Hollywood has finally gotten it right with superhero movies… for the most part. Sure, you’re going to have a couple movies like the first Hulk and Daredevil come out, and there will be a lot of meddling in the mega-blockbusters like Spider-Man 3. However, even the worst of the fray this time around beats the pants off many of the films from the late 80s and early 90s when Hollywood last tired to superhero wave.
Films like this week’s Iron Man give me hope that not just the huge, iconic characters like Superman and Batman are going to get their own film. Second and third tier characters have been getting their own movie left and right. So, knowing that the comic book market is fresh for the picking, here’s ten superheroes who deserve their own movie… and some might actually get it. (And please realize I was a DC kid growing up, so the list is sort of weighted in that direction.)
[Note: A few of these heroes actually have films in development but are really nothing more than rumor, speculation and early industry buzz. If the film’s not in active production with a completed script, it’s still fair game in my opinion. Also, please note that while some have had characters appear elsewhere (like on Smallville or in their own ill-fated early-90s movie), we’re still waiting for a good film to do their story right.]
10. Captain America
This seems to be a no brainer, especially in the past six or seven years. With patriotism making news every day, why don’t we have a flag-waving hero for America? The origin could be updated for today’s world, but even as Indiana Jones proves, you can still fight the Nazis in the 21st century film.
Okay, I’ll admit that I never really read the comic, but what red-blooded American male could say no to the buff green beauty? The sexy Maxim cover shoot alone should be reason to make this film (and if The Incredible Hulk does well this summer, it could be a go). A bikini-clad CGI She-Hulk could fit right in with a computer-animated girlie calendar, also starring Lara Croft, Dr. Aki Ross from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and that Asian chick from The Animatrix.
8. Doctor Strange
Like their Iron Man animated film, Lionsgate has already done up Doctor Strange rather nicely in a DVD release last year. But why can’t the sorcerer get his own film? After all, with the Harry Potter wrapping up in the next couple years, there’s got to be some want for another movie wizard.
7. The Wonder Twins
I have to admit when I first put these two on the list, it was kind of a joke. But then I thought about it, and this would be the perfect bridge between superhero movies and your basic angst-filled teen flick. Oh, and a computer-generated Gleek would be, like, totally awesome.
6. Plastic Man
After seeing both Fantastic Four movies, we know that an elastic superhero would be completely doable on the big screen. A hero like Plastic Man could satiate Hollywood’s craving for the tongue-in-cheek superhero and provide a fun family flick. As long as they don’t cast Jim Carrey, this would be totally cool.
5. Black Lightning
Here’s a nod for the urban crowd. Forget Hancock. Wouldn’t Will Smith be wicked-cool as one of the legendary African American superheroes. You could have an entire Multicultural Justice League with visits from Apache Chief and John Stewart as Green Lantern. Tyler Perry could direct, and it would make a ridiculous amount of money.
4. Aquaman vs. Namor
Here’s where a DC/Marvel cross-over would be incredible. Not only could you give Aquaman his big-screen due, but you could have a parallel universe crossover. Give us the new, gritty Aquaman going toe-to-toe with cranky Namor in a battle for Atlantis.
3. Deadman or The Spectre
I’ve lumped these two DC supernatural heroes together for more than just their similarities with the spiritual world. Each has a solid cult following. As long as Hollywood didn’t go for the big budget Michael Bay explosive ending or try to make them family friendly, either hero would deliver a dark, rich story.
2. Captain Marvel
Of all the superheroes on this list, Captain Marvel has the greatest chance of actually making it to a theater near you. It has a director (Peter Segal), a potentially awesome villain in Black Adam (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and a script. Still, if Get Smart doesn’t make bank this summer, it could kill this film in Segal’s hands. (In pre-production for a 2009 release.)
1. Green Lantern
This would have been laughable before the age of digital effects, but now it would make a kick-ass film. Of course, the biggest question would be which Green Lantern should be the star. I love John Stewart, but I still would have to vote for Hal Jordan all the way. And if the first film did well, you could then bring in Guy Gardner for a sequel. (In development with a 2010 release.)
Green Arrow and Black Canary – A Green Arrow film would be cool, and there’s cross-over potential with a Green Lantern movie. But most importantly, you’d have the sexy Black Canary for the Maxim photo shoot with She-Hulk (see above).
Lobo – This intergalactic bounty hunter wasn’t my favorite character from the 80s, but he would still make one badass film. Here would be Warner Bros. chance to give us a true comic book movie for grown ups.
Sound Off: Which superhero do you want to see have his or her own movie?