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« What's on your (cinematic) mind? | Main | Curio: Tim Burton Terrariums »
Tuesday
May152012

Tues Top Ten: Who for Avengers 2 ?

Every once in awhile people will ask me if I really like superheroes or if I just post about them on occassion because it's good for traffic. The answers are a bold yes and an er, probably not (The Film Experience isn't so much on the fanboy traffic radar for numerous reasons including undoubtedly because actresses on the verge of onscreen nervous breakdowns are a way more thrilling visual effect than superhero powers). But in truth I've always loved superheroes and only wish that superhero movies had more variety and imagination and a fan culture that was less slobbering and homogenous. See, I grew up completely obsessed with X-Men. Just as with movies where strong casts are consistently more likely to thrill me than movies built on one performance, I generally appreciated team comics the most, so I also read (in ascending order of favoritism): The Legion of Superheroes, Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight, The Avengers and The Teen Titans. I liked the Avengers best when certain characters were present.  For those of you who didn't read comics, The Avengers operated on an internal narrative wherein the roster of heroes changed fairly regularly, sometimes only one or two slots but never exactly the same roll call. 

So with last week's no shit announcement that box office titan The Avengers would be getting a sequel, I thought I'd list the ten characters I'd most like Joss Whedon to consider for it. He's already on record saying he'd like another female though the pickings are somewhat slim. The unstated problem is that the best female superheroes are part of the X-Men team, characters 20th Century Fox is in control of... a thorough breakdown of who owns which characters can be found at Screen Rant. This is all assuming that Marvel Studios doesn't want Whedon to just make the first movie again with a new villain. Which, I'll quickly note, is a ridiculous assumption. The guiding rule of expensive studio sequels is "make it the same only bigger" 

Top Ten Heroes To Consider for Avengers 2

With apologies to Quake who was in the original post and was accidentally deleted until it was all written.

10 Doctor Strange
The Marvel Universe's premiere sorcerer has yet to make a dent outside of comic books. Name recognition wouldn't be high for mainstream audiences but that's what people worried about with Iron Man and look how that turned out? Strange got a TV movie in 1978 but subsequent planned film versions have been cursed, the spell forever uncast.

The rights have changed hands many times but last we heard, Marvel Studios had control of the mystic doctor again and had hired screenwriters. Adrien Brody was rumored for the role a couple of years ago and then Patrick Dempsey was lobbying hard in 2011. I'm not crazy about the Dempsey idea since his charisma is scaled so well for the small screen -- really it's just the hair that make people think he's right for it because as an actor he definitely lacks mystery -- but the Doctor could be an intriguing character in the right hands.

#8 through #1 after the jump

09 Ms Marvel / Binary / War Bird
I've never met a soul who has any deep feelings or fandom for Ms. Marvel, which probably dooms her big screen chances altogether but hear me out. Her backstory is so fucked up, her name has changed multiple times, that nothing is canon. A writer like Joss Whedon could do virtually whatever he pleased with her without upsetting decades of story. But it's also worth noting that Ms. Marvel's most intriguing story connects to the X-Men mythology. Rogue (played by Anna Paquin in the movies) once absorbed just too much of her and gained all her memories and identity giving both women major psychiatric issues thereafter. 

If handled brilliantly and with a team of great lawyers couldn't she straddle both superhero franchises as a supporting player, essentially tying them into the same universe without disrupting either studio's plans too much?

#8 through #1 after the jump

08 The Beast
Yes, yes, we're still stuck on the X-Men which belong to 20th Century Fox. But couldn't they lend out just one character? If so it'd be interesting to see what Joss Whedon could do with blue, furry, brainy Hank McCoy. He's had two lackluster movie appearances (Kelsey Grammar in X-Men 3: The Last Stand and Nicolas Hoult in X-Men First Class) but Joss proved with the Hulk and the Black Widow, that he can reenergize characters without completely reinventing them.

A difficulty: he's blue and jumps around a lot which might look ridiculously like A Synchronized Superheroing Sport with the green and jumpy one in the mix (and you know the Hulk is getting a bigger part in The Avengers 2).

