Marvel Studios Short Films to Introduce Secondary Characters?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 10:40 am,

marvel movies ant man black panther dr strange Marvel Studios Short Films to Introduce Secondary Characters?

Like Disney/Pixar does with their animated shorts placed before feature films, Marvel Studios may be using their future tentpole movies to introduce some of their secondary characters.

According to a Latino Review scoop, Marvel is contemplating the idea of introducing the likes of lesser-known characters Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, etc. – who are coming sooner or later one way or another – by giving them their own short films and running them before the theatrical releases of their full-length feature films.

This may be the best strategy going forward for Marvel to test characters with little financial risk. If the characters work for the large fanbase already dedicated to seeing Thor, Captain America, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers, then they’re set to greenlight production of solo character movies based on the short and even include them in other character movies of their shared universe.

We’ve known for a while now that Marvel Studios is very interested in utilizing more of their vast roster of characters, the only questions were how and when they were going to go about it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see some characters introduced or cameo in The Avengers or its sequel(s), but speculation has pointed at Marvel bringing out small-budget films based on their more obscure characters. By giving them shorts first, they’ll have a better way of picking who gets the solo-film treatment.

I would be psyched that come time for The Avengers, there was a 10-minute short based on Heroes for Hire, featuring Luke Cage and Iron Fist, or an action-packed Black Panther short set in the jungles of Wakanda. I’m already sold on this idea.

It was just last month we heard that Marvel was in talks with a “notable Hollywood star” about the Luke Cage property so perhaps this plan has already been put into motion. Until we find out more, this is just a rumor.

What characters do you want to see get their own short films first?

Follow us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant and let us know your thoughts.

Iron Man 2 is currently in theaters everywhere; Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012. We’ll find out what comes next at San Diego Comic-Con next month!

Source: Latino Review

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  1. I have five words for you: Timothy Dalton as Doctor Strange!

    • Or Billy Zane

    • I second that (E)motion!

  2. absolutely brilliant idea, its a win win for them and the fans alike. so many characters they could introduce, even if they never see there own films. really hope this is the way they go.

  3. If they are anything like the recent Mortal Kombat short then I am game.

  4. The idea is genius. I can see a 10 min stint with no talking and just action sorta like samurai Jack.

  5. Love the idea, just reading the headline was incentive enough to want to see them! I can already envision Black Panther’s short, hope they go ahead with this.
    They could even use this to introduce villains by giving them their own shorts.

  6. Good idea Ken. As an example, IF Marvel/Disney would get the rights to Silver Surfer back I would love to see a 10 min. short of Thanos then at the end show Surfer swooping in so people can relate to what hero the villain would be up against.

  7. Introducing villans and/or story plots is a great way to go.

  8. Great idea… however what if the short is better then the movie? Honestly I would rather see a 1 hour TV “origin” story. Put it on SyFy/HBO heck the Disney channel….

    Have it run 3-6 months out from the start of the movie. That way you get the origin story out of the way and can focus more on the meat and potatoes of the characters.

    Being cable you will have near/same theater quality productions. You can use the same people and can segue right into the movie….

  9. All I have to say is that I would love to see Will Smith as Luke Cage. I say this because he has the acting chops,showing off the Luke Cage attitude, and he can get big for the role. If he doesn’t play Luke Cage, then he would also be a pretty good Black Panther. Him as Panther would be a good way to see his versatility dealing with characters from other countries (with the accent needed).

    • Josh

      I dont know if it is just destiny that you and I do not see eye to eye on things or what….


      Sorry Will Smith could not pull off Luke Cage or Black Panther. While it could be compared to Keaton donning the Batsuit, at least the “suit” makes Batman so to speak.

      Luke Cage is (IMO) much to physical for Mr. Smith and the Black Panther is to dare I say “Regal” and physical.

      • Besides which…Will Smith has those jug-handle ears that’ll make Black Panther look like a 4-eared mutant…

    • There ARE other black actors out there, FYI:

      Terry Crews for Luke Cage and Chiwetel Ejiofor for Black Panther.

      • Spot on for Panther. He can act, carry himself and is not a stranger to physical roles.

