After the box office success of Venom, starring Tom Hardy, Sony’s Marvel division seems to be carving out a path of darker projects going forward. Acquiring Jared Leto for the lead role of Dr. Michael Morbius in the upcoming film Morbius, they’ve opened the floodgates to the possibility of more Marvel baddie films across the boards. Even DC is getting some of the action with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. This begs the question, what other Marvel villains have strong enough legs to hold an origin film on their backs?
Anyone who has asked this question has been immediately bombarded by Doom fans. Victor Von Doom is one of the most tyrannous and powerful villains in the Marvel Universe. In the comics, Doom has orchestrated the demise and deaths of characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Stephen Strange and even Thanos himself. So why has Hollywood missed the mark in his film adaptations? 2005’s Fantastic Four saw actor Julian McMahon take on the green cloak. While his portrayal of the character matched the film’s tone of campy and silly action, it feels strange when you dive into the story of Doom. Most post-60’s comics paint Doom as an anti-hero who just goes way too far. He is not some deranged maniac hellbent on blowing up the universe. Doom starts out as an almost Magneto-like figure who wishes to affect humanity with science. He and Reed Richards have a common goal but go about it in very different ways. Doom becomes vain and assertive, so his plans tend to cross lines with no regard for consequence or collateral damage. He is a tunnel visioned visionary, if you will. He gains a ton power, all of which goes to his head and feeds into his pride and vanity. Ruling an entire country will do that to you. In any case, I’m sure Marvel wishes to distance themselves from Josh Trank’s 2015 Fantastic 4. Giving Doom his own film sounds like the way to go. After the recent acquisition of Fox and their Marvel properties, however, plans for a Doom solo film helmed by Noah Hawley have come to a screeching halt. If the Fantastic Four are worked into Phase 4 of the MCU, Disney wouldn’t want an unrelated Victor Von Doom film mucking up their timeline.
I suppose there is still a chance that Disney brings back the cast and crew from Netflix’s Marvel shows for some Disney Plus action, but until that happens we are left without Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin to tell us about “when he was a boy.” D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Fisk in Netflix’s original series Daredevil nails every angle of the Kingpin’s damaged psyche. It is truly a shame we never get to see him interact with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. Wilson Fisk has a rich and interesting history in the Marvel Universe and has made enemies with almost any hero you can name. A classic mob style movie detailing the rise of Fisk and his empire would be a great way to flesh out this great villain, who may or may not be left on the shelf for a while over the next few MCU phases. Imagine a film framed completely in his view. We never get a good look at the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, only his aura and legend. Fisk is evacuating buildings where men are flying into walls in the distance. We can get a good glimpse into why he feels the need to “protect” and puppeteer the city.
Most people are familiar with the Green Goblin due to Willam Defoe’s portrayal in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man franchise. However, a lesser known goblin to pop culture is the Hobgoblin. He was a fashion designer by the name of Roderick Kingsley. Being in the fashion industry, one can get very stuck-up and holier than thou around all these insignificant nobodies. Couple that with an internal obsession with pre-existing baddies and you have a makeshift menace in the making. Using his many resources to craft gear, clothing and weapons, he manages to mimic the lifestyle of those taking what they wanted. The interesting thing about Roderick is that his brother knows of his secret nightlife and supports him in his crimes. Imagine a film about two brothers donning the mantle of one scary nightwalker who comes to kill, steal and destroy. While one is working an angle, the other wears the mask. I can see it now, Goblin hitting theaters in 2021. I wish. One of the many men to be the Hobgoblin is Ned Leeds, though. If Marvel knows what they are doing, they have Jacob Batalon in their back pocket for something big later on down the road.
I know they didn’t cast Donald Glover just for those two scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming, did they? Disney has developed a good relationship with Glover seeing as he also played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. It is probably too soon after Spider-Man: Into Spider-Verse for us to get another in-depth look at the Prowler, but this is a wish list. Get off my back. Aaron Davis is caught by Peter for buying weapons from the Vulture and he mentions his nephew, Miles. Obviously this is just a bit of fan service for the comic nerds, but imagine a Donald Glover centric story about Prowler being a reluctant baddie who is shielding his nephew from the criminal underworld. I’m paying for that, all day.
Black Cat & Silver Sable
There were already talks of a female led film about Silver Sable and Black Cat, titled Silver & Black, that was scrapped back in 2018. It has since been reported that there are standalone films in the works for the two characters separately. I feel like the best course of action is to group these characters because for some reason I don’t see both projects getting off of the ground. Black Cat is one of those beloved baddies from the Spider-Man comics who is essentially both Spidey’s foil and admirer. She was supposedly in the script for Sam Raimi’s cancelled Spider-Man 4 movie. She was also briefly portrayed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by Felicity Jones, but not in her costume or code name. Where Black Cat is the seductive and sneaky cat-burglar, Silver Sable is the bellicose and driven mercenary who is out to get the job done. Her on-screen appearances are mostly held to animated TV shows and video games, but she has made a name for herself being an enhanced mercenary who has taken down her share of heroes. I have a gut feeling the project was cancelled due to DC’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) being firmly in production. Not too far behind is said to be David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens. These films contain the characters Catwoman and The Huntress, who are essentially just DC’s version of Cat and Sable. Comics, man. There’s always an identical character in the other pool. Geneva Robertson-Dworet, co-writer for the recent films Tomb Raider and Captain Marvel was on board to make the duo’s debut film and is still attached to both individual projects sitting in development.
Imagine, if you will, your father killed of half of the entire universe. What do you think your outlook on life would be? Have you been indoctrinated to the ways of his madness, or do you see fault in the figure that raised you? Many people are wondering if the MCU will touch on Alars, the father of Thanos, after Red Skull named dropped him on Vormir. I am wondering if Nebula and Gamora turned out the way they did, what is going on with Thane right now?
Are there any villains that you would like to see on the silver screen? How do you think they would turn out? Leave a comment below and go watch Venom if you haven’t. People are overreacting, it was a fun film.