The greatest powers on earth, every one of life’s lessons, and all the ways to be a better, or worse, human being, can be found inside the pages of a comic book. I was recently asked what my favorite thing in life was (not counting family and kids, so if my wife reads this I’m safe), and my answer was easy: superheroes. Whether it is in comic book form, wrestler form, or movie star form, the superhero is the pinnacle of entertainment.
But, superheroes are not just a level of entertainment, and do far more than simply spark our imaginations. The world at large resonates with the superheroes of our time, and teaches us about ourselves, our personality, and even our identity as an individual and human being. Superheroes are more often than not mirrors into our own soul. They teach us how to handle difficult situations and how to accept being different or unique. Life is not black and white, and superhero tales are not simply good versus evil. Like life, it is far more complex.
Superheroes teach us about hope, about believing in ourselves, about accepting who we are and fighting against any force that tries to take that away. The X-Men teach us to accept those that are different, to take them in as our own children and help those troubled to find their unique way. Tony Stark works towards building new technology to help usher in a better world. Sometimes these things backfire, but that is the realism of the world, and how we overcome even our own mistakes and shortcomings. Superheroes teach us to be caring, to be fearless, to fight for what we believe in, and most of all, to emulate the characteristics of a hero.
Nowadays, technology in filmmaking has enabled Hollywood to make all our dreams come true. To witness the heroes of our childhood leap off the page and be made real on a movie screen before our eyes. It is the greatest form of escapism that is available. They have something to offer every single person, something everyone can relate to in some form or another. It is all of these wonderful elements coming together, which has caused this recent outbreak of super heroism in our culture. Finally, it is considered cool to wear a Spider Man or Iron Man shirt. I never dreamed I would actually get to see it play out on an IMAX screen, but I have. The real greatest thing in life is my son, and knowing I get to take him to see the Avengers: Infinite War has me as giddy as the Joker. I experienced it thru comic books and action figures, but he gets the characters in my books visualized in real life at the movies. Now I know movies aren’t real life, but for two and a half hours it is to me. This is proof that filmmaking and the movies really are magic.
Marvel’s Phase 4 will include Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and 2, which will ultimately be the culmination of the phases up until this point. It will also include Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel or Ms Marvel, Thor: Ragnarok, the rebooted Spider Man, and finally, Inhumans. So, since Infinity War will be a sort of end game for this initial phase, what will Marvel introduce with Phase 5? Or Phase 6? Will there even be a Phase 5 or 6? There are tons of rumors out there, and maybe even several sequels that are locked into Phase 5. But who really wants to get excited about Iron Man 4, when there are new stories and new characters to introduce?
With Sony letting Marvel borrow Spider Man, and the idea that really anything can happen, I wanted to take the idea of character rights, and completely disregard it. This is my hopeful childhood mind daydreaming of all the Marvel films that are possilbe, and my inner child doesn’t care that the X-Men are owned by 20th Century Fox, and can’t interact with the Avengers. If there is anything comic books have taught me, it’s that anything is possible.
There are so many great story lines or characters that didn’t make the cut, but still deserved a mention. There is a group of characters who didn’t make the list, but NEED to find themselves on the big screen eventually. Here are the honorable mentions of the honorable mentions, the double double deck of the Marvel Universe. These five characters will probably never get their own film, but deserve to find themselves included in one.
Beta Ray Bill
My Dream Casting – Kevin Durand
My Dream Casting – Tom Welling
My Dream Casting – Tom Cruise
My Dream Casting – Aaron Paul
My Dream Casting – Chris Jericho (Yes THE Y2J Chris Jericho, because why the hell not – he has the look)
The hardest thing about making a list such as this, is deciding what doesn’t deserve to be included.
NAMOR THE SUB MARINER
Namor is Marvel’s chance to show DC the correct way to make a film about an ocean dwelling super hero. The Sub Mariner would be a great opportunity to kick off the new phase of Avengers films, giving them at first a new enemy, and then a new teammate for future films. A film version of the Sub Mariner would be a great spectacle, and a way to expand the Marvel universe to a whole new underwater world.
