With the huge success of Captain America: Civil War overseas and the predicted smash this coming weekend compared with the apparent flop of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s obvious that Marvel has the formula for their movies down while DC is scrambling. Fox has a hit with Deadpool while Fantastic Four earned dismally. Most of this has to do with a really bad script and bad editing as opposed to bad casting; after all, the same actor who is kicking butt as Wade Wilson completely sucked as Hal Jordan.
There are a host of comic book movies coming to theaters in the next few years with Marvel, DC and Fox mapping epics and dynasties to 2020 and beyond. There are some movies that are being overlooked that really need to be either made or rebooted. Here are the ones that I want to see that need to be done right:
SPAWN: original movie released in 1997 starring Michael Jai White in the title role, the first comic book movie to have a black actor in the title role.
Plot: Al Simmons is a special forces and black ops agent who was assassinated on a mission. After he arrives in Hell, he is offered a bargain: either be an agent of Hell and return to Earth where he can see his fiancé, or stay in the eternal fire. Reincarnated as Spawn, he is returned to Earth five years after his death and must deal not only with the fact that Wanda has moved on with her life, but also that the man who was his boss was the one who double-crossed him.
Remake Rumors: A sequel has been rumored since Spawn was finished, and a script by Todd McFarlane has been in the works for years. He recently gave interviews saying a reboot with a hard R rating is more than rumors.
WHY REMAKE: Aside from being a grittier and much better story than Ghostrider, Spawn gives theater-goers a leading POC and a hugely varied POC if done correctly. The original Spawn was good for its time, and an updated and grittier version (made possible in a studio’s eyes by the hugely successful R-rated Deadpool) could be a huge success.
THE RUNAWAYS: comic series run by Marvel, created by Brian Vaughn and Adrian Alphona
Plot: A group of teenagers discover that their parents are actually supercriminals in an organizations known as The Pride, and they’re not all exactly human. Stealing weapons and tech from their parents, as well as honing the talents they’ve inherited from their parents, the teens band together to try to defeat their parents and atone for the wrongs their parents have previously done.
Movie Rumors: Marvel was actually in casting for this back in 2010-11 but everything ground to a halt when the studios started focusing solely on The Avengers.
WHY MAKE IT: Yes, yes we have all the grown-ups all over the world. Yea-rah. But with everyone older, it would be a blast to have a teen force kicking ass and fighting back against parents. It would draw in the tween-teen rebellious segment, and The Runaways are a multicultural cast…keep it that way.
BLADE: first movie released in 1998 starring Wesley Snipes as the daywalker trying to save humankind.
Plot: Half vampire and half human, Blade makes himself a vampire hunter determined to destroy all vampires because they killed his mother. Two more movies followed the original.
Remake Rumors: Marvel is talking about rebooting Blade with Michael B. Jordan in the starring role and also rumors that if they do start up Blade it could go to Netflix, similar to Daredevil. If it does go to Netflix, I think Marvel is doing a huge disservice as all of their movies can’t be fluffy-fluffy PG-13 all the time.
WHY REMAKE IT: A lot of people are bored of it being all Avenger canon on all the channels, and eventually something is going to have to give. Blade would be a really good way to divert their interests. Then again, this is the Marvel that is owned by Disney, and they’re not known for being intelligent with their marketing decisions. (Hmmmm, who thought that KYLO would be a good villain again?)
STEEL: released in 1997 starring Shaq (yes, that Shaq) and lost over $15 million at the box office
Plot: John Henry Irons is a weapons designer for the military and during a testing accident, most of his team is hurt. Resigning after the accident, he discovers that his weapons are being sold on the black market and decides to use his weapons expertise to create weaponry and armor to fight the gangs and track down how they’re getting the weapons.
Remake Rumors: None. It was that bad.
WHY REMAKE IT: In 1997 there wasn’t the tech to make this movie properly. Or just look at the picture above- it really was that bad. Now, imaging what someone could do with the tech we have today, with the tech that makes Iron Man’s and Thor’s costumes, with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s weaponry, or with Batman’s toys. Give them a good script, an excellent actor, a really wicked villain, and cause a lot of mayhem.
THE PHANTOM: based on the comic series by King Features created by Lee Faulk. Originally released in 1996 starring Billy Zane.
Plot: After washing ashore when his family’s ship is destroyed by a pirate attack, a young boy swears to protect those around him against “piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice.” The pledge is passed from father to son, creating the legend of The Phantom, or the Man who Never Dies. When Kit Walker, the 21st Phantom, arrives in America to find a stolen treasure, he tracks down a villainous brotherhood as well.
Remake Rumors: There were to be two sequels to The Phantom but they were never made due to poor reception at the box office. The last talk of a Phantom reboot was in 2014, possibly because studios think a) people are too stupid and would get The Phantom and The Black Panther confused and b) they think period-setting films don’t work well.
WHY IT NEEDS A REBOOT: As you can tell by the spandex, The Phantom has a costuming issue that can be corrected in current day wardrobe. Instead of trying to give audiences another Indiana Jones with Harrison Ford give us a whole new series with a new retro feel that we can sink our teeth into. Cast it with an awesome POC actor, get rid of the cheesy spandex, and you’re halfway there.