A lot has happened in the world of Marvel Studios from newfound access to the properties of Fox to the deal with Sony allowing the use of Spider-Man. This leaves us wondering what new and familiar faces may join the Avengers in the next five years. Here at ScienceFiction.com we are weighing the reasons to bring over existing characters against the reasons not to and have assigned odds to each proposition. Get ready to place your bets!
For the non-gambler, a quick explanation of the odds: The odds represent the ratio between the potential payout and the amount bet. So odds of 6:1 mean that if you were to bet $1 on the proposition that Daredevil will appear in the MCU in the next five years, you would profit $6 if the proposition comes true. 1:1 is “even money” with the expectation that the proposition has a 50% shot at coming to pass while 100:1 means that it is super unlikely. Now to the odds.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) 2:1
The ‘Deadpool’ movies have been profitable and Ryan Reynolds is beloved as the character. More than that, Reynolds seems to like playing and promoting Deadpool more than any current MCU actors like playing their respective roles. Deadpool is also uniquely suited to cross over from one universe to the next with or without the need for an in-continuity explanation. Why? Because he could simply comment on the absurdity of it, breaking the fourth wall as easily as he already has in calling Cable Thanos in ‘Deadpool 2’. The only hiccup is that the company ultimately responsible for the transition is Disney, who typically shies away from the R-rated violence and humor that would ensue. The solution could be to bring Deadpool partly into the MCU in a way that allows characters to be shared while making sure future Deadpool films are not tied into the Marvel Cinematic Universe so much so that their plots make them required viewing.
Daredevil (Charlie Cox) 6:1
Netflix cancelled ‘Daredevil’ not due to poor reception, but because of a conflict of interest. Disney’s new streaming service will very soon compete with Netflix so Disney is doing all it can to keep properties they own, like Daredevil, from working against them. Part of the fallout is the contractual obligation to keep Daredevil out of tv and movies for two years…but that’s just two years! It could be hard to get the gang back together for a fourth season on a service that doesn’t want violet hallway fights, but bringing them into the movie universe would be a great way to capitalize on the love for the show. An introduction of Charlie Cox as an Avenger prospect is far from certain, but it’s also far from crazy.
Iron Fist (Finn Jones) 10:1
Much of what applies to ‘Daredevil’ applies to all ‘The Defenders’, ‘Iron Fist’ included. Finn Jones reprising his role is less likely, however, for a number of reasons. For one, Iron Fist has less brand recognition than Daredevil. Second, the first season of the show was considered weak and Jones’ depiction of the character was not well liked. Third, the second season left too many loose ends to cleanly pick up. Whereas ‘Daredevil’ left the character in a positive reassertion of a status quo casual viewers would recognize, the Immortal Iron Fist is left abroad with broadened and unexplained powers while Colleen Wing is the Iron Fist of New York. It may be too much for audiences to handle.
Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) 15:1
Fox’s X-Men movies have been hit or miss and the continuation of Sophie Turner’s character will rely heavily on the success of the upcoming ‘Dark Phoenix’, a movie she may not survive. If successful, there is a chance Disney will simply continue making those films separate from the MCU. Still, fans really want X-Men meeting Avengers. Will Disney find a way to combine universes with an Infinity snap or Phoenix flap? Or will Disney opt to reboot the franchise freshly within the MCU sandbox?
X-23 (Dafne Keen) 25:1
There’s little doubt that ‘Logan’ was critically and financially successful enough to merit a sequel. The only problem is that the film was built to be a farewell to the main character who died and was played by an actor who is finished with the role. Laura, the young Wolverine-replacement brought to life by Dafne Keen, could go on to reprise the role and become a hero as she does in the comics. It’s a longshot because Disney would probably rather introduce a new Logan, believing Wolverine is a bigger draw than X-23. It’s possible because Hugh Jackman is hard to replace and another female heroine would be welcome to any X-Men or Avengers roster. Keen is young enough to play even a rebooted version of the character.
Venom (Tom Hardy) 30:1
Okay, so this is complicated. Sony loans the live-action Peter Parker to Disney/Marvel Studios because they failed to make a sustainable Spider-Man franchise. Peter is popular in the MCU and has a sequel coming even after the events of Infinity War. Meanwhile, Sony helps make a Venom flick that (surprise) made a ton of money and earned the sequel it so obviously set-up. It’s very unlikely Venom will appear in the MCU when Tom Hardy can headline a competing franchise. In fact, Sony has more need to bring Spider-Man to Venom than to bring Venom to Spider-Man—but that’s just it. The two characters are connected no matter how you slice it and if Tom Holland might interact with Tom Hardy in any film universe, they might in all related film universes. One might call it a Spider-verse, which has just been established!
Professor X (Patrick Stewart) 35:1
People love Patrick Stewart as Professor X and that love is the only thing that makes seeing him interact with the Avengers even slightly plausible. There’s a lot going against it. Stewart is aging out of the role, already replaced by a younger Professor X who is also at risk of being rebooted. Not to mention that the character died…twice!
Doctor Doom (Toby Kebbell) 100:1
The last ‘Fantastic Four’ was an objectively bad movie, but it wasn’t Toby Kebbell’s fault. Given better writing, Doctor Doom would be a compelling villain in the MCU if Marvel Studios decides to use their new Fox acquisition to bring the FF into the fold. Will they in the next five years? Maybe, but why tie it to such a bad movie when the Fantastic Four could be recast…again.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) 200:1
If you are reading this, you probably know that Wonder Woman is one of DC Comics most cherished characters. Marvel Studios has no right to use her. Marvel and DC crossover in the comics from time to time, but usually there is a bit of desperation driving the stunt. Disney is far from desperate. One could argue that the missteps of DC/Warner Bros may make them think about loaning out Cyborg or Green Lantern for the right price, Gal Gadot’s Diana is still their best bet at the box office.
Batman (Ben Affleck) 500:1
Like, Wonder Woman, Batman don’t play Marvel. Affleck reprising the role of Bruce Wayne has become a longshot even in the DC film universe, so… I’m only including this for my mom to read next time she asks, “Isn’t Batman an Avenger?” No, mom, he’s not.