The only issue with a Namor film, and why I left him off the list, is a lack of a great villain. With high end villains like oil, boat motors, and used hospital needles, the threat to our oceans is immense! It’s all for fun, but let’s be honest, it’s a 2-1 bet this is how Namor is introduced, and why he appears as a foe to begin with, fighting against the dangers of humanity on his glorious ocean. But, there are underwhelming options like Captain Barrcuda, Krang, Tiger Shark, and Attuma, so maybe Marvel can surprise us.
My Dream Casting – Jake Gyllenhaal
There can be endless ideas and hopes listed in an article like this, but its impossible to include everyone worthy, since most of them are. But, within the Marvel Universe, these are the top 10 of my most desired to see on the silver screen. They are in order, and disregarding the rights of certain characters. With Marvel being able to “borrow” the rights to Spider Man, who knows what will happen in the future. The money Marvel is making these days, it can just decide to buy back all of its character rights, or make similiar agreements with other studios like 20th Century Fox. I wanted this to be fun, and since anything can happen, I decided to include what my hopes desired to see made into a film the most. Because, in the end, this is my list, and this is the 10 most desired comic books made into film I could dream of.
10. ACTS OF VENGENCE
I can’t think of a better way to follow up Avengers Infinite War then with a supreme group of villains trying to capitalize on the weakened state of the Avengers. It may prove difficult to follow-up on a threat like Thanos and the Infinite Gauntlet, but a group of major super villains that were hard to defeat on their own is a good place to start. Lead by Loki, this could be his final attempt at ruling the world, by recruiting the worst of the worst, Red Skull, Doctor Doom, Mandarin, Magneto, Kingpin, and the Wizard.
As a kid, this was one of my favorite Marvel storylines growing up. The group was assembled by Loki purely to destroy the Avengers by forcing them to fight unknown weaker villains to use unfamiliarity as their weapon of choice. What a great way to include a ton of villains, and raise the stakes of the Marvel filmverse. It would also be a chance to tie in all kinds of characters, and a great way to launch your new Avengers phase with some freshness.
These guys are mostly cast already, I’ll leave Gandalf as Magneto, Hiddleson will always be Loki (at least I hope), Agent Smith is perfect as Red Skull, and D’Orforio is beyond perfect for Kingpin, but here are some others that could use a shuffle.
My Dream Casting
Doctor Doom – Leonardo DiCaprio
The Wizard – Jim Carrey
With the news that Wesley Snipes is in talks again with Marvel, as much as I love all the Blade films, we don’t need a 4th. This is the best possible option available to the Blade character, and makes it new to the audience at large. No matter what anyone tells me, Wesley Snipes, Ryan Reynolds, and Jessica Biel do not have anything to do whatsoever with the Nightstalkers. The Nightstalkers consist of Frank Drake, Hannibal King (the non-Ryan Reynolds version), and Blade.
Marvel has delved in the tomb of horror, with Man-Thing and the previous Blade films, but the Nightstalkers would put them on the map, and open up a whole new genre. Deadpool will succeed in the R rating world, and will give them the chance to dive into that world a little more. Using the private supernatural detective agency seeking out all the horrors of the night, this could be silly, violent, gory goodness for all ages.
My Dream Casting
Frank Drake – Josh Holloway
Hannibal King – Alexander Skarsgård
Has Marvel really been making movies for this long, without including Captain Britain? Especially with the overseas business being so important these days, is there an easier way to bring every single person in Great Britain to the theater at one time? This is a great way to expand the universe to the worldwide range. Excalibur is led by Captain Britain, and rounded out with X-Men alum Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Phoenix, along with the ultra-popular (was that sarcasm) Meggan, Lockheed, and Widget.
Excalibur is a great way to appeal to the worldwide audience, while spinning off the X-Men Marvel Universe. It’s a perfect set up for an action comedy, mixing in some light-heartedness to the serious tones of the previous X-Men films. And really, who doesn’t want to see a group of superheroes whose home base is a lighthouse!
My Dream Casting
Captain Britain – Clive Owen
Phoenix – Charleze Theron
Meggan – Aly Michslka
Shadowcat – Kate Beckinsale
Nightcrawler – Elijah Wood
7. PLANET HULK
I mentioned I wouldn’t include sequels in this list, but this is one that is deserving of a mention. And it’s because it would be more than just the Hulk landing on a planet to fight for the entire time in Planet Hulk. Ultimately it would be to set up the real movie we all want to see, and that’s World War Hulk. After being banished by the Illuminati (Tony Stark, Black Bolt, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Namor, and Reed Richards), the Hulk returns angry, and hungry for vengeance after they did the big green guy wrong (I won’t spoil if you haven’t read, because you should).
