Marvel Properties Itching for the Big Screen, Including THE YOUNG AVENGERS, DARKHAWK, MIDNIGHT SONS, HEROES FOR HIRE and More

     August 29, 2013


Marvel Studios has had quite the monumental track record over the past few years. Fresh on the heels of the recent success of Iron Man 3, and with the world-building Avengers franchise leading the way to guaranteed box office smashes in the upcoming Thor: Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier, the studio has decided to stretch its legs. Marvel is taking one of their lesser-known properties in Guardians of the Galaxy and running with it, as it’s already set for an August 1, 2014 release date.

Alongside the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer, Marvel has a veritable treasure trove of properties over its 70 year history to draw from that few outside of the comic book world have heard of; we’ve compiled a select few that are already primed for the big screen and would make for solid feature film adaptations. Hit the jump for our rundown of Marvel’s hidden gems.

Midnight Sons


Think “Supernatural Avengers.” With names like Morbius the Living Vampire, Werewolf by Night, and Man-Thing, this rag tag group of monsters-turned-heroes will surely turn some heads. There have been various incarnations of the team over the years, so if Marvel wanted to bring in some more household names for the sake of familiarity (assuming they could buy the film rights back), Ghost Rider and Blade were part of the roster long before their silver screen debuts.



One part Iron Man, one part Peter Parker, Darkhawk is a Marvel relic of the 90’s waiting for his time to shine. Chris Powell is an ordinary teenager until he comes in contact with a mysterious amulet that bonds him to an alien suit of armor. In a recent comic book storyline, Chris found himself alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, fighting threats in the reaches of outer space. The crossover possibilities are there for the taking.

Heroes for Hire

heroes for hire - iron fist and luke cage

Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the two mainstays of the Heroes, have had a resurgence in Marvel’s comics in the past decade, with good reason. Originally created in the swinging 70’s, the duo fights against the forces of evil – for a reasonable fee. Joining the ranks of the comic book Avengers’ ever-growing roster, the two continued their swing of popularity but never forgot their down-to-earth roots. To be fair, I really just want to hear “Sweet Christmas!”, Luke Cage’s go-to catchphrase, yelled on the big screen.

The Young Avengers

The Young Avengers

This one’s a gimme. The Young Avengers are a team of teenage superheroes with origins tied to their older counterparts. Outside of fighting super villains, the team must also be wary of Tony Stark and co. as the originals aren’t too thrilled to see untrained kids hitting the street under their banner. The team would also offer Marvel Studios some much needed diversity, as team members Wiccan and Hulkling offer a realistic portrayal of a young gay couple, one who just so happens to cast spells and another who can shapeshift to look like the Hulk.

Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur

Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur

Jack “The King” Kirby was responsible for many of Marvel’s greatest characters, but not all of his creations have gotten their due. Enter Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur – an innocent tale of an ape boy and his red, seven-story Tyrannosaurus Rex – the duo fight crime in a prehistoric time. It’s Marvel’s answer to Calvin and Hobbes and the perfect property for kid-friendly Pixar to sink its teeth into after Marvel’s acquisition by Disney.

Whether these properties ever see the light of day in theaters is beyond me, but Marvel Studios’ success is apparent and their future has never been brighter.

  • Bob

    Black Panther…that is all.

    • Guy Smiley

      Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Moon Knight, and Runaways are the untouched Marvel projects that need to happen. I want all of those long before the ones listed in the article.

      • Guy Smiley

        They do need to add Luke Cage to the Marvel movie universe too though.

      • Doug_101

        I think I’d like Heroes for Hire to turn up on SHIELD and maybe spin off from there to another TV show or movie series.

      • RiddleThemThis

        Moon Knight is a must for me, but I feel like he would fit in with the Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider category of heroes that Marvel doesn’t seem to have interest in making movies for right now.

      • Doug_101

        Honestly, if Batman was taking more time off, this would be the perfect time to do Daredevil or Moon Knight.

