With the history-making success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s no surprise that Marvel Studios has gone on to expand this world to television. ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in its second season, while Agent Carter has been successful in its premiere this year. Meanwhile, Marvel and Netflix will partner to explore the darker, more grounded side of the MCU with Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. These four shows will then crossover into a Defenders miniseries.
Of course, there are plenty of other Marvel characters who could successfully headline a television series. Below, I’ve listed a few of those characters.
This is one character who fans have wanted to see on the small screen for several years. Following three unsuccessful films, the film rights for Frank Castle reverted back to Marvel in 2010. However, the studio was in no hurry to introduce him in the MCU. But with Netflix making it possible to see darker Marvel stories brought to life, now would be a good time to reintroduce Punisher.
The Punisher would be a perfect fit for a Netflix series, as the tone would easily fit in with the likes of Daredevil. Not to mention, Fox was previously developing a Punisher series in 2011, but it was cancelled before any major progress was made. And AKA Jessica Jones was revived at Netflix after being rejected by ABC. Thus, there is/was interest in bringing Frank Castle to this medium, so introducing him in a Netflix show would be ideal.
The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes has been a key supporting character in the Captain America film series. Sebastian Stan played the character in The First Avenger and The Winter Soldier, and he is set to reprise the role in 2016’s Civil War. The actor signed a nine picture deal with Marvel, so he will likely a notable recurring character in the MCU’s future – possibly replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America?
As an alternative, however, a Winter Soldier television series would be fascinating to see. There is plenty of history to explore in the decades worth of his activities, such as his apparent assassination of Howard Stark. Perhaps such a show could take a page from Agent Carter‘s book and be an eight-episode season that airs in the middle of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season. It would accommodate Stan’s schedule a little better than a standard 20+ episode season, especially if he does take on a bigger role in the MCU moving forward.
After many years in development and several hurdles to overcome, Ant-Man will finally hit theaters this summer. While the movie stars Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an older Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) – who has an significant supporting role – was the first to don the suit of Ant-Man many years earlier. So, it would be interesting to see a younger Pym star in his own television spin-off if the film is successful.
Pym presumably had many adventures as Ant-Man in the past, and a television show would be a fun way to explore them while the movies focus on Lang. It would also serve as a nice addition to ABC’s Marvel series schedule. And even if we don’t get a sequel movie to Ant-Man in the near future, a TV show would be an ideal choice to keep interest in the property alive.
Natasha Romanoff is arguably the most prominent female character in the MCU right now. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is an original member of the Avengers, and she had key supporting roles in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She will also be back in Captain America: Civil War. Despite this, fans have wanted to see Black Widow headline her own spin-off movie.
While a film may not be happening, how about a television series? Black Widow can easily hold her own on the small screen, and watching weekly episodes of her spy-centric adventures would be fun. This show could fit in with either ABC’s slate or Netflix’s more grounded roster, and it could theoretically feature guest stars such as Hawkeye and Nick Fury. The biggest issue, though, is the possibility of Johansson and other actors not being interested in reprising their roles for television. However, Marvel has shown willingness to recast if necessary before.
Howard the Duck
Finally, we have an option that few may have previously considered. Howard the Duck made a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy‘s after-credits scene last year. Since then, Marvel increased exposure on him by giving him a new solo comic book series. Not bad for a character who is best known for a critically panned film back in 1986. While there has been speculation of Howard appearing again in the MCU, a television series would be an intriguingly amusing way to make it happen.
A Howard the Duck show could easily be Marvel’s most comedic series to date, shedding new light on the character while Marvel also cashes in on Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success. It could also serve as an opportunity to expand the cosmic side of the MCU on the small screen, even though it’s already a big part of the movies. And having an occasional guest star such as Rocket Raccoon would be highly entertaining and increase interest in the property.
Which television show would you like to see Marvel develop next?