07 Daredevil
Speaking of characters that have been mishandled in previous movies. The Daredevil movie (and its spinoff Elektra) had absolutely no business being as awful as it was given that its source material was a pretty damn terrific comic book story. Frank Miller's dark violent and fascinating run on the series threw the assassins Elektra and Bullseye against the blind crime fighter and against each other and it should have been a great great movie. But here's the thing. You need imaginative directors, good casting, and the right tonal choices to make a great movie and Daredevil had none of those virtues. The best thing that could happen to Daredevil as a film character would be Marvel Studios buying back the rights and rebooting him through either his own standalone feature or in a supporting role, a la Hawkeye. 

It's worth noting also that Daredevil has a pretty rich comic book history with Natasha Romanoff (The Black Widow) so he'd be easy to pull in to the narrative via Scarlett Johansson's assassin.

06 Firestar
I mention Firestar primarily because she is a woman, it's true. Quota! But there's a deeper more nostalgic reason. Everyone and their inner child was sad when Spider-Man didn't swing into the Manhattan action at the tale end of The Avengers. You can't have New York City superheroics without Spidey!

Since Sony is as likely to release the movie rights to Spider-Man as America is to boycott summer movies and superheroes forever more, isn't Firestar the next best thing? She debuted on TV as one of Spider-Man's "Amazing Friends" in 1981 forever tying her to the webslinger in the eyes of an entire generation. And she even did a stint as an Avenger in the 1990s.

Namor vs. Human Torch by Yildiray Cinar05 Namor
04 The Human Torch
Swerving towards the Fantastic Four here. But if someone is never going to make an Aquaman movie, though so many wish he would, whether ironically or un, shouldn't someone make a Namor movie. Water-based movies are notoriously expensive whether ships are sinking or the whole world is drowning but they can look exceedingly cool onscreen. And Namor's arrogance would fit right into the Thor / Tony Stark "me party" dynamic.

Mostly I just want to see The Human Torch again onscreen for more Chris Evans snark... oh. Damn. Chris Evans, otherwise occupied. 

asldgksl

03 The Wasp
If Edgar Wright ever makes that Ant Man movie, we could see either or both of the Pims (Henry and Janet), the shrinking superheroes in the mix. They're the only founding members of the team that weren't featured in the film version.

But maybe Joss isn't in her, using her as the but of his joke in his awesome jokey thank you to fans on Whedonesque wherein he quotes an imaginary Saturn awards speech:

[Reads from notecard]. I couldn’t have done this myself. Part of this Saturn Award belongs to Jeremy Latcham, Kevin Feige, and the fine Marvel folk… But the secret ingredient is my closest peeps: J-Mo, who did uncredited punch-up work (carrier battle, yo!), Z-bro, Drew “I am Loki only taller and foppier” Goddard, and Kai, all of whom worked the story with me. Without them (and Jeremy), I’d still be figuring out how the Wasp fits in to this, and where to put Red Hulk."

So maybe no Wasp?

02 Quicksilver
01 The Scarlet Witch
Ever since I was a wee boy, this brother and sister duo fascinated me. And for a long time The Scarlet Witch, at least, was a mainstay of The Avengers team. Like most non household name comic book characters, the siblings have had their origin stories messed with multiple times but my preferred reality is that they are the twin children of Magneto (!!!)and still siblings rather than lovers (which I'm hearing they're recently been rewritten as?). 

The only sibling superheroes we've seen onscreen were in the truly terrible Fantastic Four movies, and who better to find ways to illustrate a complicated sibling bond with questionable family backstory than Joss Whedon? Plus, nobody on the current Avengers team has superspeed (Quicksilver) or magical powers (The Scarlet Witch) so the movie would be working with fresh material for its battle sequences.

But most importantly, the superhero genre desperately needs more female energy and The Scarlet Witch is the single best female Avenger. Bonus points if Whedon can come up with a more exciting way to show Wanda's "hex" power once it leaves her hands other than colored energy blasts of CGI light a la Harry Potter. 

 

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Reader Comments (31)

Love everything about the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver joining, but you have to complete the trifecta by including Vision. I think I'd like to keep most of the original cast, but adding these three would make for a killer sequel.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I love everything about this post. That picture of Firestar Spider-Man's "Amazing Friends" brought back this wave of awesome nostalgia... I WANT IT SO BAD. Also love Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch. GAH. I so wish we lived in a world where all of Marvel's superheroes were all under one roof.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Awesome suggestions for the top two. I think Scarlet Witch would be a much better choice than Wasp. I hope they'll expand Maria Hunt's role as well, though as much as I enjoy Colbie, she has never struck me as having the gravitas to be threatening. But then, neither did Johansson til this series.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

We need another super sexy woman for "The Avengers 2"
Scarlet Johanson between these muscle men isn't enough for me!!!

