Marvel Film Franchises that Need Reboots

Disney deal should get Fox moving

By Zach Oat
|  Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 AM PDT
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The Marvelous Characters of Marvel Comics

Twentieth Century-Fox

Before they were married, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck co-starred in "Daredevil," based on Marvel characters, in 2003.

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It looks like Disney's purchase of Marvel Entertainment has lit a fire under Fox. After all, they own the film rights to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Silver Surfer and Daredevil for as long as they continue to make movies. So, now that it's been two years since the last FF movie, they're getting ready to reboot the franchise. Frankly, I'm glad. The first film was good, clean kiddie fun (except for the fact that Jessica Alba kept taking her clothes off), but the second was boring, had Mr. Fantastic stretch-dancing and managed to make Marvel's biggest (literally) villain look like a rain cloud. Fox wouldn't say what they're doing, or even if they hope to bring back the serviceable original cast, but I hope they announce reboots of the rest of their Marvel properties (and Sony's, while they're at it), because, frankly, they all need it.

X-Men
Despite the controversial changes to the character of Deadpool, and a lack of any real costumes, I liked X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It treated the supporting players of the Marvel Universe with more dignity and respect than X-Men: The Last Stand did, and I'm certainly looking forward to the sequel, which will follow Wolverine's adventures in Japan. However, that film won't have any of the other X-Men in it (Cyclops, Beast, Jean Grey, Angel, Nightcrawler, Colossus), and neither will the proposed Magneto prequel, which seems like it would be boring anyway. So why not skip Magneto and go directly to the next movie in development, X-Men: First Class, which would spotlight the original group of students taught by Professor X? The dude scored a helicopter full of kids (including Cyclops and the White Queen) at the end of Wolverine, so it's not even that big of an intuitive leap.

Daredevil
Awful from the word "go," Daredevil had two wooden actors who fought on wooden see-saws and a scenery-chewing villain in Colin Farrell's Bullseye. And the less said about the Elektra spin-off, the better. Relaunch it with a more impetuous, angrier Daredevil, have him fight the Hand ninja clan, and maybe don't make him a stone cold murderer in the first five minutes.

Silver Surfer
He certainly looked cool in FF 2, but the movie was dull overall. I presume a solo flick would show how Galactus turned young Norrin Radd into the Surfer, so as long as they show Galactus as a hungry, 1,000-foot-tall astronaut, it could be okay. Have the Surfer go up against the shape-shifting Skrulls, setting up their invasion of Earth, or have him face off against one of Galactus' previous heralds.

Ghost Rider
The Ghost Rider has famously inhabited two men in his comic book career -- Johnny Blaze and Dan Ketch. Nicolas Cage took Johnny Blaze for a spin in the first movie, so now let's hand off the motorcycle to a new rider, one who isn't played by Nicolas Cage. The younger Ketch could assume the flaming skull of the Rider in order to avenge the death of his sister at the hands of Deathwatch, a demon-possessed crime lord.

Spider-Man
There's already talk of re-booting the franchise with the fifth and sixth movies, which are being written as we speak, but I say do it with the fourth one, which starts filming next year. Get rid of Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst... even director Sam Raimi, who gave us a musical dance number in the last installment and has therefore forfeited our faith in him. And stop tinkering with Spidey's origin -- someone killed his uncle because he let the guy get away. He's guilty about it. End of story.

Blade
Re-boot or not, I just want another Blade movie, period. Vampires are hot right now, so what's the holdup? Get Wesley Snipes back, if you can, New Line, and think about introducing Morbius, the Living Vampire.

Punisher
...I don't know if this character is salvageable. Or even relevant anymore, for that matter. Retire him, or make him a misguided bad guy to be stopped in the Daredevil or Spider-Man re-boots.

What would you like to see in a super-franchise re-boot?

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