10 Characters Marvel Studios Should Pair Up Next
The biggest draw of Marvel Studios' shared cinematic universe is its ability to crossover and [...]
The biggest draw of Marvel Studios' shared cinematic universe is its ability to crossover and team-up its larger-than-life characters: Iron Man can play a supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and entire franchises can unite for the first time in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel got their biggest Thor hit yet by pairing the Asgardian Avenger with teammate the Hulk, who stars in the Avengers franchise but isn't likely to get another solo movie of his own in the near future.
Black Widow and Falcon joined Cap in action in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Iron Man popped up briefly to lend a helping hand in Homecoming, but a pairing of just two big-name characters has proved a rarity over Marvel Studios' ten-year tenure before Ragnarok.
Black Widow and Hawkeye
Black Widow might soon headline her own movie: the long-time Marvel heroine's solo outing is slowly moving forward, with actress Scarlett Johnasson set to meet with screenwriter Jac Schaeffer in February.
While the fierce spy-turned-Avenger could handle the spotlight all on her own, including close ally Hawkeye would be a way to show more of two Avengers who don't get as much of a focus when stood next to teammates Captain America and Iron Man.
Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner has said he's ready for the bow-wielding superhero to get his own feature, but Marvel has yet to publicly express any interest. Taking aim at a supporting role in Black Widow — like Hulk in Ragnarok — in a more grounded super-spy adventure ala the Bourne franchise sounds too good to pass up.prevnext
Captain America and Iron Man
It's unknown if Marvel Studios has plans for a fourth Captain America or Iron Man solo, but the current frenemies are expected to come face-to-face in Avengers: Infinity War in May after their massive fallout in Captain America: Civil War.
Steve and Tony will, hopefully, repair their damaged relationship either in Infinity War or Avengers 4, and — again, hopefully — won't perish in either one. Should both heroes survive, an old fashioned Marvel Team-Up between just the two would be a treat: how cool does a Captain America & Iron Man movie sound?
The two have been frequently paired up in the comics, headlining a good amount of issues of Tales of Suspense featuring Iron Man and Captain America, Marvel Double Features, and Captain America & Iron Man.
Cap and Shellhead don't always see eye-to-eye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that's exactly why isolating the two for their own superhero team-up adventure makes for an intriguing possibility.prevnext
Doctor Strange and Hulk
The Hulk has been relegated to supporting player due to messy legal entanglements with Universal Pictures, who hold the right to distribute a solo Hulk movie.
Marvel Studios is able to circumvent this by having the character appear in Avengers and Thor without outside involvement, leading Marvel to give Hulk his own arc playing out over the course of Ragnarok, Infinity War and Avengers 4.
It's unknown what Marvel has in store for the Doctor Strange sequel — which isn't expected to arrive until 2020 or later — but the not-so-jolly green giant could pair nicely with Strange, who can be seen teaming with Bruce Banner (and buddy Tony Stark) in the Infinity War trailer, where the heroes gather at Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.
Hulk and Strange frequently teamed in the Marvel comics, alongside the Silver Surfer and Namor the Submariner, as a team dubbed the Defenders (a mantle adopted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist).
The heroes have partnered enough in the comics, sans the other Defenders, that teaming them for a movie makes as much sense as having Hulk join Thor in Ragnarok.
Doctor Strange 2 might see the good doctor square off against villain Nightmare, whose dark magical trickery and mind games would prove interesting territory for the Hulk, who is often at war with the Bruce Banner side of his personality.prevnext
Black Panther and Storm
Storm isn't allowed to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — yet — as her rights are currently held by Fox, but Disney's purchase of 21st Century Fox's film and television assets will one day see Disney incorporate the X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four properties into the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The regulatory process around the $52.4 billion dollar deal is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, meaning no Fox characters can make their way into the MCU until December 2018 at the earliest.
Once the deal is completed, Marvel will be free to utilize a wide variety of characters previously unavailable to them, including all of the X-Men and their ancillary characters.
Among the most iconic and popular members of the mutant super team is weather-manipulating goddess Ororo Monroe, a.k.a. Storm, who was once married to T'Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther, in the Marvel comics.
We can only guess whether or not Marvel Studios will one day pair T'Challa and Ororo romantically in the movies, but the fan-favorite superheroine teaming with T'Challa in Black Panther 2 would give Storm a much-deserved spotlight before having her join the team over in the X-Men franchise.prevnext
Spider-Man and Captain America
The Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is expected to include another Marvel Studios-owned character in lieu of Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, who showed up sporadically, as an in-depth report from THR revealed partnering Spidey with a Marvel character is part of Sony's deal with Marvel.