All these Marvel films have always including moments where the Hulk is a force that needs to be stopped, almost crossing into villain territory for the damage he can cause. But Planet Hulk and World War Hulk would switch the playing fields, especially when this group of heroes the Illuminati, is ultimately responsibly for the exploding spacecraft that kills the Hulk’s pregnant wife (*Spoiler Alert* – I know I said I wouldn’t, but I put a Spoiler alert!)
It’s a minimum of two amazing films, and it will finally give the Hulk the correct stories to tell.
Mark Ruffalo is still in my opinion, the best Hulk/Bruce Banner, so stick with it!
6. ADAM WARLOCK
If the rumors were true, the pod hanging from the Collectors ceiling in Guardians of the Galaxy was our first sighting of Adam Warlock. He is incredibly important for the Infinity War, so I would believe these rumors to be true. His involvement in all the Infinity storylines from the 1990’s would make him an invaluable asset for the Avengers in Infinity War. Warlock needs to save the day in Avengers Infinity War and after showing the world his true messiah allure, a movie about him would be incredible.
A perfect story arch, created by humans to be the perfect human known as “Him”. Him was born out of his cocoon to discover the imperfections and corruptness of his human creators, only to say peace out and leave them behind. The High Evolutionary (such an odd character name), eventually gave him the name Adam, for obvious reason (the dude and the apple), and Warlock, for the fear his power imposes. Adam Warlock is also the owner of the soul gem, similar to the Vision possessing the mind gem, directly tying Him into the storyline for the Infinity War films.
My Dream Casting – Patrick Wilson
5. CABLE / X-FORCE
The most anticipated for any of the X-Men spin offs (even more so then Wolverine, and I named my son Logan), would be the time-traveling mutant known as Cable. The son of X-Men leader Cyclops, I first learned who he was through the X-Men Animated series from the 90’s. With his trademark metal arm, his origin appearance is relevant for wanting to destroy Apocalypse. With the upcoming Age of Apocalypse, bringing in one of the most secretly popular mutants is a no-brainer.
Cable can easily be spun off into his own film franchise, leading a new band of mutants known as X-Force. This is an easy way to expand the X-Men universe, and a great way to appease fan boys being able to see Cable on the big screen. And really, the thought of watching Shatterstar, Domino, Cannonball, Feral, Warpath, and of course, Boom-Boom battle the way cooler then Silver Samurai, Stryfe, has my inner child giddy with excitement.
My Dream Casting
Cable – Ryan Gosling
Shatterstar – Keanu Reeves (I had to include him somewhere)
Domino – Alexandra Daddario
Warpath – Randy Orton
Cannonball – Justin Timberlake
Feral – Nicola Peltz
Boom Boom – Chloe Grace Moretz
4. SINISTER SIX
When I heard this project had fallen through the cracks for its initial run, I was crushed. Growing up in the 90’s, my entire life was dedicated to collecting Marvel trading cards, and watching X-Men and Spider Man animated cartoons (Batman as well). It was here I realized that, and I’m sure some will disagree, the one thing that makes Spider Man such an incredible character, is that he has absolutely, the greatest collection of villains out of any comic book character. There is also a Dark Knight who one could argue has the edge, but I’m sticking strong to my Marvel base. Because, let’s be honest, Marvel is the WWF to DC’s WCW. And with the revelation of the pure popularity of the Suicide Squad, Marvel needs to jump on the bandwagon of villains as main characters. The time is now.
The best thing about this, is deciding who the correct Six would be, for a Sinister Six film. Since the last attempt failed, we can start fresh. Any incarnation must be led by Doctor Octopus, he is the only Spider Man villain who can actually think (that isn’t Green Goblin), and therefore he gets to lead by default. His group will consist of Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Kraven, and Hobgoblin. In all honestly, nobody cares about Shocker or especially an old guy who flies like Vulture (even though John Malkovich is such perfect casting). Chameleon, Lizard, Tombstone are all worthy, but this is my personal preference. Maybe swap out Hobgoblin for Lizard, but I’m sticking with my intuition. Hobgoblin gets no love or mention, so he gets some from me!
