Marvel movie franchises are at quite the crossroad. With X-Men, a new core team of mutants were suited up at the close of X-Men: Apocalypse, and Hugh Jackman is giving up his mantle as Wolverine this year in 2017’s Logan after almost two decades. In respect to Spider-Man, we’ve seen the second reboot of the character in the last 5 years, with all eyes on the next solo outing, which is looking to steer the Marvel staple back in the right direction.
But as we know, there are a plethora of superheroes, mutants and villains still poised to make their screen debuts for both respective film series.
To celebrate the launch of the Filmoria Shop, featuring some awesome canvas artwork signed by the great Stan Lee. Here are 6 characters from X-Men and Spider-Man canon that deserve to appear in film.
Debuting in 1984, Forge is a mutant with genius level intellect and a penchant for craft and invention. Furthermore, he also has the ability to recognise the functionality and potential usage of any kind of technology. That’s some bad ass X-Gene!
Throughout the X-Men franchise much of the technological or inventive side was mostly attributed to Hank McCoy (X-Men: First Class). But in the realm of combat weaponry or transportation – it would be awesome to see Forge in action as the resident weapons master and armorer. Perhaps even lending a hand in the upgrading of mainstays of Xavier’s School for The Gifted – like Cerebro or The Danger Room.
Forge is by no means a prominent or well-known member of the X-Men. But he would certainly be a worthy and strategically important addition to the roster. He is also notable for his relationship with Storm in the comics, which could add a potentially interesting dimension to Alexandra Shipp’s version in the current film timeline.
Casting Pick – Riz Ahmed
Morph (Kevin Sydney)
Who didn’t love the X-Men Animated Series? Quiet, you loved it. For most modern comic book fans, it was our first introduction to Morph – the character who met a tragic demise in the very first episode. The version as seen in the show was considerably different from his earlier comic counterpart – a more prankster-like, comic relief character. And notably a close friend of Wolverine. His tragic reemergence later in the series, conspiring against his friends with Nathaniel Essex, contributed to some of my favourite episodes from the entire run. This version would also serve as a template for a new version of Morph featured during the Age Of Apocalypse story arc.
The film series has always primarily shied away from comedy. Save for the odd humorous one liner or throwaway gag. So to introduce a fully fledged joker to the ranks would bring a refreshing touch and also expand the target audience. Additionally, Morph’s relationship with Logan as briefed in the animated show could also add another facet to Wolverine’s character. Of course that would depend on whether the role was recast, or by some stroke of luck – if Hugh Jackman returned.
The only catch with Morph is that his mutant abilities are pretty identical to Mystique. So it may be necessary to tweak his powers to differentiate from hers. But with him originally serving as an adversary to the X-Men dating from his first outing in the comics back in August 1967, there is wide scope for a more conflicted role.
Casting Pick – Cameron Monaghan
Dazzler (Alison Blaire)
Originally conceived as a cross-promotional deal between Marvel and Casablanca Records (now part of the Universal Music Group), Dazzler is a sort of oddball. Her duties as both a member of the X-Men and a disco singer is quite the departure from the majority of tragic or alienation-centric X-Men origins. First manifesting her abilities whilst in high school, and using her power to convert sound into energetic beams of light as part of her singing performances. She balances her career as a performer whilst adhering to her responsibilities as an X-Man – using her public appeal to suppress anti-mutant mindsets. A somewhat ‘cheesy’ and familiar 80’s conception (also see ‘Gem’, the famed mid-80’s animation).
Like Morph, Dazzler would inject a little more fun into the X-Men film series. Conceptually her musical origins wouldn’t need to be disregarded – the comic counterpart herself has moved in musical direction from the disco route. The movie version can easily take advantage of this without disregarding the core themes of the character.
Plus, we already know of her existence in the film universe – as seen from a still shot of Jean and Cyclops in a record store with a Dazzler album. So it’s high time she finally makes an appearance.
