Three years ago I wrote about how licensing agreements will keep certain Marvel comic book characters our of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). I looked forward to the time when expiration of deals, lawsuits and mergers would start to brink characters back to the fold. The first of them appears to be Spider-Man. 19-year-old English actor Tom Holland who impressed in The Impossible (2012) has been cast as the new Peter Parker / Spider-Man. His first appearance will be in Captain America: Civil War next year before his 20th Birthday making him significantly younger that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield (27 and 29 respectively when they first played the character). Significantly I understand this will not be an origin story. By the time we see him on screen Peter will have had already had an encounter with a radioactive spider, uncle Ben will be six feet under and Spider-Man will be a fully fledged (but teenage) crime fighter. He will then get his own film in 2017. The big question, should Spider-Man be in the MCU and potentially an Avenger? The way he has got there is a big of a mess, but unequivocally yes, Spider-Man should be there. But what, or should I say whose next?
A reboot of Fantastic Four is on the way in August, rights still with 20th Century Fox so still outside the MCU. The chances of some kind of crossover or team-up is certainly helped by the reboot, had they stuck with the original cast we would have the problem of Chris Evans appearance in both franchises. On the subject of casting, the new movie is full of promise; Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell. The trailer makes it look darker than the first two lightweight movies, this will fit better with the direction The Avengers are heading.
Peggy Carter first appeared on screen in Captain America: The First Avenger played by Hayley Atwell. She has since made a successful move to the small screen in Agent Carter. Could a character go the other way? Daredevil has already appeared on a the big screen in the 2003 with Ben Affleck who has since made the big move to DC. Although a moderate success it received mixed reviews. I enjoyed it, however the TV show is considerably better. Already commissioned for a second series, it could work as a movie, I am not sure the very localised story will fit the vast canvas of The Avengers, but could see a cameo. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started slowly but found its feet and benefitted from a change of direction thanks to the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier. A plotline that has been developing from the start has been revealed to be The Inhumans. This is going to develop further, It isn’t clear if this is going to be part of the current show, a spin-off or a movie. It would be good if they can find a standout character or two that can make the move to The Avengers.
I stand by my previous comments that although Wolverine, Sabretooth and Storm have all been Avengers in the comic books they don’t fit into the MCU, The Avengers would be obsolete in a world where the X-Men exist. It would also be difficult to introduce them now having never mentioned mutants before. Whatever happens and whoever they introduce the age old problem remains, there are too many men and not enough women.