Cap and the rookie superhero squared off in Civil War, and Marvel's next Spider-Man solo would be a good time for the veteran hero to play mentor to the teenage superhero.
"I like seeing Cap play mentor to anybody, you know what I mean?" Captain America star Chris Evans said in 2015. "He's been through so much, and I think he's a good man, so anytime he can take anybody under his wing I think would be great."
Young Peter Parker will presumably have a lot to work through after his experiences in Infinity War and Avengers 4, and no one is more suited to help further develop Spider-Man into a true superhero than Captain America.
If Cap is still around and kicking in a post Avengers 4 world, that is. Fingers crossed.prevnext
Iron Man and Hulk
Best buddies Tony Stark and Bruce Banner will reunite after several years apart in Infinity War, after the Hulk apparently crash lands back on Earth.
The science bros instantly hit it off in The Avengers, with Bruce even popping up in the post-credits scene of Iron Man 3.
Iron Man was forced to battle an out-of-control Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron before the green-skinned Avenger left Earth behind, encountering buddy Thor years later in space.
We'll get to see Tony and Bruce back together come Infinity War (alongside Doctor Strange and sorcerer Wong), but a team-up between the two — where they'll have to rely on their brains as much as their mettle — is one way to make the idea of Iron Man 4 even more appealing.
It's been five years since Robert Downey Jr. headlined an Iron Man movie — he has less heavy lifting, so to speak, appearing in ensemble pieces — and partnering Stark with Banner in their own adventure could rival even the fun-as-hell Thor: Ragnarok, which gave Thor and Banner some much appreciated bro-time together.prevnext
Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange
Scarlet Witch is unlikely to headline her own movie, but the character would make a natural fit to join the Doctor Strange sequel.
Wanda's powers were more mystical and magical in the comics than they are in the movies, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe's iteration of Wanda could come to embrace the magical roots of her comic book counterpart should Marvel explore that aspect of the character.
Despite her status as an Avenger, Wanda is still a budding superheroine with a lot to learn — and with the Avengers crossing paths with Doctor Strange in Infinity War, it could serve as the perfect opportunity to start leading Wanda down the yellow brick road of a magical awakening.
Strange has yet to become Sorcerer Supreme, so having him take an apprentice under his wing as he takes his own steps towards an even deeper understanding of sorcery could make for a fascinating team-up in Doctor Strange 2.prevnext
Spider-Man and Human Torch
Marvel's Spider-Man sequel opens in July 2019 — too late to benefit from Disney's purchase of Fox in any kind of significant way — but their third Spidey movie could team Peter Parker with Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, one of Peter's closest friends from the comic books.
The earliest Marvel comics frequently paired the teen superheroes, pairings that would last well into adulthood.
As part of premiere super-team the Fantastic Four, Johnny had the support of his tight-knit team and the support of an adoring public — both lacked by lone wolf Spider-Man, who operated solo and often irked the ire of New York's citizens.
Cocky ladies man Johnny Storm benefited from superhero fame while Peter Parker was forced to keep his amazing abilities secret. Despite their wildly different lives and experiences, the two found they made a great pairing — one that deserves to make its way into live-action sooner than later.prevnext
Falcon and Bucky
If Steve Rogers dies in Avengers 4, it's likely one of his two closest friends will assume the mantle of Captain America.
Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes have insane chemistry as seen in Captain America: Civil War, their interactions proving a hit with fans.
Whether it would be Sam or Bucky donning the shield, the pair teaming up in their own feature would make for the Marvel version of a buddy cop movie — like Rush Hour or Lethal Weapon set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sold.prevnext
Deadpool and Wolverine
Deadpool and Wolverine can't be used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just yet, but Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed Marvel Studios will, of course, integrate the formerly-owned Fox properties into the MCU once they're able.
As two of the X-universe's most popular and iconic characters, Deadpool and Wolverine are likely to be fast-tracked for the big screen as soon as Disney assumes full control of 21st Century Fox's film assets.
We don't know if Disney will retain Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds as the merc with a mouth — it'd be blasphemous not to — but a Deadpool and Wolverine team-up is something that frustratingly wasn't able to come together under Fox.
Marvel Studios will have the opportunity to rectify that, partnering a gruff Wolverine with a never-shuts-up Deadpool, which would translate into big box office dollars.
Now there's a real buddy cop Marvel movie idea: Wolverine and Deadpool, R-rated, playing up classic buddy cop movie tropes with the irreverent humor Reynolds' Deadpool is known for? It's the kind of pairing that should have you itching for that Disney/Fox deal to close as soon as possible.
Marvel Studios next releases Black Panther February 16, followed by Avengers: Infinity War May 4 and Ant-Man and the Wasp July 6.prev