The Marvel film universe has grown ever since its inception over 20 years ago. That’s right, even though Marvel have been licensing its characters for many years, it was probably with 1998’s Blade that the superhero cinematic landscape truly got into form. Years later with Fox’s original X-Men film, the superhero genre grew even more populated and it was only a matter of time until these movies became blockbuster franchises, like Sony’s Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films. Nevertheless, it was with Disney and Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe that the money really started coming in.
Thanks to characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, and others, the MCU became the biggest and most successful film franchise in Hollywood history. This has naturally made Disney very happy, but better yet, the success allowed Marvel to take chances in bringing new characters into the fold. Indeed, lesser known characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy made their big screen debut and shortly after became as famous as the Avengers themselves.
Even on the TV side of the MCU, smaller characters like Slingshot, Cottonmouth, and Kilgrave, who would’ve probably never made it to the big screen, have had their share of glory. Yet, despite this great outcome, there are still some Marvel characters that won’t get the Guardians treatment, or be considered at all.
Either because they are simply too obscure, dark, gritty or something else, here are 20 Marvel Superheroes And Villains That Will Never Be On Screen.
20 Superior Spider-Man
The story of Superior Spider-Man was one of the most controversial comic arcs to ever come out of Marvel Comics.
Doctor Octopus took over the body of Spider-Man and henceforth acted as our favorite web-slinger, unbeknownst to the other superheroes.
After all was said and done, Marvel brought back the original Peter Parker, but not before amassing great criticism from audiences. Thus, it’s unlikely Marvel Studios would take such an approach with Tom Holland’s version of the character.
Even more, Doctor Octopus hasn’t been introduced in the MCU just yet, and it wouldn’t be comic book accurate to have another villain become the Superior Spider-Man. Though, we wouldn’t mind if Michael Keaton’s Vulture gives it a shot.
19 The Orb
Like most comic imprints, Marvel Comics has its share of ridiculous creations and one of those is The Orb. The character literally has an eyeball for a head.
The first version of the character actually wore a helmet, but soon after Marvel upped the ante by making the eyeball real. He’s appeared a couple of times as a Spider-Man villain, but his most important comic arc to date was when he appeared in Original Sin.
As for his powers, he only wields a repulsor ray akin to Han Solo’s favorite weapon, and his big eye gives The Orb “super sight.”
Indeed, The Orb is a silly character design, so don’t expect him in the MCU anytime soon. Interestingly though, in the first 10 minutes of Ant-Man and the Wasp there seems to be a clear Easter egg in reference to The Orb.
Undoubtedly one of the most beloved female heroines in all of comics, She-Hulk has been speculated to appear on the big screen for many years. Ever since Ang Lee’s Hulk film, fans have been asking for a She-Hulk solo movie. When Marvel Studios released The Incredible Hulk, many fans thought their wishes would finally become reality, but unfortunately that was not the case.
With the Hulk and presumably She-Hulk’s film rights belonging to Universal Studios, it’s unlikely we’ll see her on the silver screen, at least for now.
A deal could’ve been made between Marvel and Universal, but no such details have surfaced on the matter. It’s somewhat of a miracle that we get to see the Hulk kick it with the Avengers. Hopefully, the same could happen to She-Hulk.
While many consider Gamora, Thanos, and the Silver Surfer to be among the most intriguing and best cosmic Marvel characters, others agree that Moondragon deserves to be mentioned as well. Indeed, the character has some of the coolest abilities in Marvel Comics, ranging from telepathy to shapeshifting to flight.
Even though Moondragon seems like a perfect fit for the MCU, there’s only one tidbit that’s probably hindering her chances to make it to the big screen: her comic book background. In the comics, she is the daughter of Drax the Destroyer - a very different Drax from the one portrayed by Dave Bautista.
Perhaps Marvel is trying to avoid such a retcon, hence why Moondragon hasn’t even been referenced since the MCU went cosmic.
Like Thor and Loki, Hercules is another mythological demigod that Marvel Comics turned into a mainstream superhero. While his mythology in the comics doesn’t deviate entirely from the character’s real-life mythos, there’s no question Marvel’s Hercules is as interesting as it gets.
One of his most well-known storylines was when he joined Captain America’s side during the first Civil War. Over the years, Hercules has mostly served as a counter-balance to Thor, with the two of them always finding a way to get in a fight or a drinking competition.
We won’t be seeing Hercules in the MCU since Thor's Norse mythology has already taken over the narrative.
It’s possible that bringing in Greek and Roman mythology could cause some confusion over the general audience, especially since DC has already leaned into that with Wonder Woman.
The Orb is considered one of Marvel’s most bizarre characters, but Mojo takes the trophy as the most bizarre of all. Ruler of Mojoworld, or Mojoverse, Mojo is a ruthless overlord that runs that universe’s most addictive gladiator reality TV program.
