Every movie studio around is trying to mimic the current hot streak Marvel Studios is on, a streak that now includes a number of greenlit television series. With “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” on the air, an “Agent Carter” miniseries possibly in the works, and five series headed for Netflix starting next year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has leapt out of the cinema and into fans’ living rooms. This has not gone unnoticed by 20th Century Fox, the studio that owns the rights to both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. Writer and producer Simon Kinberg, whose work can next be seen in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and the upcoming “Fantastic Four” reboot, revealed that Fox’s plans might include screens both big and small.
“We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV,” Kinberg told Collider at WonderCon. If Fox’s heroes are headed to television, what shows could we possibly see — and what shows do we need to see? CBR has some ideas.
A series focusing on the drama that goes along with being a teenager attending a school for mutants feels like a no-brainer, especially considering just how valuable and vocal the teenage demographic is. Think “Harry Potter” meets “Avengers,” and you’ll get an idea of just how potent this idea is. There are also plenty of characters to pull from, as the X-Men comics tend to introduce a new generation of mutant teens once a decade — and most of them have been left untouched by the films. Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Boom Boom, Husk, Skin, Chamber, Anole, Pixie, Mercury, Amor, X-23, Tempus — the list can go on and on. Stick the most popular teen character left relatively untouched by the movies — Jubilee — in the lead, and this show could turn into the must-see teen soap.
If Fox is eyeing the Netflix model as a possible outlet, then they should really consider a series focusing on Doctor Doom. Netflix has already had critical success with “House of Cards,” a series starring a morally dubious leading man as he manipulates everyone around him for his own selfish gain. That description could easily be for a Doctor Doom series, one that potentially deals with Doom’s attempts to keep the population of Latveria under his boot while trying to overthrow pretty much every other government in the world. In this age of the televised anti-hero, “Doom” makes so much sense.
“Doctor Who” is one of the most popular — if not the most popular — sci-fi/fantasy adventure show in existence, and Fox just so happens to own the movie rights for a series that was created in the late ’80s as Marvel’s answer to “Who.” This U.K.-based team features a thrown together assortment of super hero oddballs going up against wacky yet menacing threats from neighboring dimensions. If Fox could convince Alan Cumming — who is no stranger to television — to reprise his role as Nightcrawler, X-Fans would rightfully freak out. Get “Doctor Who” writer Paul Cornell, who also wrote a more recent iteration of this team for Marvel, as the showrunner and this could become a new cult classic.
Michael B. Jordan’s a busy guy, for sure, but we can still hope for a spinoff series focusing on the surely-“Entourage”-esque exploits of the Marvel Universe’s most prominent playboy. This would of course work best on Netflix, where the time commitment and episode orders are both significantly lower than that of network television. Jordan could easily slip in doing six-to-twelve episodes of “Johnny Storm” in between films. He might even want to do it, depending on how much fun he has igniting the Human Torch in the upcoming “Fantastic Four” film.
Television loves procedural dramas, and the mid-2000s iteration of “X-Factor” was created to mimic that feel in comic book form. Set in the offices of X-Factor Investigations, the series followed Jamie Madrox and his team of mutant private investigators as they worked with clients both human and super human to solve all types of cases. That premise would be right at home on any big network, and the team’s street-level focus would really help keep the series’ budget under control. These characters also have a loyal fanbase built right in, one that kept the book alive and continually published for almost a decade. And come on, how cool would it be to finally see Shatterstar’s double-bladed swords come to life?
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