        Terry Crews as Luke though… To “tall” IMHO.

        Im thinking Morris Chestnut or Bryan Cheatham. They both need to “bulk” a little but not much. Bryan may be a little to tall…but still I think a better choice then Terry.

        • @Aknot I agree with you there, Either Chewitel Ejiofor or Djimon Hounsou for Black Panther. But Terry Crews is just not right for Luke Cage. Idris Elba is the best choice but Morris Chestnut,Bryan Cheatham,or even Boris Kodjo(last choice) could work. It has to be a witty and attractive guy(I’m not gay). Crews doesn’t look heroic enough and actually has more of a villainous look to him.

          • You guys ALL know Will Smith will be the first one offered one of these roles. If he wants it, it will be his. Those other guys are hardly knowns, and Will Smith WILL put fannies in the seats. The parts are Will’s to turn down. To be honest, does anyone think he CAN’T pull off either of those roles? He’s a damn fine actor and would not be Michael Keaton as Batman.

            • Keaton as Batman was great. People could not grasp it at first however he pulled it off. That was the comparison. Not Keaton sucked Will will suck. Keaton was great Will wont be. 😉

              Yes I KNOW he cant pull off Luke Cage. Black Panther… maybe.

    • 1)There ARE actually good actors that ARE ACTUALLY from Africa or who have recent descent from Africa that already have the accent and that would be waaaay better choices than Will Smith to play as Black Panther. 2) Will Smith is a good actor BUT he’s looks nothing like either Luke Cage NOR T’Challa(Black Panther)3)T’Challa is regal,a genius,and highly agile among other things Will Smith can not pull that off. 4)Luke Cage is very BIG and intimidating,calculated,multilingual,has incredible swagger among other things,Will Smith can’t pull that off. 5)Will Smith is too much of a Big actor for this role and although Will Smith is a great actor,he always has an air of goofyness or cornyness in every movie he’s ever been in.

  10. Black Panther and Heroes for Hire need to be made first

  11. good idea, Marvel!

  12. I really love the idea. It would be great to introduce the more obscure characters to a wide audience… pity they didn’t think of it sooner, or they could have put a ten-minute Thor film at the start of Iron Man 2!

    I don’t think Doctor Strange should be given the ten-minute treatment though, they should just go straight into production of the film. If it’s written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Guillermo del Toro (and they’ve both said they’d love to), you just know it’s going to be amazing.

  13. It’s alieight I guess I say just introduce them in the established story give them limited screen time so fans get to know them for their future releasing. Not a big fan of the shorts idea.

  14. Great idea

  15. so If a short doesnt test right , the film featuring the character in the short film wont get made ?
    Make them GREAT shorts Marvel.

  16. this smells like a complete rumor – like an idea someone came up with and decided spread it as a real possiblity.

    But a great idea just the same. Why not just release them a webisodes and add plot elements from the upcoming movies – sorta like a cross between the Heroes webisodes before the Villains storyline and the Star Trek comic series

  17. excellent idea, they should have thought of this sooner, i’d imagine if they’re planning on starting this with Thor then they’d need to hop to the casting pretty sharpish

  18. I really hope Guillermo del Toro still is holding on to the rights of making the Doctor Strange film. He’s got a lot of potential in a movie seires. Him, Black Panther, Heroes for Hire, etc.

    I’d say the best fit for Strange would be either Liam Neeson or Ethan Hawke.

    • Liam Neeson – good call :)
      I wouldn’t have thought of that ; he would be awesome as Dr. Strange !!!

      I think Ethan Hawke is a terrific actor but I don’t think he has the gravitas
      to become Dr. Strange . I might have a hard time accepting him in the role.

  19. I think this is a brilliant idea and it would be a very effective method to test market the lesser known characters.

    Black Panther ? Dr. Strange ? Heroes For Hire ?
    YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I want movies for all of them.

    Black Panther – Djimon Hounsou.
    Dr. Strange – Johnny Depp

    @ Alistair Collins- Dalton is a terrific actor but almost too old for the part )

    Luke Cage – Terry Crews ( but he needs to bulk up a wee bit )
    Iron Fist – RAY PARK RAY PARK RAY PARK >>>>>>> case closed , period , end of sentence.

