Columns > Published on April 16th, 2018

Speculation On The Upcoming Marvel Movies

Marvel has announced six open slots for movies, release dates and titles forthcoming.

Through a combination of logic, knowledge, and getting into the mind of a marketing juggernaut (marketing, like THE Juggernaut, is unstoppable, but also thwarted fairly easily by the Fantastic Four), I’ve picked some likely candidates.

Using my gut, beers that I put inside of my gut, and the works of Chip Zdarsky, I’ve selected some very unlikely candidates that I want to see anyway.

Obvious Omissions:

It’s pretty likely some of these slots will be filled by sequels. The only thing that could stop a Black Panther 2 would be the American film industry developing a sudden allergy to money. And even then, they’d probably freebase Claritin and make it work.

I also mostly stayed away from anything that is currently or recently on TV (Inhumans, Runaways, Jessica Jones) and most of the stuff that's been a movie and/or show before (Daredevil, Punisher, Elektra, Blade). 

The problem is, talking about sequels, remakes, and the move from TV to movie just isn’t as interesting as talking about possibilities. Plus, it’s more fun to talk about the possibilities than it is to be right.


Nova comics have been an uneven ride, but there’s definite potential in the movies. Mostly, the potential to take a character who is basically a space cop and do it right. Clean up after DC’s Green Lantern mess.

Likelihood: With one of the Infinity Stones left with Nova Corps at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, there’s a pretty natural entry for Nova to show up in Infinity War and then get his own starring role. I’d give it a 3 gems out of 5 chance.

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Moon Knight

This one slim volume of Moon Knight by Warren Ellis is the closest thing Marvel’s ever had to a kickass Batman book. If you like Batman doing a little detective stuff, a little smashing down doors, and a whole lot of kicking of asses, read this book.

Likelihood: Look, this isn’t happening. I only put it on here because I want to tell people to read it. It’s one of the most cinematic comics you’ll ever pick up.

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Ms. Marvel

Marvel movies have a problem where oftentimes the end involves a cosmic threat that is going to annihilate the universe and all life therein, and this usually involves a portal that looks like a weird tornado vagina that leads to space. Ms. Marvel is a bit more of a local hero, a friendly neighborhood shape-changer, if you will. Part of what worked in Spider-Man: Homecoming was that a hero was given a task that fit his scope. The world wasn’t coming to an end. We just needed this one jerk to stop being a jerk, and that could be accomplished with punching. I think there’s room for more of that. Ms. Marvel would fit the bill nicely.

Likelihood: This is happening. It’s almost cheating to even put it on here.

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Nick Fury

I’d love to see Samuel L. Jackson in a movie that draws from the Jim Steranko, groovy as hell 60’s and 70’s stuff. Think about it. The coolness of X-Men First Class, but add in Samuel L. Jackson, a psychedelic feel, and a sidekick named Dum Dum Dugan.

Likelihood: Nick Fury has glued the Marvel U together, and with the Star Wars model of telling smaller side stories, I think this would fit right in.

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Black Widow

I’m at a loss here because I think I’m the only person on Earth who despises James Bond bullshit. But everyone else seems to dig it, and I could see this being a pretty good character swap for a James Bond type of story.

Likelihood: The script is being written, but the movie isn’t greenlit just yet. The only thing that makes me think this isn’t happening is that it hasn’t already. But I would say this one is all wrapped up in a silken web. I WOULD say that, but it’s corny, and really more of a Spider-Man pun.

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Howard the Duck

My favorite alien, non-human character. I know, we got the movie. And yes, it had a topless duck woman. But the most recent iteration of Howard the Duck is hilarious. For example, he spends a lot of time chasing The Abundant Glove, which has gems in it. They are as follows: Compassion, Laughter, Dance, Respect, and a second Dance gem. He goes undercover in a park by taking his clothes off and waddling around with the other ducks, eating bread.

Likelihood: Here’s a pic from Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn:

What else is there to say?

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Heroes For Hire

C’mon. This is a natural. Luke Cage, Power Man teams up with Iron Fist? It’s your classic buddy cop movie with a little bit of superpowered mayhem thrown in for fun. It can’t miss. They’re one battle van short of a perfect 80’s action flick.

