By Edward Davis | The Playlist April 16, 2014 at 1:58PM
Everyone wants a spin-off. That’s the talk du jour. It’s not enough to just have a franchise, you need solo films to keep that franchise going and going. It’s the new black: release a movie every other year while the main mothership has its flagship super-movie every two or three years, right? Fox hopes to do the same with the “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” series and Mystique (a mooted spin-off while the super-hero team carries on every other few years). And Marvel obviously already has this plan in place: an “Avengers” movie ever few years and in between them they have their solo character movies, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Ant-Man,” “Thor: The Dark World” etc.
This will be the plan for the next few years up until 2017 when “Avengers 3” comes out (it hasn’t been dated yet, but that’s a good bet). Remember, Kevin Feige recently said Marvel has a loose roadmap that leads to 2028. How do they get there? Well, by introducing new characters in each “Avengers” movie for one. After all, folks like Captain America (Chris Evans) are going to retire soon and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is presumably too expensive to re-up another contract with.
This means introducing new characters into “The Avengers” team, making them integral members for the next installments and then eventually giving them solo movies. So “Avengers: The Age Of Ultron” will already introduce three new super heroes: Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), The Scarlett Witch (Elisabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany) and rumors of two more — Black Panther and Ms. Marvel (frankly, three seems like more than enough, and Feige was smart enough to not include Hawkeye in ‘Winter Soldier’ because they already knew it was overstuffed). Will these characters get solo movies? Well, according to Business Week, Disney Chiefs recently met with Marvel to discuss how to keep the gravy train going essentially.
Iger and Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, recently met with the Marvel team to talk about new heroes who will be introduced in Age of Ultron and could be spun off in their own films as well. Iger declines to name them. “The possibilities are endless,” he says.
And of course, when a strategy works, not only does every studio copy it (see How The 'Avengers'-Izing Of Blockbusters Is Killing Movies), but the studio that came up with it just wants to keep rolling it out over and over again (until it fails of course). So this means members of “The Guardians Of The Galaxy” could potentially have their own solo films if that movie takes off (confirming earlier reports).
Iger would like to replicate the success of The Avengers with other Marvel teams. He says Marvel could potentially spin off members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which include Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon, in their own features.
Note, some are speculating that this means a Ms. Marvel movie is coming, but Iger nor Business Week suggest that at all. Furthermore, while the Ms. Marvel character is rumored to be in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron,” one would think if she was going to get a solo movie, we’d likely know who the actor playing her would be by now. And certainly characters like The Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are bigger. What’s more, Marvel is fairly conservative with these decisions, thankfully. For example, fans would love to see a Black Widow movie (Scarlett Johansson), but Marvel understands she’s a better utility player that works alongside Captain America and a movie based entirely on that supporting character may not work. Same goes for Hulk, who they haven't been in any hurry to go solo with.
Finally, the latest rumor going around today: “42” star Chadwick Boseman will appear in “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” as Black Panther. I’d say take it with a grain of salt for now.