Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.
Marvel is also looking at the following live-action TV possibilities:
- A Hulk live-action TV series in development with Hellboy film series director Guillermo del Toro + Battlestar Galactica executive producer David Eick. I find this highly questionable considering the big budget for all the CGI to Hulk up whoever will be playing the role and the inconsistencies with actors (Eric Bana in 2003’s Hulk, Edward Norton in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk and Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers). Plus, the Hulk should be strong enough to stand on his own with strong storytelling + Ruffalo at the helm.
- An ABC Family serial for a “college-aged science geek freshman” Mockingbird who is recruited to a spy organization in an “Alias meets Felicity” vibe. Barf.
- A Cloak + Dagger TV serial set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. I really do not think the two can carry a full series on their own.
Given those uncertain developments, here is some nerdy-ass ANALysis of my recommendations for possible characters for the live-action TV show after the jizzump.
The series could take on a team vibe (maybe the Defenders?) or could be more of a mini-series following a few characters for a few episodes and then culminating in a season-ending arc. I must stress that I am tired of all of these “normal” people getting + getting used to superhuman powers (Heroes, No Ordinary Family) and would rather see a wholehearted embrace of the superhuman elements of the comics and see the people/teams already pretty comfortable with their abilities and show flashbacks of their origins/initial experiences with their powers.
With characters like Ant Man or Falcon slated to appear in their own movies or in the next wave of Avengers solo films, there are plenty of other opportunities to introduce new characters to appear in future solo or ensemble films. The TV series could also eventually bridge the gaps between Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
Top 10 MUST-SEE Characters:
Though a full movie may be in development, the first black hero in mainstream comics deserves a berth in the live-action show to give people exposure to this amazing superhero. Though he should eventually make his way to The Avengers 2, the king of fictional African country Wakanda would translate well onto television. He’s a genius on par with or above Iron Man (how amazing would the right actor be to fuck with Robert Downey Jr. in the Avengers sequel?!); he’s got enhanced superhuman strength, speed, stamina and agility that he channels as a high-level gymnast + hand-to-hand combatant; his country possesses the world’s source of the rare metal vibranium, one of the ingredients in Captain America’s shield, and that he uses as an energy dagger weapon. He needs a mix of regal king, learned scholar/spiritual leader and ass-kicking street fighter, and for God’s sake, keep him African. He should lead this ragtag team or at least be a trusty lieutenant. Plus, he would bring diversity to an otherwise bland mix and in the comics he married the X-Men’s Storm.
With such minimal screentime compared to all of the other The Avengers film characters, the team’s expert marksman could add some extra depth to his character through this TV show. Though Jeremy Renner may not DAIN to do television, the expert marskman could really get some legs with some small screen time and act as a drafting force for The Avengers 2 without having to carry his own (origin) movie.
3. Dr. Strange
Yet another possible full film in development but the Sorcerer Supreme is no neophyte magic-wielder, no Charmed/Harry Potter magic. Considered to be the mightiest magician in the cosmos, Strange could add in that magic theme that fantasy shows cannot escape without it being so puerile. His costume would need updating but he could be a sort of old soul who does not quite fit into today’s modern world, preferring burying his nose in magic scrolls rather than surfing the internet for clues, but would provide invaluable magical support for the team. I do not see him fitting in with The Avengers and with a bulky mess of movies with magic, I would suggest limiting Strange to television where his magic would offer more charm as a supporting character rather than ask him to carry a whole movie (franchise).
Every superhuman show needs a baseline human to counteract the mix. With Maria Hill already in the cinematic leagues, Bobbi Morse could be the S.H.I.E.L.D. connection the group needs. Mockingbird is a gymnast/fighter at the top of her physical game and a spy at the top of her mental game. They could adapt the TV series to fold her in as the new S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to the group and though highly trained, still a bit green and prone to leap before looking. I can see her becoming one of Nick Fury’s trusted lieutenants in The Avengers 2. Plus, she was married to Hawkeye in the comics.
