he’ll also make his big screen debut in December in Sony’s animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”
Sony’s deal with Marvel Studios allows the MCU to use its own version of Spider-Man while Sony continues to distribute and have creative control over the films. If Disney wanted to introduce Miles Morales, it might have to work out another deal with Sony. But one Spider-Man starring on the small screen and one on the big screen sounds like a deal worth making.
Spider-Woman became a New Avenger after the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline in 2004, where she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. double agent infiltrating the terrorist group Hydra. That tidbit could launch a TV series on its own.
The “Young Avengers” comic launched in 2005 and the characters have been involved in the Marvel comic universe since in various capacities. The team originally includes Hulkling, an alien Kree/Skrull hybrid (the two races are at war in the upcoming “Captain Marvel” movie); Patriot, the grandson of an early super-soldier similar to Captain America; Wiccan, the son of Scarlet Witch and Vision; Hawkeye, a young woman who takes up the title when Clint Barton dies in the comics; and Stature, the daughter of Ant-Man.