Getting a solo movie is a real mark of a character's success in the MCU. It’s not enough to appear in someone else’s solo movie or an Avengers team-up, because the truly exclusive club of superheroes consists of the ones who have their name in a movie title (characters whose names are already movie titles, like War Machine, notwithstanding).
Following the end of Iron Man and Captain America’s arcs in Avengers: Endgame, there’s room in the MCU schedule for some of the more minor characters to get their own solo movies. Here are 10 MCU supporting characters who deserve a chance to step into that spotlight.
10 The Wasp
The sequel to Ant-Man’s first solo movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, also kind of acted as a Wasp solo movie. We’d gotten Hope Van Dyne’s backstory in the first movie, and the second one made her a flying superhero with top billing. However, that doesn’t count. Ant-Man and the Wasp doesn’t count as a Wasp solo movie any more than Thor: Ragnarok counts as a Hulk solo movie.
Evangeline Lilly is great in the role of Hope, and her combination of comedic chops and scientific know-how makes her basically Scott Lang and Hank Pym rolled into one. The Wasp has a rich history going back decades in the comics to when the Avengers were formed in the first place, so there’s plenty to draw from. She definitely deserves a solo movie.
9 Professor Hulk
Of the character changes in Avengers: Endgame, it’s a toss-up between “Lebowski Thor” and “Professor Hulk” to determine which was the most surprising. The Hulk has deserved a solo movie in the MCU for a while, but it’s difficult because he already got one courtesy of Edward Norton, and since then, he’s been played with more acclaim by Mark Ruffalo (and the rights have been tangled up with Universal).
If Marvel can figure out a Hulk solo movie, now is a perfect time. The problem with earlier Hulk movies is that he’s just a grumbling green monster, but now, he’s in control of his actions, so he’s in a prime position to star in a movie.
After being quietly developed into one of the MCU’s strongest characters in the background of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Nebula finally got the large role she deserved in Avengers: Endgame. Her combination of a tragic childhood and a sarcastic wit make her a joy to watch, and Karen Gillan plays her brilliantly.
We last saw Nebula with the Guardians, but she’s sort of a lone wolf, so she could easily break away from the team for a solo space adventure before returning to them. It could even be a prequel following her attempt to assassinate Thanos, although knowing the ending would sort of ruin that.
The end of Avengers: Endgame seemed to set up a bright future for Valkyrie in the MCU. Fans were disappointed when she sat out Infinity War, because she made a huge impact when she first appeared in Thor: Ragnarok. So, it was a relief when she was given a big enough role in Endgame to make up for it, as we saw her battle Thanos’ armies from the back of a Pegasus and be appointed the Queen of New Asgard by Thor.
Fans have been clamoring for an LGBTQ superhero in the MCU for a while now, and Valkyrie’s bisexuality was confirmed in a deleted scene from Ragnarok. The focus isn’t on her sexuality, but rather on her badass warriorhood, so she’d be the ideal candidate.
6 Sam Wilson’s Captain America
With Chris Evans’ MCU contract up, many fans went into Avengers: Endgame expecting Steve Rogers to either die or retire, relinquishing the “Captain America” title to someone else. There were two prime candidates: Bucky and Sam. A lot of fans had their money on Bucky, so it was surprising that Steve ended up giving his shield and mantle to Sam.
As a character, Sam has always been fun and likable. The only thing preventing him from getting a solo movie was the lame Falcon mantle. Now that he’s a flying Captain America, he should be able to get a solo movie in a heartbeat.
5 Nick Fury
Ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. was exposed, its director Nick Fury has been sort of aloof in the MCU, first hiding out in Clint Barton’s barn and later having a vague involvement in the world of espionage and the Avengers.
With his digitally de-aged younger self playing a large role in Captain Marvel and his untampered-with present-day self mentoring Peter Parker in this summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Samuel L. Jackson is returning to the significant part he played in earlier MCU movies. As long as Nick Fury has been tasked with handling the multiverse, he could star in his own movie blending the spy and science fiction genres.
Shuri is the latest character to join the official Disney princess canon, so she’s clearly important enough to get her own movie. Letitia Wright has emerged as a breakout star in the last couple of years and Shuri has always been a popular character, making this a no-brainer.
Wright herself has even said that she’d love to see Shuri take on the “Black Panther” mantle one day, so she’s obviously enjoying playing the character and looking forward to her future. We’ve seen that Shuri is useful both in the lab and on the battlefield, so she has the range of abilities to carry a whole movie.
3 Harley Keener’s Iron Lad
Harley Keener’s surprise reappearance at Tony Stark’s funeral at the end of Avengers: Endgame had to be leading up to something. While Tony was hiding out in his garage in Iron Man 3, Harley learned a lot about the armor, and now, he seems to be old enough to take on the “Iron Lad” moniker.
In the comics, Iron Lad becomes the leader of the Young Avengers, which would be a great way to get some great characters like Hulkling and Wiccan on the big screen. Iron Lad could lead his own mini MCU within the MCU. It’s ambitious, but then everything from Iron Man and Avengers: Endgame is being referred to as the first chapter, so Marvel clearly has big ambitions.
2 Peggy Carter
A lot of Marvel fans have been underwhelmed by the lack of love for Agent Carter. It’s easily the MCU’s most underrated TV series, continuing the story of Peggy Carter as a cool, pulpy, wartime espionage story. A feature film version of that could be a lot of fun, especially since we now have a hook: Steve Rogers appearing from the future to marry her and have kids with her.
Chris Evans has said that while his contract with Marvel is up, he’s not done with the role of Rogers. This would be a great way to get him back in the MCU without too much of a commitment, as the focus would be on Peggy’s spy adventures.
1 Black Widow
This one was already in development before Endgame shockingly killed her off. Marvel has confirmed that the solo film is still happening, possibly as a prequel explaining her backstory in Russia and her father, who Red Skull identified as a guy named Ivan.
There have even been rumors that someone other than Scarlett Johansson might play the character in the movie, but this would be an unwise decision and a complete disservice to Johansson. Fans have wanted to see her get her own movie since her introduction nine years ago. If anyone deserves a solo movie, it’s got to be Black Widow.