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolcaji

I want to see The Beast. He is really close to Hulk. They both beasts with different power.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHelloHello

She-Hulk and Tigra. Anyone but Wonder Man.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSars

Totally would love Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and considering how unusual Scarlet's power is, it would be fun to see what her hexes would look like on the big screen and what they would do considering the whole messing-with-probability-ness.

Also, just so you know, in the current comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch aren't just siblings or just lovers...they're siblings AND lovers. Uhhh...don't think they would go that route in the big screen treatment.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeeking Amy

My guess is, if we see an Ant-Man in The Avengers, it's going to be Scott Lang or even, gasp, Eric O'Grady. Hear me out: If I remember my old interviews, Edgar Wright said part of the reason he decided to do an Ant-Man movie was that he's the most important Marvel superhero who is also a "legacy hero" and setting up Scott Lang or Eric O'Grady and not Pym as the member for The Avengers frees Wright up to deal with the abuse angle. I haven't seen or heard any official report that the "legacy" angle has been dropped from it, so I'm guessing that's still on the table.
Sars: Both of those would need a solo movie. She-Hulk: Her origin's at least a little goofy and her second and third solo runs are clearly set in much larger universes than what has currently been achieved. Unless they're planning to have the current American cartoons and the movies to operate as a single cohesive universe (which MIGHT be the plan), I'd peg her for the forth or fifth Avengers film, if at all. Tigra: Interesting (and I've seen this pop up as a suggestion for a solo film), but is there any major director comfortable with such blatant sexualization of someone who's clearly half-human? Unless there's someone like an Aronofsky ready to stump for her, I don't think she's going to happen.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Seeking Amy: That's just the Ultimate line, isn't it? I mean, I know a lot of ASPECTS of the Ultimate line are used but I'm not thinking anyone's going to use that one.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

On what Marvel owns: I'm guessing Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four and Daredevil related characters will be easily retrieved through straight purchases due to underperforming films. (Ghost Rider has $228 million on a $110 million film and $137 million on a $57 million dollar film, Fantastic Four got $330 million the first time on a $100 million budget but barely doubled the second time with $289 million on a budget of $130 million and it's been seven years since Electra.) Spider-Man and the X-Men, however? Those are going to require serious negotiation. With the rumbling promise of Spidey getting his mouth back (seriously, it just wasn't the same for me without his mouth) I'm actually going to see this new Spider-Man film (whether it's at the theatres or not) where I wouldn't dare see Spider-Man 3 or 4 and X-Men: First Class cleaned up, so I don't expect Marvel can just buy those properties back.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Yet, at the end of the day, I don't really want Avengers 2. I know the build towards idea is a bit annoying, but I think nextwave would make some amazing cinema magic. Iron Man 3 is adapting Warren Ellis' "Extremis" story? Have Michael Cera play Aaron Stack and come in for one scene, just to talk about how being a machine feels. Doing a Doctor Strange movie? Have Katie Jarvis come in for the first action scene and help the Doctor kick some ass as Elsa Bloodstone. Show a newspaper story about "Captain L. Ron" in one of the films somewhere. Have the "burnt puppy" scene of nextwave occur in the background during the Hank Pym scenes of Ant-Man if Edgar's still going for the legacy angle. And, though Tabitha Smith debuted as one of the X-Men and largely stays in X-books, her use as a main character in this massively influential (but short) series means Marvel might actually have a case to say they can still use her, so have her show up somewhere small as well.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Guys? Anyone want to debate the big things I've said? Or are you scared at the blocks of text? Please don't be shy. Question me, critique me, rip me apart if you want to, but just say SOMETHING.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Casting:

Doctor Strange: Depending on how old he's supposed to be (I think it is kind of vague), I'd go with one of three people: Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio or Richard Jenkins (in a wig.)
Carol Danvers: Jennifer Garner.
Beast: Refined, but convincingly brutish. Hard sell and I don't know who I'd go with
Daredevil: The first time, I would have said Casey Affleck. I think he looks a bit too old now, so, if he's willing to do the weight training, I'd go for Justin Timberlake. He's a good actor and I think he could actually do manage it.
Firestar: Again, this is weird. I don't think she has a big enough print history for translation.
Namor and the Human Torch: I don't know why, but I'm leaning on using a piece of golden age history, with the casting as Armie Hammer vs. a robot voiced by Will Arnett.
Wasp: As I mentioned, I'm not sure Edgar Wright is going to save Pym and Van Dyne for The Avengers. He might actually decide to do a bit of an abuse drama with superpowers and play up the legacy angle to keep the team up films free of too much heavy and dark content. I even think Wasp might die as part of Edgar's plans.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver: Have to go. Bye. Come up with suggestions.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Ryan -- glad someone recalled that. I liked that show... but then I always like Spidey & Iceman.