As crazy as that sounds, it’s one of the reasons why Mojo is perhaps one of the coolest characters to ever come out of Marvel Comics. In essence, he is like The Collector in Thor: Ragnarok, just without the charm of Jeff Goldblum. Indeed, fans have even compared the alien king to Star Wars’ Jabba the Hutt.
There was a reference to Mojoworld in this year’s Deadpool 2, but don’t expect the Merc with a Mouth to take a trip to the Mojoverse anytime soon.
14 The Living Tribunal
When it comes to powerful cosmic beings, it’s hard to top the Living Tribunal. The character is the second most powerful being in the Marvel Universe, falling behind only to the One Above All, who has once taken on the appearance of Jack Kirby.
The Living Tribunal was referenced in 2016’s Doctor Strange when Baron Mordo used the Staff of the Living Tribunal.
While that definitely confirmed that the character exists in the MCU, it doesn’t mean that we’ll get to see him in the near future. Unfortunately the character could be considered too high concept for a general audience. This was one reason why certain cosmic characters were omitted from appearing in Avengers: Infinity War.
Avengers: Infinity War writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely showed interest in developing MODOK as a character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That’s the closest MODOK ever got to appearing in the MCU.
It could be the character’s odd design, or maybe his convoluted backstory, but there’s something about MODOK that’s keeping him from appearing in the movies.
In the comics he’s had his dealings with HYDRA and A.I.M, two organizations that are heavily tied to the overall narrative of the MCU, both in the films and in TV. MODOK should’ve already appeared a long time ago.
Alas, it’s not looking pretty for the character most known for his floating head.
One of Doctor Strange’s most terrifying and odd-looking villains, Shuma-Gorath is a multi-dimensional being that usually goes by the name of Lord of Chaos.
Having come to existence before recorded human history, the entity acted as a god among humans, instilling fear. It was only after beings like Agamotto intervened that Shuma-Gorath was vanished from Earth. Eventually, the villain returned millions of years after, and it was only with the combined might of the Ancient One and Doctor Strange that Shuma-Gorath was defeated.
Even though the character has an array of incredible powers, like shapeshifting, don’t expect him to appear in the MCU anytime soon.
His overall design fits the horror genre more than it fits a superhero family film.
Yet, it was rumored that the character was going to appear in 2016’s Doctor Strange.
11 Jack O’Lantern
The character of Jack O’Lantern has had several rebrandings throughout the years. The original Jack O’Lantern had the alias of Jason Macendale, an ex-CIA agent who was mostly associated with the Hobgoblin. This version of Jack O’Lantern served primarily as an enemy of Spider-Man. The next version of the character was known as the Mad Jack, and soon after, became a separate character itself.
Much like the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, Jack O’Lantern rides a glider in the shape of a hovercraft. He even has the same gadgets and weaponry as the aforementioned villains.
The reason we probably won’t see Jack O’Lantern on the big screen anytime soon is because he shares too much a resemblance to Green Goblin and Hobgoblin, who are undoubtedly much better choices for villains. Also, his pumpkin helmet is a tad silly.
Ka-Zar was one of the first heroes to come out of Marvel Comics, along with Captain America and Namor - way before the company was even called Marvel Comics.
Timely Comics’ Ka-Zar debuted in 1936, but the Ka-Zar most comics fans are familiar with is the Kevin Plunder version of the character. This version debuted in 1965 and easily became one of Marvel’s most recognized heroes.
A native of the Savage Land, Ka-Zar can be described as Marvel’s version of Disney’s Tarzan.
It’s believed that Ka-Zar’s film rights belong to Marvel Studios, but given that the character shares many similarities with Tarzan, it’s very unlikely we’ll get to see the character in the MCU. Alas, don’t get your hopes up for that Black Panther and Ka-Zar team-up.
First appearing in 1973’s Special Marvel Edition issue 15, Shang-Chi was created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Jim Starlin, who is most known for creating Thanos. Known as the Master of Kung Fu, it’s not hard to see the parallels between Shang Chi and martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Indeed, the character was modeled after the martial arts icon, but fans mostly compare Shang-Chi to another Marvel martial arts character: Iron Fist. While they share similar attributes, Shang-Chi was conceived before Iron Fist, making the character the true original Marvel martial artist. That is why it’s unlikely that we’ll see Shang-Chi in the MCU.
Besides their background, Shang-Chi and Iron Fist are virtually the same character.
But we shouldn’t stop hoping. Rumor has it we might see the character in season 2 of Netflix’s Iron Fist.
Annihilus is most known for being one of the Fantastic Four’s main villains. He is a native of the Negative Zone, a universe composed of antimatter, and at times has acted as its sole ruler.
