Welcome to ‘No Movie For You’ a new semi-regular feature here are ScienceFiction.com, which will look at movie/TV adaptations of existing properties and the characters/elements you should NOT expect to see make the transition from one medium to another. With almost any adaptation, edits must be made and certain elements that prove important in the source material, for one reason or another simply cannot be utilized in the live-action version.
This first installment focuses on next year’s highly-anticipated ‘Captain America: Civil War.‘ ‘Civil War’ was a 2006-07 miniseries that not only showcased Captain America and the Avengers, but nearly the entire Marvel Universe. In the comic, following a cataclysmic confrontation between super heroes and villains results in the deaths of over 600 civilians, mostly children, in Stamford, Connecticut, the US government calls for all costumed vigilantes to register, revealing their secret identities and agreeing to act solely under their authority. Iron Man/Tony Stark complies and become the face behind which other willing heroes rally. Captain America, on the other hand, sees this as a violation of the heroes’ civil rights and a potential danger to their personal lives and loved ones. Other like-minded heroes join his resistance movement, setting up a conflict between the two factions. The result was one of the most shocking and popular Marvel tales in years.
The fact that this storyline is playing out under the banner of a ‘Captain America’ movie however indicates that movie-goers should expect large deviations from the original comic. While Cap was one of the two main characters, the film will likely focus a little heavier on him than on Iron Man and the others. Also, the comic was set in a world filled with hundreds of costumed champions, whereas there aren’t even two dozen heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Whatever the filmmakers have in store, here is a listing of ten characters/teams that you should NOT expect to see in the final film, so don’t be too terribly disappointed.
10. The X-Men
This one is obvious, since Fox has the film rights to the X-Men. Wolverine was the only member that played a part anyway, since he was pulling double duty as a member of the Avengers at the time. As for the rest, when Iron Man attempted to woo the mutants to his side of the conflict, Cyclops essentially told him to take a hike. His people had spent their whole lives battling persecution and prejudice and weren’t about to do the same to fellow super beings. So take that!
9. The Fantastic Four
Just like the X-Men, the film rights to the Fantastic Four are held by Fox, so Marvel couldn’t include them if they wanted.
Out of loyalty, Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards sides with Tony Stark, but as Stark’s actions become more extreme and morally questionable, Invisible Woman/Sue Richards decides to leave her husband. This was a shocking blow, since the pair had the longest and most stable marriage in comics. Even more heart-breaking, Sue was forced to leave her two young kids behind for their own safety as she and brother Johnny/The Human Torch joined Captain America’s underground.
Even if this were to play out in the movie, non-comic readers wouldn’t get the power or significance of this decision, since in the movies (either version), the Richards’ marriage isn’t the long-running institution it is in the comics.
8. Luke Cage
One of the heroes most impacted by the Civil War was Luke Cage, who was married to Jessica Jones, herself a former hero named Jewel. The pair had a baby daughter Danielle, but when the Civil War broke out, Luke sent Jessica and Danielle to Canada for their protection. Cage himself was assaulted by government agents, but with the help of Captain America and other anti-registration heroes, escaped and later, in the aftermath of the War, formed an underground team of Avengers who were forced into hiding, only emerging when their aid was needed.
Of course, most of this backstory hasn’t happened yet. Cage and Jones are both set to star in Netflix series which will detail their emergence as heroes, but neither show has debuted and they certainly aren’t married with child yet. Add to that the fact that allegedly Marvel plans to keep their TV series and movies separated, don’t expect many of those characters to pop up in the movies. That also goes for Daredevil and Ironfist, as well as…
7. The Punisher
The brutal vigilante who guns down his opponents was a strange choice to join Captain America’s underground rebellion and that was cemented when, in order to rescue a battered Spider-Man, The Punisher slaughtered several members of the Thunderbolts– super villains employed by the government to round up heroes that resisted the Registration Act.
While he saved Spider-Man, he was ousted from Captain America’s non-lethal team. The Punisher is slated to appear in Season Two of Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ series, so he will most likely be absent from the movies for now.