Likelihood: The only thing that makes this unlikely is how it would fit in with the already-running shows. But Iron Fist hasn't been killing it, and there’s so much two-person team-up potential here that I think it’s got to happen.

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Stan And Jack

This is a TOTAL departure from the current formula, but I think they could make a great Stan Lee/Jack Kirby biopic. It’s been a big story in comics for a long time, and I wouldn’t mind seeing something based in the reality side of the Marvel U. Something that handles things in an even-handed but interesting way, and something that reminds the world of the creators behind the beloved characters. Think The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but adapted for screen and Marvel.

Likelihood: Will it get made? Totally. Will it get made by some indie filmmaker in the next decade as opposed to Marvel? Probably also totally.

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War Machine

One of the best Iron Man stories involves Tony being a drunk, and his buddy Jim Rhodes has to take Tony's keys away and pilot the Iron Man suit himself. Or, take the weird sensors away? Whatever you use to start one of those suits, he has to take it while Tony dries out.

Likelihood: They have set in some seeds regarding Tony's drinking. It's not off the table. And it might be a great direction to take the Iron Man story. 

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He got a little more life in Age of Ultron. And he’s kind of interesting because he’s mostly a regular guy. And Matt Fraction recently did a much-loved run on the book. The material’s there, and Renner is a great choice.

Likelihood: No disrespect to Batroc the Leaper, but I’d give this more cred if there was a single credible villain for Hawkeye to fight. So I guess that comes with total disrespect to Batroc. Sorry, dude.

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In a post-apocalyptic world, he, uh, does post-apocalyptic stuff. With a sword. 

Likelihood: There's almost no way. I think the post-apocalypse narrative has peaked, valley-ed, and then maybe even dug a little more valley for itself by now. 

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If you haven’t read it, Tom King wrote an awesome miniseries about the Vision and his attempts to live with a created, android family. It’s bizarre, sad, and never, ever boring. It could be really creepy at times too, which would add a new dimension to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can’t believe I just capitalized that.

Likelihood: To calculate the likelihood of this, you have to use those scientific notation numbers, and it’s like a tiny number to the negative one million. It’s dark, it doesn’t really fit the overall universe, and I mean this as a compliment: it worked great as a comic, but the material would need an overhaul to be a movie.

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Fantastic Four

After 4 pretty terrible attempts to bring the 4 to the screen, you just know that Marvel is going to want to take a whack at it. Plus, the coming of Galactus? That’s a solid story all the way.

As much as FF is an over-beaten, dead horse at this point, one more whack isn’t going to do any harm. And damn it, you just want to see someone get it right.

Likelihood: There’s a merger going on between Fox and Disney, which means that Fantastic Four could be up for the Marvel treatment. However, the merger may not be complete until 2019, which would be a fairly tight turnaround. That said, this is almost a foregone conclusion. Wait, shit, a FOURgone conclusion.

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Adam Warlock

Warlock has always been a very weird character, and if you think Superman flicks have a lot of religious iconography in them, hoo boy!

Likelihood: Warlock was often in possession of the soul gem, so we might see him turn up in Infinity War. But in my estimation, Dr. Strange showed us the limits of Marvel's current willingness to go weird, and it wasn't nearly weird enough to bring Warlock on board.

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Captain Britain

Why, in a world where I accept Captain America, does Captain Britain seem stupid? And for people in Britain, does Captain America seem stupid? Can some UK readers chime in?

Likelihood: The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Why NOT have a story that takes place somewhere other than America? It seems like there's a huge concentration of heroes, but very few outside the States (unless those vaguely Eastern European accents on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are to be believed). 

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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

After the merciless beating of Moon Boy in the book's first issue (which was super weird because this was otherwise a very kid-friendly book), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur gave us...pretty much what the title says. A smart, science-y girl and a big red dinosaur. 

Likelihood: If you read the book, it's clearly an all-ages title, which usually means it's for kids. Which is why Disney has been in the early stages of developing it as an animated series. Which seems like a good fit for the book. 

