It feels like the world of superhero cinema is opening up even more lately. DC and Warner Bros. have put themselves back on the map after a fairly successful 2017, and Marvel is barreling toward what should be one of the “biggest” movies of all time in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Meanwhile, Disney also acquired 20th Century Fox, which could mean big things for Marvel’s cinematic empire (namely that the Avengers and X-Men could now exist in the same “universe”). And both DC and Marvel continue to put out quality, popular television content. There might be some superhero film fatigue setting in among some fans, but if anything this all feels like it’s expanding rather than reaching some point of exhaustion.
Given that this seems to be the case, it’s still worthwhile to speculate about which comic book heroes are still destined for the big screen (or should be). You never know what these studios have in store beyond their publicly released plans, and there are still plenty of major heroes who haven’t made it big in cinema just yet. These are a few of our suggestions.
There’s an argument to be made that Moon Knight is the coolest Marvel character not to have appeared on the big screen. There’s some Egyptian mysticism involved in the character’s backstory, but for all intents and purposes he’s Marvel’s Batman, and he might even have cooler costuming. Moon Knight has become more broadly known thanks to inclusion in a few Marvel video games like Marvel: Contest Of Champions – but there are still no real indications of a big screen project on the way. Guardians Of The Galaxy (1 & 2) writer James Gunn has said he has a great idea for a movie, so hopefully there’s a little bit of momentum building. But for now it’s just a wish.
With DC/Warner Bros. really just coming into their own, The Spectre would be a very bold choice. But bold might pay off when you think about it; Wonder Woman was an entirely original project that felt very different than most other superhero films, and it was a resounding success. A movie about The Spectre would also break new ground – in this case, delving into the horror genre. This character is basically a horror movie villain insofar as you consider the amount of power he has and how he wields it. The difference is that he uses it to fight (and terrify) criminals.
Brother Voodoo, too, has gained more recognition of late thanks to his inclusion in some of Marvel’s popular video games. He’s a character from the Doctor Strange branch of Marvel lore, and is very similar in terms of power. He’s also of Haitian descent, which means he’d represent further diversification of the MCU (something the studio is clearly focused on). Of all the characters on this list, Brother Voodoo may have the best shot at making it into a film, because he’d actually fit naturally into a Doctor Strange or possibly even Black Panther sequel.
Judge Dredd has actually had films before, and they seem to spawn a kind of cult popularity. A current game devoted to the character notes that Dredd has appeared in two films and several video games, and that’s to say nothing of countless comics. He’s been played by Sylvester Stallone and Karl Urban, and both times there were plenty of fans who loved what they saw. So, if Dredd can inspire a modern internet game, past video games, multiple films, and a whole line of comics (which isn’t attached to DC or Marvel, for what it’s worth), why not another movie? It could be in the works at some point in the near future. Urban has been openly crusading for a project on a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix, and we can hope that as superhero cinema expands there will once again be room for Judge Dredd.
This is another character that has nothing to do with Marvel or DC, but again, with this genre seemingly expanding there could be hope for one-off projects that don’t belong to “universes” or franchises. Witchblade is a product of Top Cow Productions, and one of the coolest female superheroes who isn’t Black Widow, Wonder Woman, or one of the X-Men. Actually, technically speaking, Witchblade is an artifact, not a hero – sort of like Green Lantern, but not exactly. Basically, it latches onto a human host (always a woman) and provides her with incredible powers with which to fight evil. It’s actually a fairly neat setup for a standalone film without any need for a two-hour origin story.