I saw the Avengers movie yesterday and it was a lot of fun. I’m a sucker for Joss Whedon. I admire Samuel L Jackson greatly. These two men can do no wrong in my eyes. So I went into the film with uncharacteristically high expectations and I did not leave disappointed. Very fun. Now, granted, I wasn’t expecting a detailed plot. I wanted to see action and hear flippant dialogue. So I guess in a way my expectations were kinda low by some people’s standards. The critic for the New York Times gave it a scathing review cuz it’s not Shakespeare, and Samuel L Jackson shot back in the Twitterverse with a scathing review of their review. Awesome.

Now that Marvel’s The Avengers has broken box office records and doubled the profit spent on making it in the first weekend, that’s what Hollywood calls success. Compare this to Joss Whedon’s Serenity which cost $45m to produce and only made $15m in its opening weekend. It did eventually pay for itself by the end of its theatrical run, making DVD sales all profit for the studio. However, if a film doesn’t pay for itself on opening weekend, Hollywood calls that a failure. So we may still never see a sequel to Serenity, even tho Joss Whedon hit Avengers out of the park for Hollywood. In almost the same weekend, he failed to make them oodles of money with Cabin In The Woods. So it’s a very mixed bag.

Here’s my break down of where the Marvel Studios franchise will go from here.

  1. Black Widow and Hawkeye prequel showing how they joined SHIELD bookended by a post “Avengers I” movie plot where we learn she’s been using SHIELD and Hawkeye and all this time has been a double agent for whoever the Avengers Sequel Big Bad is gonna be. Of course Samuel L Jackson gets a supporting role in this film. Or maybe just a cameo, cuz he’s gonna be busy.
  2. Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD, The Movie, would tell a story of a man who’s been around the block a few times. The tales of Nick Fury are quite extensive. The source material is mostly about an old white man, but Samuel L Jackson is nothing if not versatile. They could either hire a younger actor to play him in flashbacks or just say he’s always been this age. Cuz in the comics he’s always been this age. In some story lines he’s even a robot. So you could go anywhere with this guy. Film it, and they will come.
  3. The reboot of Spider-Man, which is being done through another studio and won’t directly be connected to the Avengers’ franchise. I put it here cuz Spidey is an Avenger in the source material, and movie politics be damned.
  4. The reboot of Fantastic Four. Again, they’ve served under the Avengers banner at one time or another. Different studio. Can’t use them in the Avengers thing directly, but indirectly should be good for both houses. Damn politics.
  5. Wasp and Ant-Man movie centering on Janet Van Dyne’s rocky relationship with Henry Pym. “Ant-Man/Goliath/YellowJacket” starts off nerdy and annoying but she falls in love with him he doesn’t reciprocate and turns out to be a bad guy (he’s a brute to her & a sociopath in general). I personally would love to write this one myself. If told from Janet’s perspective & Hank starts off as a lab geek with no social graces then ends as a crazy mad scientist, it would be my personal fave of the franchise. Janet loves Henry, and knows deep down he’s a nice guy, but he’s also a crazy insane loopy stupid poopie head. How much abuse does a woman tolerate before she realizes it’s time to put the rabid dog out of its own misery? I’d cast Jim Parsons as Henry Pym & Kaley Cuoco as Janet Van Dyne. At end of film she joins Avengers in time for the sequel. The Avengers sequel doesn’t need another man, but it desperately needs Wasp.
  6. Scarlet Witch I’d say a certain dead agent’s brain is used as the matrix for a crazy pet project of Tony Stark (Downey gets a cameo), who brings *ahem* back to life as an android. This “Vision Project” gets mothballed by SHIELD and also Pepper Pots thinks Tony’s a creep for doing this to a friend. Tangentially, young Wanda Maximoff, a mutant raised by the Brotherhood, learns via her powers of probability she can save a man’s vibrant and shining soul but only if she seemingly betrays the brotherhood and her only blood brother Quicksilver. She gives up everything including her own sanity because she must save this man’s life, only to discover he died and her probability powers have led her to an empty android shell. She loves him and he’s already dead. So she starts rewriting spacetime..
  7. Iron Man Three. Duh. Mandarin. War Machine. Explosions. Duh.
  8. Thor versus Hercules. No brainer, really. Throw in Beta Ray Bill for grins and it might not suck.
  9. Captain America Two. He’s got unfinished business with Bucky. Also I think he should quit SHIELD unofficially and walk the country he claims to protect. Meet up with Power Man and Iron Fist. Learn about the mutant registraton act. Begin to question his allegiances. He’s got a lot of ramping up to do.
  10. Avengers Two looks like it’s gonna be about Thanos. or Kang the Conquerer. Whatever. I’m more interested in Avengers Three, which will be..
  11. Marvel’s The Avengers Versus The X-Men. This will start with The Mutant Registration Act pitting mutants against artificially enhanced heroes like Iron Man and Captain America. However, SHIELD will quickly learn that Nick Fury’s superiors have become so xenophobic as to insist ALL heroes register through SHIELD and serve them as soldiers, or automatically be percieved as The Enemy. The final act of this film will actually be Captain America siding with the mutants and fighting against Iron Man’s reassembled Avengers under the oligarchy of SHIELDs shadow government. It will also mean the ‘death’ of Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury.

I do NOT think Marvel Studios should reboot X-Men. Everything they’ve shown in previous X-Men movies could be “recent past” in the Avengers franchise. They only really need to bring back Magneto (Ian McKellan) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). Any of the other characters can either be played by other actors or they can be killed off or written out of pocket. There’s a near endless supply of mutant characters. …what do you mean X-Men is owned by a different studio from Avengers? Damned Hollywood politics!

Fine. Screw all the above and green light Joss Whedon’s Serenity sequel. I’ve always been more of a DC fan anyway.