Casting Pick – Amanda Seyfried
Black Cat (Felicia Hardy)
Spider-Man has a wealthy rogues gallery from his comic book history. Ranging from technical geniuses to mindless thugs imbued with incredible strength. But one of his most famed adversaries, Black Cat, is still waiting to be adapted to screen. Furthermore, we are still yet to see a female villain within a Spider-Man movie to date.
An alternate version of the character appears in Sony’s risible The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in a supporting role as the assistant to Harry Osborne, played by Rogue One star Felicity Jones. So in essence, Miss Hardy has appeared on-screen in name only. Whether or not Sony’s intention was to develop her into Black Cat is thankfully something we’ll never get to see.
Comparisons can immediately be drawn between Black Cat and Catwoman, a character that was introduced to DC comics almost 40 years previously. Both being infamous cat-burglars, skilled fighters, extremely athletic and serving as both foils and an on/off love interests to the hero of the piece.
Felicia’s credentials would be adequate in a plot that demanded Peter Parker to rely more on his intuition and intelligence rather than his superhuman abilities, something we really haven’t seen before in film. When we have been overtly spoiled in the sheer number of adapted Spidey villains in the past, it has predominantly been technology based lawbreakers. Prompting Spider-Man to utilise his physical gifts as opposed to his intellect – which has always taken more of a backseat in previous films.
Fingers crossed that when we see a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming – the powers that be will introduce a more cerebrally challenging enemy to take on the Wall Crawler.
Casting Pick – Rachel Keller
Kraven The Hunter (Sergei Kravinoff)
Another classic Spider-Man super villain we have been clamouring to see on-screen is Kraven The Hunter. A Russian immigrant and one of the oldest and most notorious Spider-Man characters, Kraven debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #15 in August 1964 – Kraven’s backstory is that of a big game hunter and master tactician. He is famed for his use hand to hand combat and physical prowess in order to take down his prey, dismissing the use of weapons. He also uses an ability and sense enhancing serum that additionally can unleash a more feral, animalistic quality in him.
Kraven sees Spider-Man as the ultimate hunt. He admires and respects him, and is obsessed with overcoming him in battle. It has forced Spidey to recognise how at times he must think as his predator does – to always keep thinking one step ahead. It would be fantastic to see a thriller-esque chain of events in a Spider-Man movie where Peter is frequently stalked in shadow by this ominous presence. Perhaps something that counteracts his Spider-Sense and eventually rids him of his confidence and mental stability.
It’s a far darker route to take for the current incarnation we have. However, purely involving a character such Kraven can shift the narrative to something a little more unpredictable, and with higher stakes.
Casting Pick – Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Agent Venom (Flash Thompson)
We’re all familiar with the lacklustre depiction of Eddie Brock/Venom in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and there has been much talk since about a reappearance. How about throwing a gun-toting bad ass into the mix instead?
Enter Agent Venom – a militaristic twist of the Venom character. Ironically, the Venom Symbiote is bonded to Flash Thompson – a long running high school bully of Peter Parker who also happens to be Spider-Man’s greatest fan. Later serving his country as a US army Corporal.
This more bona fide anti-hero version of Venom comes complete with sweet armor, an array of firearms, ammo belt, and some pretty sick boots. The key difference between Thompson and other hosts of Venom, such as Eddie Brock and Mac Gargan, is that Flash is actually in control and keeps the organism in check. The only catch is that he can not stay bound to it for longer than 48 hours per time. It has, and can potentially lead to Flash losing control and unleashing the Symbiote’s power at its most devastating. Slaughtering anything or anyone in its path.
Agent Venom has been an Avenger over his time in the comics, so it’s definitely within the realm of possibility to bring him to screen. Perhaps not with Flash at his current supposed age in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but perhaps Brock as an alternative. With the many quarrels and trust issues that we’ve seen before in previous MCU movies, Agent Venom’s duality and internal struggle would click in quite comfortably. And imagine the fireworks….
Casting Pick – Chris Pine
So those are just a few characters from Marvel’s expansive catalogue that I’d love to see on film. There is an endless supply of other fan favourites still to be seen, and we would love to know any of your suggestions!
Please leave your top picks in the comments below and check back on Filmoria for more news, features and reviews.