So, with this in mind I think of who I would like to see become the creative talent behind certain Marvel characters. Jon Favreau has done such a good job at steering Iron Man in every aspect onto the silver screen that I would like to see some other visionaries pick up a character and make the best for them. I'll align a character with a certain visionary, you can make of what they would create in your own mind.
If this thought hadn’t crossed your mind already then you haven’t been playing this game for long enough. Spider-Woman has nothing to do with Spider-Man, except for an unfortunate sharing of name prefixes. Jessica Drew has a horrible history of abusive parents and an international spy group brainwashing her, training her, perverting her, and then getting trashed by her as the eventual redemption comes. She goes on to become as much of a superhero as she does a costumed spy. Kathryn Bigelow is an action director who knows, as so few do, how to insert character and story into set action pieces. If anyone could give Jessica Drew the solo story that she deserves it would be this Oscar winning master. I’d pay big money to see Bigelow bring Drew to the screen and play her story for grit and shadow.
Iron Fist is billionaire playboy with deep-seeded parent issues, Danny Rand. He’s also one of many to have wielded the title of the Immortal Iron Fist. He’s got super-charged kung-fu powers, a very large business to run, ties to a mystical city that only appears on Earth once every ten years, and he fights in a tournament between the Capital Cities of Heaven. The movie could be dense, but it could also be very awesome. Damon Lindelof has proven himself, by steering LOST for nearly its entire run, adept at handling years of continuity, mysticism, great characters, a twisted plot, and the nature of people to turn and change sides and constantly have motivation that can be altered. I think Lindelof would be perfect for this type of vehicle because he’s still only a big name in TV, and sometimes Hollywood is reticent to give a shot to the small screen players, so giving him Iron Fist isn’t too much of a gamble. But there’s plenty of room to payoff later. And to pre-empt any comments, I don’t care if you aren’t digging some of the last episodes of LOST, there’s no doubting it has been one of the greatest shows for a long time (hyperbole, perhaps) and Lindelof has always been open and available for fans. It’s a great mix. I just don’t want to hear Ray Parks’ name attached to it ever again, the dude is a stunt man, not an actor.
Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. He’s got the mystical hands and the Eye of Agomotto that can cast any spell and bind you in crimson bands of Cyttorak six ways from Sunday. He’d be a hard character to bring to the big screen because no one wants to see him fighting common street criminals, he has to go up against The Dread Dormammu (a guy with a flaming head) or Eternity (a man who is made up of the universe) and so his movie would be that much more trippy and surreal and a harder sell. Stanley Kubrick is dead, which is a shame because I think he would have been perfect to give this a crack. Instead, I’d substitute Darren Aronofsky in a heartbeat. The guy makes a movie about drug addicts seem trippier than some of the stuff Ditko did in comics in the 60’s. If you’ve ever seen The Fountain you know Aronofsky can make a gorgeous movie that means so much if you can ever figure out what it is about. So take a character who battles against villains that we sometimes don’t even know what they are, in dimensions that may never be explained, and I think he could make sense of it all for us.
There were apparently already talks about this one being made, and I loved that idea then so I won’t spend hard hours only to probably not improve on it. Hank Pym is a very smart man, he learns how to shrink himself, and then make himself bigger, and then get a stack of other costumes, and he’s very smart. But he’s never the smartest person in the room. This bridesmaid of the science world always has a chip on his shoulder, even though he’s still doing things many of us would dream of, and he’s not to0 hard on the eye, and he’s dated the Wasp, as well as later created a robot replica of her. He’s a character with many layers and Edgar Wright would be just right for the job. He always gives us smart scripts, but layered ones as well. Everything comes back to mean something and you always care. And that’s just what Ant-Man needs, someone to ultimately make us care about him. My only problem is I would have cast Chris Evans in this role, but I guess he’s spoken for now.
Nick Fury is the ultimate superspy. He’s been in World Wars, he’s seen it all, he’s got gadgets, he’s got a few girls, he’s got some old war buddy sidekicks, and he’s got all the time in the world to plan to take you down. He’s made for the big screen and we need someone with the brains of George Clooney to do it right and the certainty of stature to not be swayed by the executive notes for more spider-robots or robot sidekicks. Clooney usually gives his movies a more subversive flair, but also a very humorous tint on the side. The only kicker would be, and hold onto your butts, I want Clooney to also play this director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I know, Marvel Studios have already put a stack of money into Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury in Iron Man, etc, but that’s not the real Fury, that’s the lame Ultimate version and I cannot believe they thought that’s what we wanted. I also cannot believe that no one else has kicked up a stink about this in the time he’s been up there in lights. Clooney would be a great, real, Fury, not so much comical but more real world. I would much prefer to see this, and I stand by my decision.
This one might be my longest shot, but it could work. Mel Gibson is a masterful filmmaker; I don’t want to hear anyone deny this. He is a man who understands men, and he knows how to portray them on screen, or get others to do so. Ares is a character who is pure testosterone. He’s a walking fight, he’s a breathing dragon, he’s the god of war. Ares is also smart when he needs to be and his movie needs to be large. There must be massive battles and epic moments and a creative director who is willing to go the extra mile to create something worthy of a god, and won't shy away from the bloody that must litter a war field. Mel Gibson is the one man who could blow your expectations for an Ares flick right out into space, don’t forget he did create Braveheart, a movie that will be timelessly perfect.
Black Tarantula, Carlos La Muerto, is a sad and desperate figure of a man with power and attitude but not the knowledge of where to use them. He toes the fine line between villain and hero with delicious aplomb that can be seen as vicious at times, and poignant at others. He was originally billed as a bit of an ersatz Spidey-as-a-villain character but more recently, through the hard work of scribe Ed Brubaker, he has come into his own. He is a figure of power within his community on the tough streets and one that is now trying his best to use his abilities for good. Abel Ferrara is a character who knows how to deal with characters who toe the line between good and bad, and create their own grey area of sickness in between. A Ferrara produced Tarantula would certainly be a hero unlike any other, and thus would be as most real to his difficult background as we could get. This movie would possibly need to have a hard R rating, but then we don’t have enough superhero movies cross over with the ultra-violence like they should, and I mean real violence, hard violence, nothing slick. This would be the character, and director, to see it done.