  • morgan

    Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur…. now we’re talking.
    Morbius is not considered as part of the spiderman universe ?

    • Random Bystander

      Morbius is Blade. He was going to have a cameo in the first one and be the villain in the second but for some reason it didn’t happen, they still filmed the ending with him but they cut it.

      • unsean

        Do you mean that Morbius was meant to be in “Blade,” because they aren’t the same characters. At all.

      • Random Bystander

        Yes I did. Thank you.

  • Nerdgasm

    Black Panther is extremely overrated and no Morbius doesn’t belong to Sony. Also Marvel got back Blade and Ghost Rider. Fiege mentioned that in a recent interview. This was a pretty lame article though it gave no kind of background of pretty much anything for anyone who doesn’t know the comics. Is this someone new that they are letting write and are just seeing how his skills are?

    • CoachD

      Thank you! Ugh to Black Panther. Power Man and Iron Fist are a gold-mine waiting to happen. I think they should be introduced in individual movies (both have strong origin stories that could be told). Then have them cross into an Avengers movie and spun off to HFH.

      I don’t think that will happen. The TV route is more likely. So I’ll take that if I have to…

    • unsean

      I disagree with your point on Black Panther – he’s’ actually quite awesome – but I do agree with you about the article. The writer gives no evidence that any of the characters that he mentions are actually being considered by Marvel Studios for feature films at all (though there were plans for an Iron Fist film with Ray Park a while ago; never knew what happened to that) though the article sort of alludes to it.

      It’s simply a wish list, though I would have preferred it if the writer had made that apparent.

    • Evan

      Nail on the head with this one. This was my first article for Collider and I’m learning more and more with each I write.
      With these articles, we want to try to give as brief a synopsis as we can for each of these characters (I tried to go into their history with a sentence or two, trust me, I could write entire essays on Midnight Sons and Darkhawk for example.)

  • Film Frequency

    I would like to see the Inhumans. We could have Ryan Gosling as Blackbolt lol

    • Random Bystander

      I think Gosling should be Captain Marvel/Marr-Vehl.

    • Doug_101

      I would expect them to show up soon and don’t be surprised if they have some connection to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, since the Marvel movies can’t say “mutant.” I’m also wondering if Vin Diesel’s hints about a “different kind of love story,” or whatever he was quoted as saying about his talks with Marvel, might be referring to playing Black Bolt down the line?

  • pwnednoob

    I think Morbius is attached the Spiderman Universe which makes him belong to Sony. No?

    • Nerdgasm

      No. He’s a grey area character much like Scarlet Witch and QS. Whoever uses him first is going to have a better time but being as his affiliations and his higher marking stories are without Spidey he is considered to be up for grabs. Same thing Goes for Kingpin. Sony could take and use Kingpin if they felt like for Spidey even though Marvel has Dare Devil.

      • unsean

        Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver aren’t ‘grey’ at all. Their designation – whether or not they are mutants – is flexible enough that Marvel and Fox can use them both.

        The thing is, in the case of Marvel, they cannot be called mutants, which would be infringing on Fox’s rights.

  • Ashtalon

    Black Panther, Ms./Captain Marvel,and Dr. Strange as Phase 3 films. Black Panther and Captain Marvel would add some much-needed diversity to the Avengers. Dr. Strange opens the mystic side of the Marvel universe.

    For TV, Daredevil, Punisher, and/or Heroes for Hire. DD lends itself to TV better than feature films. Law show with superheroics mixed in. Punisher could be on a pay channel. Single-season stories with Punisher taking down a different type of criminal enterprise in each season, ala an action version of The Wire. Heroes for Hire also might work better as a TV show. Smaller stories. Power Man and Iron Fist headlining the show. A somewhat revolving cast of guest heroes who join them for different jobs. The public hiring superheroes to help them out of sticky situations. Sort of a The Equalizer with superpowers.

    • RedMercury

      That’s actually an interesting idea.