Volvagia -- I think we are least 20 years away from a superhero movie with enough guts to tackle something like spousal abuse FROM an ostensible hero. Not gonna happen.

as for whether or not Marvel will repurchase the underperformers. It's a good question but I'm guessing the other studios won't let them go regardless. They'll just keep trying now that rebooting while memories of earlier films are still fresh is the norm. They'll figure 'it might work this time.' Frankly, I'm not really interested in seeing The Fantastic Four again unless it's a real director with a real vision and who respects how enormously retro and square they are. Those movies were just terrible.

John T -- i never understood the Vision. I guess I don't get robot heroes... apart from The Iron Giant "superman"

seeking amy -- ewww. really? I guess it's good i don't read them anymore.

May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Great list Nathaniel.

I like the idea of the Vision showing up at some point (maybe Ultron too?)

As for female Avengers the only ones i could see making it in are Ms Marvel and the Wasp and maybe Mockingbird because i think her origins fit in quite well with the universe established in the film (SHIELD etc). Although maybe Mockingbird, Black Widow & Hawkeye share too many similarities in terms on (non) super-human abilities and it would be nice to have something fresh (Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange are good suggestions... was Dr Strange ever an Avenger?).

Personally, my favourite Avengers arc was the Crystal, Black Knight, Sersi love triangle and the Proctor/Gatherers story line but i think there is zero chance of any of those guys showing up (wasn't there a mention of an Inhumans movie at some point?).

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Great list Nathaniel.

I like the idea of the Vision showing up at some point (maybe Ultron too?)

As for female Avengers the only ones i could see making it in are Ms Marvel and the Wasp and maybe Mockingbird because i think her origins fit in quite well with the universe established in the film (SHIELD etc). Although maybe Mockingbird, Black Widow & Hawkeye share too many similarities in terms on (non) super-human abilities and it would be nice to have something fresh (Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange are good suggestions... was Dr Strange ever an Avenger?).

Personally, my favourite Avengers arc was the Crystal, Black Knight, Sersi love triangle and the Proctor/Gatherers story line but i think there is zero chance of any of those guys showing up (wasn't there a mention of an Inhumans movie at some point?).

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Oh i forgot Moondragon.... telepath, geneticist, links to Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers and Thanos the Infinity Gauntlet. Could she be the character to appear in Iron Man 3 turned down by Jessica Chastain? (i don't know Iron Man very well so i might be way off the mark)

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

@Choog: Chastin's role in Iron Man 3, which Rebecca Hall is now reportedly in talks for, was of a scientist that helps creates something called the extremist virus (which is the rumored plot of the film). Anyway, although it would be nice to have another female hero on the team, I'm kind of against adding anymore people period.

The main thing that holds The Avengers back is the fact that the story is relatively thin but now that everyone is together, the next one could have something more intricate. If they add more members to the team, though, then the story will be so busy fitting them in that it might result in another thin plot. However, some of those suggestions sound interesting and they could add even more spice to the plot. We'll just have to see...

Lastly: Almost a year after it's finished, Harry Potter is still getting the hate (lol). Will it ever end?

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch FTW. AND the Wasp. Because women.

Seriously, Scarlet Witch was my all-time favorite character as a kid. She meant a lot to me.

BTW, Daredevil was in the Avengers for like a minute. He quickly discovered that his radar senses were all screwed up by being in a group. Yes, I read that in the seventies. DON'T JUDGE.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Off topic, but the Won't Back Down trailer is out.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Personally, instead of in the movies, I want Dr.Strange to be on a HBO type of show. Given that this characters deals in Magic, he deserves a more adult oriented treatment, on a network that won't shy away from showing the horror, terror, and wonders that magic can be. Basically, I want a Vertigo style show devoted to the master of the mystic arts. Done right, the show could be a relevation, combining the best of the comic book genre, but with heavy elements of horror (dealing with dark magic, various demons, cthlu type entities...etc), fantasy, mysticism and drama.

