Just a few short years ago, no one would have believed that Marvel Studios' tenth film would star a sentient, gun-toting raccoon, a talking tree and Andy from "Parks & Rec." The fact that we live in a reality where "Guardians of the Galaxy" exists is both a gift and minor miracle, and seeing it not only open as the top movie in theaters but crush the previous August opening weekend box office record holder is something nobody could have seen coming when the movie was green-lit.
But Star-Lord, Rocket and Groot aren't the only "not ready for Prime Time" players in Marvel's library. From street-level heroes to teenaged champions in the making, there are literally dozens of heroes waiting in the wings, ready for their chance arrive at a theater near you. Here are six team-ups we'd pay to see on the big screen!
Writer Drew Pearce tried to bring the Runaways to the big screen before being drafted to co-write "Iron Man 3" with Shane Black. We hope Marvel Studious takes this property off the backburner soon -- fans would love to see these heroes (and their pet Raptor from the future) do live-action battle. The concept of a group of teenagers discovering that their mothers and fathers are really a 'team' of supervillains, and deciding they need to foil their parents' plans is an inspired one, and could translate beautifully to the big screen.
This low-profile team of heroes, in many ways Marvel's answer to DC Comics' Teen Titans, had a fan-favorite, lengthy run in the '90s, headlined their own reality show in the Marvel Universe, and were responsible for the events which kicked off the epic "Civil War" storyline. If done in the same tone as "Guardians" -- with equal parts spectacle and humor -- not only could Marvel add another sleeper hit to its lineup, it could perfectly set up a potential Phase 4 mega-arc. Plus, Nova, Speedball and Night Thrasher would look fantastic on a movie poster.
We can't believe this under-the-radar Marvel title has yet to be adapted for TV or film.
Centering on a group responsible for cleaning up superheroes' messes in the wake of their city-wide brawls, "Damage Control" comes with a great "meta" sense of humor and would play well in a post-"Avengers" cinematic universe. What happens when construction crews encounter remnants from the Battle of New York? Or survivors in the rubble after all those Helicarriers fell out of the sky in "Winter Soldier?" The Damage Control concept is just filled with potential -- and opportunities to introduce even more Marvel heroes and villains to the world at large.
This fan-favorite is a no-brainer, and there are two distinct eras of YA stories to choose from, offering the opportunity for very different stories to be told; Allen Heinberg and Jim Cheung introduced the team, telling a relatively straightforward tale of adventure, cosmic odds, sexual identity and self-discovery, all perfect ingredients for a future Marvel Studios mega-hit.
Then you have the somewhat more introspective, though equally grand and cosmic adventures of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's team, which would perhaps walk in "Guardians'" footsteps, balancing the world of big budget blockbuster with indy flick sensibilities. Plus, this version of the team has the added bonus of Kid Loki, a character ripe for an aspiring young actor to make his own, with the potential to create a on-screen presence that could rival that of Tom Hiddleston's Loki.
If the film retained half the wit and charm and stakes of either incarnation of the comic, the adventures of Iron Lad, Kid Loki, Hulkling, Vision, Wiccan, Hawkeye, Miss America and the rest could be the next big hit for the studio.
If you ever wondered what Canada's answer to the Avengers looks like, look no further than Alpha Flight. These guys have the potential to reach "Guardians"-level awareness in the media and pop-culture, giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe a bit of much needed international flavor, especially if put in the hands of a guy like James Gunn. Sure, seeing this movie become a reality is a long shot, but years ago, pretty much everyone would have said the same thing about seeing Rocket Raccoon and Groot headlining a big summer tentpole.