6. This Version of Peter Parker
Yes, we all know that a new version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man is making his film debut in ‘Civil War’ but the single most shocking scene in the comic was when Parker, allied at the time with Stark, unmasked at a press conference, revealing that he’d been Spider-Man since he was 15. We already know that the new movie Spider-Man is going to be a teenager and for all we know, the public won’t even be aware of his existence yet, making an unmasking a hollow gesture, lacking the “Oh $#!%!” weight of the comic reveal.
Like with the Fantastic Four, without the character’s long established history, this event wouldn’t pack the same punch.
5. Norman Osborn
Gone is the cackling, demented Green Goblin. Spider-Man’s archenemy has been reinvented as a Lex Luthor-style business mogul and slick mastermind, who weasels his way into public favor, replacing S.H.I.E.L.D. with his corrupt agency H.A.M.M.E.R. and unleashing convicted killers the Thunderbolts to round up the rebel heroes (by any means necessary of course) and eventually disguising a group of them as a new Avengers team, dubbed the ‘Dark Avengers.’
The rights to Osborn are part of Sony’s Spider-Man deal, so don’t expect to see him here. Once again, his lack of cinematic history undermines his participation in this storyline.
The “Were-Woman” is a long-running Avenger, although with an on-again-off-again track record. Her role in ‘Civil War’ was small, but important in that acting as a spy for Stark, she joined Captain America’s underground resistance, feeding Stark information. (Via text message… with all Stark’s fancy tech, you wouldn’t think they’d have to rely on T-Mobile’s spotty coverage… from the sewers beneath New York City.) Tigra hasn’t appeared much since, but it has been implied that she has been ostracized from many of her former teammates.
Tigra is not part of the cinematic universe, so introducing her would take too much time away from a movie already packed with characters, and the fact that she would be brand new means that she would already seem suspicious.
(Honorable mention to Hulkling of the Young Avengers for a similar move, shape-shifting into the form of Hank Pym to infiltrate Stark’s inner sanctum on behalf of Cap’s side.)
In the OTHER most shocking moment in the story, Stark’s plan goes completely off the rails when his secret weapon backfires on him, brutally killing the gigantic hero Goliath in a violent, public spectacle. Anyone still on the fence, shifted their allegiance to Captain America’s side.
Goliath is a legacy character, derivative of Hank Pym/Ant-Man/Giant-Man, but Pym and his successor Scott Lang won’t hit the silver screen until later this summer in ‘Ant-Man,’ too soon to have generated a spinoff character. A similar sequence is rumored to take place in the movie, but expect another established hero to fall in place of Goliath.
And just how did Goliath die? He was blasted through his titanic torso by Thor! Or so everyone thought. In reality, Stark, aided by Reed Richards, Hank Pym and T’Challa (Black Panther) cloned Thor as best they could, modifying what they couldn’t duplicate with cybernetic parts. But the robo-clone Thor, called Ragnarok, or jokingly “Clore” by readers, wasn’t exactly perfected and well… BOOM!
Thor headed back to Asgard at the end of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and isn’t expected to return until his third solo movie, coincidentally named ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’ While it’s been widely reported which existing Marvel cast members are appearing in ‘Civil War,’ Chris Hemsworth isn’t one of them. Clone or not, the original actor would be needed to pull off the ruse from the comic story. Expect the movie Stark to have a different secret weapon up his armored sleeve.
1. The New Warriors
The entire Civil War storyline kicked off when these teenage heroes/reality TV stars botched the apprehension of several super villains who were lying low in a quiet suburb. When the glory-seeking New Warriors stormed half-cocked into battle, the villain Nitro exploded on the grounds of an elementary school, killing hundreds, mostly children and setting into motion the government’s demands that the super heroes all unmask and surrender their outlaw ways.
Unfortunately, the New Warriors don’t exist in the Cinematic Universe, so their clumsy actions and deaths would carry little weight, although the idea of Avengers-copycats could be an interesting idea for a movie. It’s rumored that in the film, it’s the Avengers themselves that screw up, resulting in the Registration Act going into effect.
Well, there you have it. Agree? Disagree? Would you like to see any of these characters/storylines in the movie? Comment below, and feel free to submit ideas for future ‘No Movie For You’ lists!