If Dr. Strange were to appear in the Avengers, there's no way he'd be the same character. The studio would leech him of his specialness - his magicalness - and make him a milquetoast type of character. After all, "magic" can be controversial, with hardcore right wing religious fundamentalists balking at how magic (for them) = evil and Satanism.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Daniel: The Extremis virus? Well, I guess it's Moondragon.
Deborah Lipp: Um...doesn't that actually make perfect sense? His power set is probably the DEFINITION of something that wouldn't work at all in a group fight. His power set would mean he'd only really work if EVERYONE around him was friendly or EVERYONE around him was a threat. Being in the Avengers inherently means you'd have to be able to work well in something in between those. If Marvel manages to buy back Daredevil and gets a film to actually launch, I'd expect this: The second movie starts on an action scene featuring Daredevil where he accidentally hits everyone else who's appearing in the film in a single unbroken shot before running away and leaving the following day while the credits roll. That's Daredevil in The Avengers.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Blinking Cursor: I don't think he'd be watered down. Marvel's been very good at presenting the public with who these characters are in the comics in a modern way. If they think the idea of "magic" would be too controversial, Dr. Strange just wouldn't go forward. As for these characters appearing on live-action TV: It's too expensive. The biggest flaw in regards to making a superhero TV show for live-action TV is the budgetary problem. I'd hope HBO would fund an animation studio again, though.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

OooooO!! I soo hope they get Scarlet Witch in there! But it would have to be handled carefully because she is one of those characters who could solve all the problems without batting an eye...they'd have to (frustratingly) depower her or something. BUT it could lead up to a House of M scenario (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!) in one of the future movies!

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew F

What a waste of a minute. Do you know anything about comics? If not why are you writing articles about them?

Dr Strange is a retarded suggestion, he's a walking deus ex machina. "Giant robot serpent? Oh, let me just get my pendant of Ragadoor and turn him into dust"

Miss Marvel is Marvel's Wonder Woman. She the closest thing they have to an iconic heroine and the reason you've never met anyone who likes her is because most comicbook nerds hate women. Go ahead ask them which superheroine they prefer it'll probably be something like Starfire. Miss Marvel played as a military women who get super powers and who's been held back by all the adversity her career presents finally gets to live up to her full potential. I see Claire Danes in the role.

You're probably joking about Namor, the Human Torch, Firestar and Daredevil so I won't even comment on them.

Wasp on the other hand has a very strong likelihood of showing up in Avengers 2. She's historically important, her personality is very Whedonesque and if the Vision and Hank Pym storyline is done then she'll obviously feature.

The Maximoff twins are also a stupid idea. Firstly their powers would look laughable on film, having a white blur on screen the whole time is one thing but I doubt even Wanda knows what her powers actually are. Secondly, the reason why these characters are so appealing in the comics is because of where they came from. Their father is a genocidal fascist hatemonger, they are reformed terrorists, they are mutants who are adored in a country which generally detests mutants...none of these factors will play a part in their proposed portrayal. You'll just have two people who got their powers mysteriously and who may or may not have a shady past...in other words LAME.

May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThat's MISS Harkness

@Drew F: How the hell could they do House of M? FOX owns all the mutants! Who the hell would Wanda depower? Peabrain.

May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

That's MISS Harkness: Okay, I pay attention to the comics a bit more. Yes, Dr. Strange is a terrible drama free idea. The nine movies I want from Marvel:

Ant-Man
Ms. Marvel
A Golden Age style Namor Story. (Robo Human Torch voiced by Will Arnett for the Win.)
nextwave (Agents of H.A.T.E)
Scarlet (Icon Imprint)
Death's Head (Marvel UK imprint)
Howard the Duck (Has to be animated)
She-Hulk
Tigra

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Edwin: And the only one Marvel might still have a case on (Tabitha Smith, a member of the Nextwave squad), didn't get depowered. So, yeah.

On previous note:

I mention two characters I'm fairly sure we won't be getting anytime soon at the bottom of my list. Well, there's a difference between wanting something and knowing how improbable or impossible your wants actually are.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'd love an older version of Dr. Strange, preferably played by Anthony Stewart Head.

June 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJerkido

Scott Evans (brother to Chris Evans) could take over the Human Torch role.

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvan

How about SERSI, the Black Knights girlfriend

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterme
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