Stan “The Man” Lee, the godfather of Marvel Comics, appeared Fan Expo in Canada last week and addressed some Marvel movie news.  Now, at 91 years of age, Lee doesn’t technically work at Marvel anymore, but he did co-create most of their most famous characters along with illustrators like Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and John Romita Sr.  But one would suspect he still has an in with the company.

Lee has, in the past, kind of spilled the beans on Marvel’s movie plans, prior to the company making official announcements.  About a year ago, he stated that a ‘Doctor Strange’ movie was on its way and now we know that Marvel has tapped Scott Derrickson to direct it and Jon Spaihts to write the screenplay.  Despite Marvel remaining mum on the matter, the most recent rumor was that Joaquin Phoenix was close to signing on to play the lead.

Lee has also stated that ‘The Black Panther’ was in the works, around the same time.

Well, at Fan Expo, Stan once again stated that ‘The Black Panther’ was on the way, along with what might be Marvel’s first female-fronted movie, starring none other that Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow.

“The chances are she will have her own movie because eventually all the superheroes are going to have their own movies. They are already working on Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and the Black Panther, and there are others I am not allowed to talk about.”

Er, technically I don’t think he was “allowed” to talk about all of those.

But fans have been clamoring for more diversity in Marvel’s movies.  Black Widow has factored prominently in three movies so far, so she is the most likely candidate for a solo female action hero.  Zoe Saldana played Gamora in the mega-successful ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ The Wasp may have a part in ‘Ant-Man’ and we’re also getting Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ next year, but Widow has had the most exposure and will therefore probably be the first to get her own movie.  There was talk that Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel might have had a role in ‘Age of Ultron’ but the latest word is her role was cut because they wanted to give the character more of a back story, instead of simply giving her a tiny cameo.

And while we’ve had Don Cheadle‘s War Machine/Iron Patriot and Anthony Mackie‘s The Falcon, they are just supporting characters.  Neither is included in ‘The Avengers.’  Just as fans want to see a female hero headline a movie, they also want to see a hero of color in a central role.  And what better candidate than the first black super hero in comics, ‘The Black Panther’?  Just as with Carol Danvers, there was talk that the character could appear in ‘Age of Ultron,’ since it’s said that part of the movie takes place in Wakanda, the fictional African nation that the Panther rules, but it now seems doubtful, since no announcements have been made and the movie is already packed with Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision coming on board.

In my opinion, both of these are solid choices.  As much as I would love a ‘Captain Marvel’ movie, Black Widow already has the awareness of the public and more momentum.  And while I think both Iron Patriot and The Falcon could also headline their own films, I think it’s better that ‘The Black Panther’ lead the way, since he is possibly the most iconic black character in comics, and definitely was the first.

What do you think?  Would you pay to see these characters on the big screen?

Source: Cinema Blend