In 2000, Fox released X-Men into theaters, beginning the superhero movie revolution. For the first time ever, superheroes were thought of as actual blockbuster films. Successful X-Men and Spider-Man films followed, along with other high-profile movies. Then everything changed in 2008. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy had proven that superheroes could be artistic endeavors, but it was Iron Man that established the Marvel Cinematic Universe and paved the way for an interconnected world of storytelling.
Now, by the end of 2017, the MCU will be 16 films deep and Marvel is preparing for Phase 4 of their shared universe—whatever that may be. We know that there is a planned Black Panther movie, a sequel to Ant-Man, and an upcoming Captain Marvel feature film. Fox is still churning out new additions to their X-Men universe. Even DC Comics has gotten into the act of a shared universe, though many of their movies have fallen flat—save Wonder Woman. Though these companies still have plans to keep their universes going, it’s clear that the Age of the Superhero Movie has already passed beyond its zenith. Things are starting to get old and it might be time for a change.
15. FANTASTIC FOUR
The recent Fantastic Four movie was bad. It was unnecessarily dark, unimaginative, and entirely too boring for Marvel’s First Family. Not only should Fox abandon any ideas they had for a sequel, it might actually be wise to give the Fantastic Four a large enough cinematic break so they can wash the stink off of the franchise.
That is, unless, Marvel is somehow able to gain creative control over the characters and introduce them into the MCU. Considering that Marvel hasn’t published a proper Fantastic Four series in several years, fans have been starved for more content involving Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and The Thing. Any new movie needs to be a colorful and fun romp through science fiction that is less about brooding and more about exploration. Perhaps introducing the Future Foundation would steer a new movie in the right direction.
14. GHOST RIDER
Thanks to the hard work of Nicolas Cage, no one really cares about Ghost Rider anymore. If that’s the case, though, why are we talking about the character now? Well, an iteration of the Spirit of Vengeance recently proved to be popular on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. What’s more is the fact that the previous films were released by Sony, so if they are playing nice with Marvel with regards to Spider-Man, perhaps Ghost Rider would get another chance.
The good thing about Ghost Rider is that there are several different versions of the character to choose from. Maybe Marvel would prefer to let Johnny Blaze rest with Cage; Danny Ketch could be an interesting alternative. The MCU already has Robbie Reyes as well, if they want to continue to diversify their line of superheroes.
13. THE INCREDIBLE HULK
We haven’t seen a solo Hulk film since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk redeemed the Jade Giant from that 2003 debacle. Sure, it’s considered to have taken place in the MCU, but nothing and no one (Thunderbolt Ross aside) has carried over from that film. Edward Norton was fine in the role, but Mark Ruffalo has excelled. It’s why so many are clamoring for a solo Hulk movie — because Marvel might finally have the right guy for the job.
Unfortunately, as Mark Ruffalo recently reminded us, Universal has no interest in working with Marvel to distribute a new Hulk film in the way Sony has with Spider-Man. While it’s unclear on who owns the rights to what characters, any kind of Hulk derivative — She-Hulk, Red Hulk, etc. — is likely covered under Universal’s distribution rights. For the moment, we seem to be at an impasse, but things can change, right?
12. CAPTAIN AMERICA
No one has embodied their role in the MCU more than Chris Evans has as Captain America. He is Steve Rogers at this point. However, there has been much discussion about his contract coming to an end after Avengers: Infinity War. As great as he has been over the last few years, it might be time for a change.
Evans recently decided to extend his contract in order to stay on through Avengers 4, which seems to be the movie that will change the MCU as we know it. It sounds like he’s done with Captain America solo movies, so what better way to give the character a fresh start than to introduce someone else in the title role. Marvel could hand the shield to either Anthony Mackie’s Falcon or Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes.
Out of the original MCU movies, the Thor franchise has easily been the weakest of them all. Thor was a disappointment and Thor: The Dark World was even worse. Marvel seems to have learned some lessons from the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor: Ragnarok looks like they are taking the character and the franchise in a fun new direction.
However, where can they really go from here? By the end of the forthcoming movie, Chris Hemsworth would have really achieved everything he could possibly hope to do with the character. Maybe it’s time to do something a little different. The success of Wonder Woman has proven just how successful a woman-led superhero movie can be. Allow the Odinson to fade away and introduce the current female Thor (Jane Foster, played by a new actress) as the new Thor.
10. POWER RANGERS
After all the hype, the new Power Rangers movie proved that not every children’s cartoon needs a grim and gritty Michael Bay-like reboot. The movie made $140 million on a $100 million budget, which is as close to absolute failure as you can get for a major blockbuster film. You know that Saban had plans for an entire franchise of movies, but is the effort even worth it when this is what they get?
In short, it’s time for a change. Drop the big-budget, over-produced film quality we’ve seen in all those Transformers movies, and do something a little more authentic. Instead of trying to make every outlandish detail of the Power Rangers look realistic, embrace the weird and its Japanese roots. Maybe this means the monsters are men in suits, we don’t know. It does mean making Goldar look like Goldar, though.
9. MAN OF STEEL
It’s time for a new Superman. Man of Steel may have seemed like a good enough opening salvo to a Superman movie franchise and a DC Comics film universe, but it has since fallen flat. A sequel getting derailed in favor of the misguided and overwhelmingly maligned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice shows just how uninterested the powers that be are in another Superman solo film.