5. Ms. Marvel
The human-Kree hybrid could be introduced later in the TV series as Marvel expands into space but if Wasp is not introduced, she is the only other character who deserves a place on The Avengers 2 team. The super-strong, super-fast, super-durable, energy-projecting, flying Marvel is an Air Force officer with military training. She would not only be the team’s brawn, but her offensive energy projecting abilities are also helpful. In the comics, Ms. Marvel was also attacked by the X-Men’s Rogue, who permanantly absorbed her powers.
The mutant hex mistress who can manipulate probability is not only a powerful force in the Marvel Universe (partly responsible for the mutant de-powering House of M/Decimation storyline) but a worthy magician. She could have an altered origin to be a protégé of Dr. Strange and could or could not know about her family heritage (daughter of X-Men villain Magneto, brother of Quicksilver).
The super speedster mutant son of Magneto would also be a great addition to the Avengers, even if it is not for a couple movies down. Though super speed may require some budget-unfriendly CGI, his hot-headedness would be a good foil for Hawkeye (or any other team member, really). Plus, the potential connection to the X-Men is very promising.
Every team needs an outcast or someone who does not quite fit in and the density-shifting, optic beam-projecting android with red skin + a bright yellow cape would be a great fit for the TV and eventually movie serieses. Not only because of the comedic possibilities associated with his detached personality subroutines, but his abilities would make for some very interesting scenes. In the comics, he eventually marries the Scarlet Witch.
9. Luke Cage
The African American hero for hire with steel-strong skin, super strength + a healing factor would make for a wise-cracking addition to the TV series, though I would hesitate to add him to The Avengers 2. Plus his partnership with the final addition would be great as a more one-off, limited series run to.
10. Iron Fist
Though I would make him actually Asian, the kung fu master who can channel his chi into his fist with super-strong results could add some diversity + martial arts to the team, but again, I would not add him to The Avengers 2.
5 MUST-NOT-SEE Characters:
After three relatively successful films (1989’s The Punisher, 2004’s The Punisher, 2008’s Punisher: War Zone), Marvel regained film rights for the vigilante in 2010 and “hope to bring him into the fray shortly.” Tragic stories of vengeance are all too common and Punisher does not have the necessary story to carry an entire film series, but given the other picks for the series, Punisher would be too much of an unpredictable element to introduce to the possible dynamics.
Not only another possible reboot in development, but the blind ninja lawyer with superhumanly enhanced senses either deserves its entire separate franchise or to be left alone as is.
Next to the Black Panther, the next Avengers character who deserves his own film (supposedly in development since 1996). Similar to Thor, the possibilities of translating Namor’s native underwater home Atlantis onto the big screen are amazing. The mutant son of a human + homo mermanus possesses underwater survival + thriving skills (breathing underwater, superhuman swimming speeds, undersea vision, withstanding undersea pressures); flight via wings attaches to his ankles; and superhuman strength, agility, durability and longevity. Though the anti-hero’s origin story may be a bit outdated (fought in World War II alongside Captain America and vowed revenge on humanity after Atlantis was destroyed by nuclear testing) but easily adapted, his story of rejection for being mixed race and trapped in one world without access (in his case, memory) to the other but becoming the ruler of his birth realm is accessible to the audience. Plus, he has been portrayed as an arrogant but powerful, passionate but noble, a great combination for an anti-hero. Now we just have to find an actor comfortable with being in a speedo and wielding a trident.
Though I am not very familiar with Guardians of the Galaxy and I can understand that the team’s forthcoming 2014 film will help the Marvel Cinematic Universe expand to space, I would have preferred a movie focusing on the Kree-created superhuman race called the Inhumans. And until a decision about a film is made, I would prefer they are kept out of the Marvel film/TV universe. Crystal, the element-controlling member of the royal family who joined the Avengers + married Quicksilver, along with other royal family members would translate well on screen.
5. Moon Knight