Which Marvel Hero Will Be Disney's Next Billion Dollar Franchise?



[image url="http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9c346503843e621b3d0158/image.jpg" link="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/10-marvel-characters-disney-could-turn-into-the-next-iron-man-2009-8/dr-strange-1" caption="" source="" alt="Marvel Characters" align="left" size="xlarge" nocrop="true" clear="true"]
Can Disney make its $4 billion Marvel acquisition worth it without help from the likes of Spider-man, Wolverine and all their friends and enemies?Click here for 10 Marvel comics that Disney could make its next billion dollar franchise →

Disney bought Marvel because little boys don’t ask their parents to buy Disney-licensed merchandise the way little girls get theirs to buy whichever latest product has a Hannah Montana or High School Musical logo on it.

So what better way to get boys on board than to make movies about mutants, superheros and super-villains, and then turn them into toys and video games, right?

Right. But here’s Disney’s new problem: It can’t make any movies (or video games or toys) using some of Marvel’s most famous characters and villains — not any time soon anyway.

Why not? Marvel signed a big movie deal with Paramount in 2008 and it still owes the studio five films. Four of those films have already been announced: Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and Avengers. (The fifth will probably be Iron Man 3.)

Prior to the Paramount deal, Marvel licensed X-Men and the Fantastic Four to Fox and Spiderman to Sony. Until those deals expire, any character introduced in any of those movies is off-limits for Disney.

That rules out a lot of Marvel’s most famous characters, including all the X-Men characters (Wolverine, etc.), Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and whole mess more. Suddenly, Disney’s $4 billion seems like a lot of money!

There is, however, a silver lining for the mouse house. Before Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau re-introduced the world to Iron Man in 2008, that character was hardly known as one of Marvel’s most famous heroes.

But in the end, it didn’t matter. The film grossed more than $550 million worldwide in theatres and earned several hundred million more through DVDs and merchandise.

So which lesser-known Marvel comic can Disney and Marvel turn into another billion dollar franchise? We asked Comics Reporter editor Tom Spurgeon and io9’s Graeme McMillan for some suggestions. Here’s the list they came up with:

  • Dr. Strange
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Iron Fist
  • Hero For Hire
  • Alias
  • Runaways
  • Captain Marvel
  • Marvelman
  • Nova
  • Hawkeye/Mockingbird

Our favourite on the list has to be “Runaways,” because it seems to be such an obvious fit for the tween boys Disney wants to go after. Plus, we love Spurgeon’s one-line pitch for the movie:

“What do you do when you find out your parents are nefarious super-villains of the absolute worst variety? You run.”

Click here to learn more about the rest →

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”dr-strange-1″
title=”Dr. Strange”
content=”‘Like Robert Downey’s Iron Man, Marvel’s classic ‘Master Of The Mystic Arts’ is slightly older than your average super-being and sports a tragic origin story about an arrogant man brought low embracing a second chance at life. Romance, special effects and a great part for a Hollywood A-lister.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3da4479fb5663a3e61b4/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”cloak-and-dagger-2″
title=”Cloak and Dagger”
content=”‘Complementary superpowered teen-aged runaways who learn to love each other while seeking revenge on the drug lords whose experiments made them different and keep them forever apart.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3daaeee47a5d59dafc9c/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”iron-fist-3″
title=”Iron Fist”
content=”‘Kung Fu Billionaire who spent his orphaned teen years in a magic city high in the Himalayas becoming The Living Weapon returns to Western civilisation to seize control of his family’s fortune: Bruce Lee meets Bruce Wayne.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3db2ed0f386054e96504/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”hero-for-hire-4″
title=”Hero For Hire”
content=”‘Convict Luke Cage gains muscle and impenetrable skin while taking part in an important medical experiment and does the same thing we’d all do upon his release — sets up for business in the heart of Times Square.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3e4ab82ec676127e262d/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”alias-5″
title=”Alias”
content=”‘Jessica Jones was once a superhero named Jewel. Now she’s a private eye whose cases bump up against a world that’s not always as glittering and perfect as it seems looking from the outside in.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9e6f56d165c17344f91f4b/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”runaways-6″
title=”Runaways”
content=”‘What do you do when you find out your parents are nefarious super-villains of the absolute worst variety? You run.’ — Tom Spurgeon, ComicsReport.com
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3dea3cabc03737cee08a/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”captain-marvel-7″
title=”Captain Marvel”
content=”‘Alien warrior crashlands on Earth and defends his adopted planet from his own race and other ETs in a twist on the Superman story.’ — Graeme McMillan, io9
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3df2dab599704b9403de/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”marvelman-8″
title=”Marvelman”
content=”‘The dark side of the Shazam myth is explored through the most powerful man in the world with one of the first post-modern takes on the genre.’ — Graeme McMillan, io9
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3f0c4af7f21956a75a66/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”nova-9″
title=”Nova”
content=”‘Spider-Man’s teenage angst gets cosmic as an everyday teenager finds himself inducted into an intergalactic police force without knowing it.’— Graeme McMillan, io9
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3e0646b1247c40ebd185/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”hawkeyemockingbird-10″
title=”Hawkeye/Mockingbird”
content=”‘Two married superheroes find themselves on opposite sides of the same mission when their secret spy pasts catch up with them.’ — Graeme McMillan, io9
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4a9d3e1423bab2533da9ddc2/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]

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