Maybe Justice League can do the entire universe a favor and reboot it to be devoid of all traces of Zack Snyder’s influence. This means a new Superman movie full of color and fun, a likeable cast of characters, and a Clark Kent that is more selfless and less arrogant. We don’t have to go full Chris Reeve here but a hint of humanity wouldn’t hurt.
8. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Guardians of the Galaxy has been a fun romp through space, but the second film in the series may have jumped the shark to the point that there isn’t a whole lot more they can do here. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced many of the original team from the future, with Starhawk, Martinex, Charlie-27 and others making appearances. Why not travel to the future and see what things are like there with Guardians 3000?
Introducing Major Victory as a future analogue to Captain America would be an interesting way to explore the legacy of superheroes into the 30th century. Starhawk’s ability to alter the timeline and himself means we can get a more traditional take on the One Who Knows without Sylvester Stallone.
7. SUICIDE SQUAD
Despite the heavy marketing push, Suicide Squad was an utter mess. Perhaps the sequel would be able to do a better job with a new director and better editing, but why even make an attempt when the DCEU is such a train wreck as it is? Just give us a completely new cast of villains (there are so many to choose from) and give the film an R rating.
While the Suicide Squad can be fun at times, it needs to be violent and bloody. This film should be more in the same vein as Kick-Ass or Wanted than any Batman or Superman movie. Deadpool proved that you can have fun and still be as brutal as you want to be. Suicide Squad deserved better, and a fresh start will give fans what they want.
6. IRON MAN
Iron Man changed the superhero film genre forever, and while the first movie was great, every subsequent film starring Tony Stark has failed to make good on the lessons he should have learned by now. It’s a tiring act offset only by the characters around him in the Avengers films. With Robert Downey, Jr. getting up there in age and his recent spat with Marvel, maybe it’s time to move on from his vision of Tony Stark.
The problem, of course, is that RDJ completely reinvented the comic book character and there aren’t any other iconic iterations of Iron Man. As perhaps the linchpin of the entire MCU, it won’t be easy to reboot this particular franchise without undoing everything else. What if, instead of recasting Tony Stark, though, a new character steps into the role? Iron Lad, anyone?
The franchise that really started this all just can’t seem to come to an end. There was the original trilogy, then the Wolverine trilogy, and now the new series of X-Men movies that looked like a fresh new start only to get tucked back into the original trilogy from before the time anyone knew how to handle a superhero universe. Fox’s X-verse has been around for 17 years now — when is it going to end?
Remember X-Men: First Class and how refreshing and fun that movie felt? Then sometime before the sequel, they decided to connect it to the other films. X-Men: Days of Futures Past was a fine movie but X-Men: Age of Apocalypse was a mess. Now we have to watch the story of Dark Phoenix played out again? Why can’t we just cut ties with the past and start anew?
4. DOCTOR STRANGE
In Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch portrays an arrogant, selfish, and completely unlikeable Stephen Strange. Yes, that’s supposed to be the point, but by the time Strange gets what he wants and “learns” humility, we’re basically nearly done with the movie and the main character has really just been an asshole for most of it.
Add in a paper-thin plot that is only beefed up by endless dizzying visual effects, and it’s hard to see how a sequel would be at all interesting. Maybe a recasting could turn Strange into something more compelling than a meaner Tony Stark, but the character might be better suited with a fresh start that falls aesthetically closer to Guardians of the Galaxy and doesn’t try to make magic look too realistic.
Logan killed off Wolverine and Fox has two ways of going from here. They can either leave him dead and continue the story of X-23 taking on the role of Wolverine, or a new X-Men movie can reintroduce him in a more comic book-faithful representation of the character. If we’re being truthful here, Logan should have probably ended Fox’s X-Men universe, but the almighty dollar has spoken.
While it might be cool to see Logan in his traditional yellow and blue spandex, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Hugh Jackman portraying the character. Wolverine has been in so many movies already that it might be time to give him a break. Instead, let’s see what Fox can do with X-23. After all, a light reboot is still a reboot.
2. THE AVENGERS
After Avengers 4, we know the MCU is going to be changed forever. How exactly is a mystery, but if characters like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America are due to experience changes, maybe it’s time for the Avengers to change as well. There are enough iterations of the Avengers to start a whole new franchise.
If Marvel plans to focus on new characters like Black Panther and Captain Marvel going forward, how about embracing the New Avengers name? Maybe the Winter Soldier leads the Secret Avengers on more S.H.I.E.L.D.-led, underground missions. The true dream, of course, would be to introduce the Uncanny Avengers. If Marvel can ever get Fox and the X-Men to team up for a movie, this would be the way to go.
Yes, Spider-Man: Homecoming was just released, and it has been met with much acclaim, but how many times are we going to see Peter Parker learn to use his powers responsibly? Since the first Spider-Man movie in 2002, we have had six different films, starring three different actors, set in three separate continuities, all playing Peter Parker. There are multiple Spider-Man movies forthcoming, but can’t they do something different?
As great as Tom Holland was at playing a younger Spider-Man, we’ve seen this all before. Marvel has the chance to do something unique by passing the role onto someone else. At this point, fans are dying to see a live action interpretation of Miles Morales. Even if they don’t want to do something as drastic, introducing Ben Reilly or Spider-Girl would liven things up and give fans something new. Sorry, Pete, but you’re old hat at this point.
Which movies do you feel need a reboot? Let us know in the comments.
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