Many of his comic book arcs involve Annihilus trying to conquer the Earth with his fleet of alien soldiers, which he controls through his mind, via a Cosmic Rod. While the character has appeared multiple times in several cartoons and video games, it’s unlikely we’ll see him appear on the silver screen.
In fact, the closest we got to seeing Annihilus fight it against the Fantastic Four on the big screen was in the 2015 film, directed by Josh Trank. The character was one of the main villains in that film’s original script.
Quasar is one of those Marvel cosmic characters who shares similar characteristics with many other cosmic beings. While his Quantum Bands, the source of his powers, differentiate him from other heroes, it’s not hard to see how Quasar is essentially another version of Nova, Star-Lord or Captain Marvel. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that the character is cool and intriguing. however, that’s not enough to guarantee him a spot on the big screen.
With Captain Marvel making her debut next year, and with Star-Lord and the Nova Corp already fan favorites, chances are that Quasar will unfortunately have to sit this one out.
6 Mad Jim Jaspers
Another one of Marvel’s bizarre creations, Mad Jim Jaspers is a reality warper. While he hasn’t appeared much in the comics, his abilities as a reality warper have been explored widely and it was determined that his powers were almost like that of a god.
He is even considered an Omega Level Mutant by the comic book community. The only way other heroes could stop him was by eliminating an entire universe from existence, since he could alter reality at will.
Mad Jim Jaspers is too obscure a character for Marvel to bring to the big screen.
Indeed, there are better characters with his same abilities that would be better cinematic options.
5 High Evolutionary
A scientist above everything else, the High Evolutionary is right up there with Reed Richards and Tony Stark as one of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe.
Donning an impressive red armor, the High Evolutionary sometimes considers himself a god, due to his ability to alter genes. In fact, he was the one responsible for giving Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver their “mutant” abilities in one interpretation of their backgrounds. One time, he even stole the Silver Surfer’s powers, which gave the High Evolutionary the Power Cosmic.
While it’s possible to bring the High Evolutionary into the MCU, there are simply other well-known characters that could fit the ongoing cinematic narrative better. Though it would be interesting to see how Marvel retcons his existence.
Sentry is considered to be the Superman of the Marvel Universe. While he possesses many of Superman’s abilities, like flight and super strength, and even wears a similar costume with an “S” front and center, Sentry has one major difference. He is essentially a human vessel for two vastly different entities: Sentry and the Void.
The thing is, that the Sentry and the Void are both virtually the same being, just on two different extremes.
While this concept would make for one intense cinematic spectacle, it’s still too dark.
Even more, with Shazam and Superman already claiming the silver screen over at the DC side, perhaps it’s not in Marvel Studios’ best interest to introduce another Superman-esque superhero, from a marketing standpoint.
Hyperion is another character that is called the Superman of the Marvel Universe. He has even more similarities to Superman than the Sentry.
Like Clark Kent, Hyperion’s home alien planet was destroyed, so he was sent to Earth as a refugee. He didn’t become a hero like Superman, though. Hyperion has mostly acted as a villain in the comics, but he’s had his time as an anti-hero and has even joined The Avengers and the Thunderbolts.
Unfortunately, we probably won’t have Hyperion appearing on the big screen, for the same reason as the Sentry. There’s just too many Supermen going around these days. Sure, Marvel can bring something new to the game, but over-saturating the market is something they wouldn’t want to do.
2 The Micronauts
Having appeared in various comic imprints since their creation in 1979, it was ultimately with Marvel Comics that the Micronauts became well-known superheroes.
While they were first a series of toys, the comics definitely elevated these characters to mainstream status, so much that Marvel ended up selling the Micronauts’ film rights to Hasbro. Even though Hasbro has announced plans to bring the Micronauts to the big screen in partnership with Paramount Pictures, it seems as if these micro heroes won’t be coming to theaters anytime soon, given how long ago the announcement was made.
As their name implies, the Micronauts derive from the Microverse, a pocket dimension that exists in the microscopic level.
Today, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Microverse is known as the Quantum Realm, since as previously mentioned, the Micronauts and their homeworld currently belong to Hasbro.
Songbird is one of those cool and abstract Marvel characters that will probably never be see the light of day on the silver screen. Her comic book background has already been grounded in the TV side of Marvel Entertainment, but the character still hasn’t surfaced. In the comics she was the end result of an experiment carried out by the Roxxon corporation, an entity that’s been very active in MCU TV.
Still, no plans have been set for Songbird. It may seem like Marvel has plans for her in the movies, but it’s not looking like that is the case, either. Especially since Songbird is not exactly a well-known character like Captain Marvel or Black Widow. Nevertheless, if the Guardians of the Galaxy became mainstream, why can’t Songbird?
Which character do you think has the best chance of making it to the MCU? Let us know in the comments.