The introduction of Tom Holland's brand new Spider-Man in last year's superhero beat-em-up Captain America: Civil War was not only an exciting development on-screen, but off screen as well.
Until last year, the big screen rights to everyone’s favourite wall-crawler were owned by Sony, leaving any hope of seeing Spidey shoot the breeze with Iron Man and pals looking much like a spider in the bath - dead in the water. Or so we thought...
Amazingly, thanks to a sit down meeting between Sony and Marvel, an unprecedented agreement was met, the end result being this July's Spider-Man: Homecoming which will again see Holland's Peter Parker share screentime with mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Since such an inspiring deal could be reached over Spidey, what other characters could benefit from a little studio sharing?
5. The X-Men
Currently owned by Fox, the X-Men have been a staple of cinema for some time now with the first film arguably igniting the comic book movie explosion. Given we've followed the mutant team for the last 17 years, as well as the departure of fan-favourite character Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in this year's Logan, perhaps it’s time to set the X-Men on a new path.
Imagine, if you will, the opportunities for comic book movie greatness with the mutants joining The Avengers. Cyclops’ optic blasts clashing against Captain America’s shield, Wolverine (a new one, we imagine) taking on the Hulk before eventually both teams join forces to thwart a cataclysmic event. The prospect is every fan’s dream. On top of that, maybe even throw Deadpool in there for good measure? Wade would be ecstatic!
There is some confusion over who exactly owns the rights to Namor. It was understood that the Atlantean was over at Universal, but as recently as last year Marvel artist Joe Quesada stated that the rights had reverted to Marvel. Even if that is the case there could well be some complications, so probably best they pull their collective finger out, make a deal, and get this guy on the big screen.
Falling somewhere between Aquaman and Thor, but with a quicker temper than both, Namor would be the perfect introduction to the underwater universe that exists beneath the Avengers' stomping ground. Sporting winged ankles along with the pointiest eyebrows this side of Captain Spock, Namor may be a little bizarre, but there is no doubt that Marvel could make him a driving force in the MCU and a solid fan favourite. If they can do it with a talking tree and a racoon, then why not the Sub-Mariner?
3. The Silver Surfer
Most famous as a herald of cosmic overlord Galactus (more on him in a moment), the Silver Surfer would make a very welcome addition to the MCU. A visually stunning character, the surfer formerly known as Norrin Radd is full of the compelling torment and pain that some say the Marvel Universe is lacking.
Between the Tony Stark quips and the hilarious hubris of Thor, the MCU could use a character that doesn’t make jokes. A character akin to something from a Greek tragedy that would pull at the audience’s heart strings rather than tickle their funny bones. Aside from the emotional draw, you only need to look at a picture of the shiny surfer hanging ten in space to realise the visual potential.
"I have come from the farthest reaches of space --- to proclaim the doom of the human race!" – Galactus
Though he may sometimes speak in rhyme, make no mistake, Galactus is one big, purple-hat-wearing cosmic threat. The interplanetary behemoth carries the nicknames the Devourer of Worlds and the Eater of Worlds, so it’s pretty clear what his strict diet consists of.
Assuming the looming threat of big bad Thanos will eventually be thwarted, Galactus would be the ideal follow-up. He doesn’t just want to destroy the world, he wants to pick the remains from his teeth. In the hands of Marvel, Galactus would undoubtedly be dominating villain he should be, rather than the laughable fart cloud he became in Fantastic Four. Speaking of which...
1. The Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four belong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Comprised of a hyper-intelligent stretchy man, an invisible girl, a human torch and a rock-based thing, the Fantastic Four are the first superhero family and have been integral to the Marvel comic book universe since their conception.
Despite the combination of family drama, comic book action and comedy seeming primed for the big screen, we are still waiting for the definitive Fantastic Four movie. Despite the numerous attempts by studio Fox and occasional financial successes, the formula hasn't been nailed.
Of course, the Marvel formula has now been perfected over at Marvel Studios and the Fantastic Four would slot in beautifully. Clearly, the best thing for everyone would be a shared arrangement much like the one now in place for Spider-Man.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.