      One of the neat things about “Agents of SHIELD” is that it could be used as an introduction for various superheroes as they cross paths with SHIELD. It would be a way to gauge interest in them.

      • LEM

        I hope that’s what they do, it would be a great way to get origin stories out of the way instead of wasting the first hour of a film on them.

      • CoachD

        Haven’t they already said they won’t have supers on SHIELD?

    • jayshiggs

      Great ideas from all here. Make Mine Marvel!

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  • Theodore Trout

    Would love to see ‘Heroes for Hire’.
    Also, since Pixar has done the best FF adaptation (The Incredibles) so far, I would love to see them turned loose on more Kirby material, perhaps even the FF itself ?
    I know it’s not under the Marvel Umbrella, but still.
    DD, WBN, and Man-thing all deserve (better) individual big-screen treatments.

    • Kpaqu1

      If The Incredibles was supposed to be the Fantastic Four, they did a piss poor job of it. Or if it was your interpretation of the film, you’ve never read the comic.

      • anders

        Neat. Now explain how rise of the silver surfer did significantly better.

      • Christopher Harper

        It wasn’t a literal adaptation, but the influence is really really obvious. They even share 2/3s of the power set (only because Mr. Incredible doesn’t have a rocky exterior). The whole idea of a family of heroes comes from FF anyway.

  • Mixed Race rich kid NYC

    Doesn’t morbius belong to Sony ?

  • Ruprect

    Moon Knight, Daredevil, HfH and, sure why not, DarkHawk (Or Falcon perhaps.) Take a page from the British dramas (Sherlock, in particular) and make three solid 90 minute episodes each season.

    Then they could be presented on a rotating basis like the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew/Whoeverthefuckelse Mystery Wheel-Movie-of-the-week-thing from the 70′s. 12 awesome episodes of superhero action per year.

    Different heroes could be subbed in between seasons (Bye-bye Daredevil, Hello Dazzler!) and guest appearances would have us all wetting ourselves on a weekly basis. Perhaps even the rare visit from an A-list hero.

    Think ANY of us would not watch that? Think ANY of us would not eventually BUY that?

    • Nerdgasm

      I think the four episodes season is a good way to go. that’s an extremely good idea. Love it. Falcon is going to be in Captain America 2 BTW…unless your referencing another Falcon and not the one that teamed up with Cap on multiple occasions.

      • Ruprect

        Yah, I know about Falcon in Cap 2. Not likely in my mind that he will get his own movies. Mr Mackie might just take his act to the small screen though for a limited 1 season run.

  • Nick

    Runaways. Please Runaways.

  • Ziro Da Hutt

    Savage Land films with Shanna & Ka-Zar

  • 80sRobot

    I don’t know — a lot of these superheroes are C to D list in my mind. Power Man and Iron Fist could work as a lower budget buddy-cop action flick — maybe. The rest make me feel meh.

    • 80sRobot

      Here are my suggestions — and I pick these based on what I believe would have a broader audience appeal:

      1. Power Pack (preteen siblings with superpowers, need I say more?)

      2. Cloak & Dagger (although the Ultimates version of them is set in New Orleans, I think it would be timelier for a movie to set their story in Detroit)

      3. Runaways (kids who discover their parents are super villains and try to do good)

      • Doug_101

        Power Pack would be another one that Pixar would be good for.

  • Samson

    they need to make Civil War even if its just an animated movie

  • Christopher Harper

    To be honest, I’m just surprised that Marvel don’t have the rights to things like Galactus and Silver Surfer from the FF-verse, despite both of those characters being hugely important cosmic characters outside of that series, but Morbius (from Spider-Man), Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch they do have the rights to. It’s just odd…

  • JBug


  • ISeemToBeAVerb

    Hulkling? Moonboy? Bah! I hope Guardians of the Galaxy is a huge hit so there would be that much more of a chance of an Inhumans movie being made!

  • masiah

    I look good for patriot