My Dream Casting
Doctor Octopus – Christoph Waltz
Electro – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Sandman – Matthew McConaughey
Mysterio – Michael Keaton
Kraven – Tom Hardy
Hobgoblin – Shia LaBeouf
3. DARK PHOENIX SAGA
It’s truly a shame the rights to the X-Men belong to 20th Century Fox. We are getting awesome movies, but we are missing the chance for all of these characters to interact with the current Marvel Universe. These characters, to me, are more appealing than the Avengers. Besides Wolverine, there have been no spin-offs or solo movies for any of the X-Men. Gambit is on the way, and is a great choice out of the characters. Just on this list alone, Longshot, Omega Red, Acts of Vengeance, Excalibur, Planet Hulk, and Cable all contain characters from the X-Men universe. That being said, out of all of them, the Dark Phoenix Saga is the most important film that needs to be made.
Taking this idea and making it into a film would be amazing. It’s a storyline I’m surprised hasn’t been tossed around, although it probably has, for the simple fact that this would be aimed towards the female audience. A female character with power beyond any man’s comprehension? A horror film for (some) men, a woman empowerment action drama for the ladies! But really, Jean Grey has been in each of the X-Men films, and is prime for a spin-off extravaganza such as this. Each X-Men movie has then facing more and more powerful villains, so eventually, after Mister Sinister in the next film (please!), we should be getting excited to see Dark Phoenix imagined in the movies.
Sophie Turner is a perfect choice for Jean Grey
2. SILVER SURFER – SILVER SURFER VS. GALACTUS
Rise of the Silver Surfer was one of the worst films I have ever witnessed, and one of the movies I can count on one hand that I walked out on. I waited 2 hours to see Galactus, and he was a puffy cloud. If this can be done right, by simple sticking with a super successful story that has already been laid out for you, this is a massive hit lying in wait. Silver Surfer can be an extremely popular character, and deserves a movie of his own. Opening on the planet of Zenn-La, Norrin Radd will give his life to save his planet, and becomes the Herald for the big bad purple planet eater, Galactus. Just think of all the GIF’s and Meme’s just waiting to capitalize on the “Power Cosmic”!
Once they arrive to earth, you can include the entire Marvel Universe, as this threat is far more intriguing than being attacked by an alien race In The Avengers that is about as popular as Quasar. Marvel can use this as a way to open up their universe, by showing other races on other planets, and having them all come together, to lead the fight to save the planet and stop the great Galactus. It’s a social commentary, it’s a disaster film, it’s a love story, and it will introduce the right way, two of the greatest Marvel characters in the universe (unless Infinite War does so first).
My Dream Casting – This casting is the most far out, for Silver Surfer, but so is a story about a silver guy on a surf board with a giant dude who eats planets for breakfast.
Silver Surfer – Neil Patrick Harris (you love it!)
Galactus – Bryan Cranston
1. MAXIMUM CARNAGE
Here we are, we have arrived at the top, and sitting atop the mountain is the only storyline or character that really deserves the top spot, and that is Carnage and Venom. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I experienced the explosion of Marvel’s modern age. Out of everything that was released, nothing stood out more than Maximum Carnage. Venom was the most vicious, badass character to ever grace the pages of a comic book, until another version, more evil, more murderous, more symbiotic was created. What would force Venom to team with Spider Man? A serial killer named Cletus Kasady behind the alien symbiote that turns an evil man into a crazed super powered killer.
Spider Man has as many film failures as it does successes. This is a chance to do something totally different, and will single handedly rejuvenate a franchise that desperately needs it. Sam Raimi was able to add small splashes of darkness to some of his films, and its truly what Spider Man needs. He needs a threat, a character that will not only cause complete destruction and mayhem, but one that will bring Spider Man to the brink. It will give Venom the chance to be showcased as a hero, even with his desire to kill. Spider Man at times is too childish, with villains who pose a small threat, but never one that make us fear for Peter Parker’s life. Carnage can change that, and can change the entire Spider Man universe just like the Joker did for The Dark Knight.
My Dream Casting
Venom – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Carnage – Sharlto Copley
And there you have it, my childhood hopes and dreams. If there is a will, there is a way, and I hope Marvel can have the rights to all their characters, so they can start making all of our dreams come true. A boy can dream, and hopefully one day, dreams can be a reality.