Which Superheroes Deserve a Film Franchise?
Superheroes have long been popular. They first gained a foothold in our imaginations with comics, then with cartoons.
In terms of live-action, more than a few superheroes have had their own television shows: Superman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and more. Also, in recent years, there has been more and more success for superheroes on the big screen - as attested to by the mind-boggling success of The Avengers.
In fact, Marvel is having quite a nice run in terms of movie success for it's superhero characters. The big question, then, is which characters should be next to grace the silver screen. With that as the focus, here are a few characters that might fit the bill.
Update (8/30/16): It seems weird to me that I wrote this article years ago, and now Marvel is actually getting ready to release a Doctor Strange feature film (see below).
Admittedly, from the standpoint of physical strength, he's not on a par with some of the Marvel comic greats.
However, as evidenced in The Avengers, Hawkeye is clearly a force and not to be taken lightly, with superb martial skills, world-class marksmanship, and an undeniable tactical genius. He pretty much embarrassed the super-powered members of the team for most of the movie. That's why I don't think he'd have trouble carrying a film.
In terms of his popularity, he was never an A-List superhero, but then again, neither was Blade, Ghost Rider or Daredevil and they all experienced success on the big screen. (Even Ironman was just a B-List hero until Robert Downey, Jr. made the character a first-class icon.) Moreover, Hawkeye's stock will probably never be higher than it is right now.
(On a side note, I actually got excited for a second when I saw a trailer for the new Jason Bourne movie starring Jeremy Renner - who plays Hawkeye - because it looked like it could have been a preview of a new Hawkeye film.)
(Poster available at AllPosters.com.)
Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner
As the first comic antihero, the Sub-Mariner has been cast - at various times - as both hero and villain.
Born of a human father and an Atlantean mother, Namor is Prince of Atlantis. (His mother was a princess, the daughter of the emperor of Atlantis.) Nicknamed the Sub-Mariner, he has at times waged war against the surface world (because of humanity's disrespect of the ocean and the life in it), but in general has been recognized more as a superhero than anything else.
His powers include flight, super-strength, speed, and the ability to breath in or out of the water. Moreover, while he was born in 1920 and is over 90 years old, he has not appeared to age and appears as a young man in his prime.
In my opinion, the Sub-Mariner would be great in a film because he is such a complex character. Aside from Spider-Man and maybe bruce banner/the Hulk, few other superheroes have his level of depth.
Let's just be honest: Magic is cool, regardless of how old you are. Ergo, a master magician with a name like Doctor Strange (and the nickname of "The Sorcerer Supreme") has just got to be the Samuel L. Jackson of superheores.
Although already the subject of a 1970s television movie (which many of you may have missed), Doctor Strange would a great character to have his own series. With powers that include telepathy, teleportation, and energy blasts (and almost anything else you can think of), he defends the Earth against some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos.
(Poster available at AllPosters.com.)
Poll on Marve Superhero Movies
Marvel has thousands of characters to choose from with respect to making movies. (That might, in fact, be part of the problem. How do you pick from so many options?) Moreover, in addition to those that I've mentioned here, some (e.g., the Silver Surfer) have a huge fanbase and have been the subject of movie rumors for years.
Other Marvel characters that could make good movies are Cable, Gambit, and Bishop. Other characters, like Hercules and the Black Cat, could also do well on the big screen but have their drawbacks as well. (Hercules, in my opinion, has never been a well-developed character in the Marvel universe, and the Black Cat might draw too many negative comparisons to DC Comics' Catwoman.) Still, Marvel suffers from an embarrassment of riches in this regard and shouldn't have a real problem with superhero franchises going forward - provided they are done right.
Also, don't forget to check out DC Comics Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Movie.
Domenick Dicce on October 15, 2012:
Submariner is in development right now with Jonathan Mostow attached as the writer/director.
Dr. Strange has a complete script but there has been no movement for over a year.
Dolphan5 from Warwick R.I on June 28, 2012:
I think also The Submariner. Complexity to the right degree helps us to understand and appreciate the charecter better. It's a tricky arrangement,
they might have finally nailed the hulk. We'll see!