Since 2008, across TV and film, Marvel’s been committing many of their properties to live-action in the shared Marvel cinematic universe. There’s 21 films-with 3 in production (Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and of course, Avengers 4) Four TV shows on networks and cable, Seven streaming series, five short films and two webisode series. Phew!…and more coming, naturally.
However, there are some corners the MCU hasn’t looked at yet. The big one of course is Fantastic Four and X-men, who are now more or less fair game once the Disney/FOX merger is complete. But everybody knows they’re going to show up or be worked into MCU sooner or later.
A Black Widow project is also in the works, but that’s pretty much confirmed so there’s not much need to discuss that.
However, there’s still unexplored stuff from what they currently own.
First up, Nova. The Nova Corps are already established in the MCU, as they appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, mainly represented by Glenn Closes’s Nova Prime, John C Reilly’s Rhomann Dey, and Peter Serafinowicz.
We learn that Xander was Thanos’s first stop in collecting the stones in Infinity War (The purple power stone, the macguffin of Guardians) and presumably destroyed most of the corps doing that. In the comics, a similar attack is what spurs Rhomann to journey to earth, where he transfers his powers to teen Richard Ryder.
(The Novas are basically pretty much Marvel’s take on the “Green Lantern” concept, you could say, although Rider is a teenager kind of like Peter Parker as opposed to Hal Jordan the air force pilot.) Later, a new character, Sam Alexander, also becomes a member of the Nova corps.
So basically you’ve got the setup for Nova right there already, and producer Kevin Feige has said that a Nova film is probably coming (I’m presuming Guardians III might also build on him as well, as well as the destruction of Xander).
She-Hulk is Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce Banner. She’s also a lawyer. However, during a case, she was shot, and Bruce, who was visiting, gave her a blood transfusion.
Which of course, due to the gamma-irradiated blood, led to her developing her own green skinned transformation.
However, unlike her destructive cousin’s alter-ego(s), She-Hulk retained her identity (and for the most part, the ability to switch back into human form and back again without stress/anger, although this was temporarily taken away from her-although she often preferred her She-Hulk appearance, which, apart from being taller and green, wasn’t quite as distorted as the Hulk’s features), and was able to be both an effective lawyer and superhero, and became a long time member of the Avengers and one of the occasional reserve members of the Fantastic Four, as well as on a few other teams. Also, long before Deadpool did it, she often broke the fourth wall.
Although there’s been some recent changes to the character which have made her more like her cousin, due in part to a massive injury and the death of her cousin during the second “Civil War” crossover (although she seems to be getting “better” recently, restored to her green self but still looking a bit more like her cousin)
Question is, how would a She-Hulk movie work? While the Hulk in the current MCU is realized using CG, She-Hulk’s largely a different case for many reasons.
I’m thinking perhaps they could do something like Chris Evans in the first Captain America film-use CG to have She-Hulk be ‘shrunk’ in human form, while having the same actress-a tall woman, of course, and painted green (Hey, it worked for Gamora) be the regular She-Hulk.
Fan’s choice has been Angie Harmon for years, but we’ll see I guess, if they decide to go ahead with one.
On a side note, there were some publicity shots taken for a She-Hulk TV movie in the late 80s/early 90’s with Brigette Nielsen (An actress who was fairly prolific in the 80s for co-starring in action movies such as Cobra, Beverly Hills Cop II, Rocky IV etc.) that Bill Bixby was interested in creating. Pretty sure it only got as far as a few publicity shots.
Also, it’s a bit unclear, but it’s possible She-Hulk’s rights are sort of tangled…although not 100% confirmed, the reason we haven’t had a Hulk solo movie since the Disney purchase-despite the popularity of the Mark Rufallo take-is that the rights for a solo outing are still tied to Universal.
The Thunderbolts were kind of an interesting concept for a team-basically, in 1996, the “Onslaught” crossover happened, in which a giant monster that was basically a mix of Professor X and Magneto caused a lot of mayhem. At the end of the conflict, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four were presumed dead (They were actually resurrected/ transported to another world with new ‘memories’, in the “Heroes Reborn” imprint-long story), leaving Earth pretty much stuck with the X-men and some of the more street-level heroes like Spider-Man & Daredevil around, as well as a Hulk who had become separated from Bruce Banner again (and becoming more savage and destructive than the relatively sober “merged” Hulk).
Into this vacuum emerged the Thunderbolts, seemingly out of nowhere, as a new superhero group. However, they were in fact, the Masters of Evil, a supervillain group once responsible in part for trashing Avengers mansion in the 1980’s, as well as other battles with the Avengers over the years, who were posing as heroes to deceive the world.
However, the Thunderbolts discovered that they kind of didn’t mind being heroes, and many of the team actually decided to stick with the heroism (minus the deception). They also welcomed a new leader in Hawkeye, as well. (Hawkeye’s comics incarnation was, himself, briefly a villain).
….and of course he helped Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the team (Although Quicksilver didn’t quite last that long).
The team has of course gone through many shakeups over the years, with many different leaders (even the Green goblin at one point!) The current incarnation of the group is led by the Winter Soldier, so either he or the Hawkeye connection could work out well in film.
The only major problem is that a lot of the MCU villains are dead, and a lot of the main characters in the comics-Songbird, Atlas etc…. haven’t been introduced yet. I suppose that they could sort of introduce them in one movie. Worked with Guardians.
Technically, we’ve had a similar concept in the DCEU’s “Suicide Squad” as well, although the movie’s quality is up to the reader…