    • Unfortunately Iron Fist talks in the comics so Ray Park won’t work as Iron Fist.

      • Ray Park can talk lol. He was in the last season of heroes.

        • Ray Park is an action actor that’s it. Other than that he can’t act. That’s why he’s usually given little to no lines in the movies he’s in.

  20. I’m actually now thinking a tie between Idris Elba and Boris Kodjoe as Luke Cage. Luke Cage is fluent in several languages. Boris Kodjoe speaks fluent German,French,Spanish,English also his mother is a Psychologist and his father is a Physicist!!!

    • The Marvel….. ugh.. Prime Luke Cage? The Prison guy with the yellow shirt then shave my head bald guy? I never knew that about him. Or is this another version of Luke?

      • A lot of characteristics have been changed about Luke Cage,his personality and abilties. The Luke Cage of the 70’s was based on Blaxploitation(Explotation of black film). Some of the negative things associated with the character have changed. Most of the comic book writers back then and even now are mostly Caucasian,so they’re approach to Black Superheroes that were and still are few unfortunately were associated with being negative stereotypes(oxymoron),ripoffs and cornyness.

        • Yes but I never knew him to speak foreign languages. Knew he got married had a child etc. I would call it (and dont take this the wrong way) evolving the character. How did they weave his parents as a Psychologist and his father a Physicist.

          There was nothing wrong with being a “con” and experimented on. Is that part of his history still intact?

          I picked up when he was in the “New” Avengers. When did they revamp him?

          • Ok I dug and I dug and I read. I can find no reference of him having anything like this in his origin or a revamp.

            Ulik can you get me some more information and reference for this so I may read up on it?


  21. MOON KNIGHT!!!!!!!

  22. Marvel is going to do what they’re going to do, in the mean time they need to STOP rebooting films that are still somewhat current! Like the case with Spider-man, sure the third one wasn’t great but it’s still too current to reboot it. Give us something new instead. I’m all for Dr. Strange!

    • Spider-man is their most lucrative property. There’s no way Marvel/Disney is going to let that sit there and not use it to SOMEHOW make money. Especially Disney, seeing as they just shelled out how ever much money for the rights.

      In addition, they need to have an active Spidey for their Movie universe. I know Spidey usually stands alone, but there are a number of notable events/collaborations that they’ll be able to use him in, once they have him reestablished. (I’m thinking mainly of his work with Tony Stark and, eventually, the possibility of the Civil War event coming to theaters.)

      • Spidey can’t play in Marvel’s universe at the moment, his film rights are owned by Sony.

  23. Okay fine make another Spider-man, but really, do they have to reboot thou?

  24. i would love to see a 10 minute scene of moon knight dropping from the mooncopter onto a group of thugs in an alley and cleaning house, then calling in frenchie for a pickup, end scene w/ MK hanging from the copter by the ladder, lifted into the sky and being silhouetted by the moon… that would be awesome.

  25. Totally wanting a Moon Knight! Sounds like a perfect opportunity for everyone to really see what a great character he is.

  26. I would like to see every hero from she hulk to spider woman and to all of those other ones you said

  27. I think this is a great idea. It can be used to showcase the origins of these more obscure characters without having to take 45 minutes of a 90 minute movie to do it. Having the back story already known, they can just get right into the meat of the movie.

    I think Dr. Strange would be a perfect character to introduce this way. He’s a cool character, but hardly known outside the comic circle. A 10 minute short before Thor could be a perfect segway into a full movie by del Toro. Unless, of course, Sony owns the rights for some reason??

  28. Will Smith is the last person to ask, too much money. They dont have the clout just yet to sign big A-list actors who have big requirements in their contracts.

    • Not only that leave that corny arse “Demon in a bottle” story arch stealing Hancock for Will Smith. He’s got his “Hancock” let him keep that. LOL!

  29. Whether she was actually in talks for the Avengers movie or not, I thought Eva Langoria as The Wasp was casting genius. I’d live to see what she could do with the role…and she might draw a few more females into the theater as well.