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Dazzler should be a movie. It was ALMOST a movie! It’d be awesome. You could even make it a musical, I would allow that as long as the songs were good. IN FACT, we could get a whole line of Marvel movies that take place in the 70’s, and this one could cross over with Nick Fury.

Likelihood: How many small mirrors does it take to cover a disco ball? Imagine you took one of those mirrors, painted a tiny bullseye on it, then gave me a BB gun and told me to nail it, while the ball was spinning and shining in my eyes. I’d put the odds somewhere around there.

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The problem with the Hulk movies is that it’s tough for the big green dude to carry a movie on his own. He needs a foil. Plus, if they were going to make a Hulk movie, Planet Hulk was the way to go, and they burned most of that material on Thor: Ragnarok.

But She-Hulk gives us another dimension. She’s not stupid. In fact, she’s a lawyer. A tall, green lawyer with super strength.

Likelihood: If there’s one thing I know, it’s that every writer wants to take a crack at a courtroom scene. Doesn’t matter if they’re writing Spongebob, Family Matters, Orphan Black—whatever, everyone wants to try their hand at the drama of a courtroom scenario. She-Hulk gives that in spades. 1 in (a Fantastic) Four.

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Beta Ray Bill

Did you SEE his brief, inanimate cameo in Thor: Ragnarok? Because I did. And it was a moment of pride that came crashing down to reality when I tried to explain to my girlfriend why that was exciting for me. The short version: Because I am a nerd.

Likelihood: I would've said no, but apparently Bill was supposed to have a small part in Ragnarok, and here's what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had to say: "He was in it a little bit more and it just didn't do justice. And the feeling is, if you can't do it justice, do it later."

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Master of Kung Fu

While Shang-Chi hasn't been a huge player in the comics or movies for a while, I certainly wouldn't mind a martial arts extravaganza. 

Likelihood: This could totally work IF they went old school and filmed a non-CG movie with real stunts. Rumble In The Bronx made a huge splash, even though the Bronx looked suspiciously like Vancouver. It might be time to see the return of the true-to-life action movie. 

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If you haven’t read this, dig it up. Not a huge title, and I think Marvel was trying to bury it a little for some time, but they did reprint it a few years back, and it’s Alan Moore at his Alan Moore-iest.

Likelihood: On one hand, the story is an Alan Moore joint, and a good chunk of his stuff has gotten the movie treatment (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell). On the other hand, this one does not fit the humor/action mixture of the current offerings in any way. 6 orange rocks out of the billion that cover Thing’s body.

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Superior Foes Of Spider-Man

Think Ocean's 11 except everyone is kinda stupid. And they're the bad guys. I mean, in my humble opinion, the Ocean's guys are totally bad guys. They're charming, but they also steal a bunch of money. Anyway, that's off track. Point being, Foes could make for a great comedy/heist movie.

Likelihood: I don't want to talk about the odds of it happening. Just the odds of me being in a seat if this ever hit theaters. Those odds are excellent.

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Here's something I didn't know: Man-Thing came BEFORE Swamp Thing. By only a month or two, but still! It turns out both Marvel and DC were unwilling to sue because they BOTH ripped off a super old character called The Heap. I always thought it was the other way round. Probably because Swamp Thing has some truly classic tales and a movie. A really bad movie that couldn't even be saved for an adolescent me by Adrienne Barbeau. 

Likelihood: Unlikelier things have happened. Such as Marvel and DC putting out swamp monster protagonist comics within a couple months of each other. 

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Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

This is an extremely stupid and funny book. Especially if they went the Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe route. 

Likelihood: I give it no chance, but I also didn't ever think I'd see, much less enjoy a monthly Squirrel Girl book. So what do I know? See, I saved this one for last because I just blew all my credibility. 

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What property would you like to see? Are there even any left after this column?

About the author

Peter Derk lives, writes, and works in Colorado. Buy him a drink and he'll talk books all day.  Buy him two and he'll be happy to tell you about the horrors of being responsible for a public restroom.

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