This week, Justice League superhero Aquaman and Transformer Bumblebee each break out with solo movies. For our Roundtable, we consider other fictional characters famous for being part of teams that might get their own standalone spinoff adventures next.
I love the Mission: Impossible movies, but Tom Cruise can’t keep doing these things forever. The idea of a Benji Dunn spinoff makes me cringe, but I’d love to see Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) get his own solo movie. Granted, Ving is at an age (almost 60) where he can’t go running and jumping around, but have him leave the IMF and recruit his own special ops team? I’d be game for that. Plus, there’s so little we know about his background that this character is ripe for exploration – perhaps with a younger actor in flashbacks (or, heck, just use CGI). Luther was once a disavowed agent…. how did that happen? I want to see that story.
Bo Peep: The Lost Years
I’m hoping that Toy Story 4 might answer the burning question of why Bo Peep wasn’t in Toy Story 3. Whether it does or doesn’t, I’ve always wondered why she vanished and what happened to her. How about a film about how Bo got separated from Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang and had to find her way back home? I need these loose ends tied up!
The character I’d like to get the solo treatment is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) from Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 Western The Hateful Eight. The second we see her on screen, it’s clear that even in a carriage with Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson, she’s the most interesting person there. We know what she did to get a bounty put on her head, but what led her to that point? What was her childhood like? If we could get a two-part, Kill Bill-style origin story of Daisy, I’d be very happy indeed.
I’m going to cheat here and say Cable. It’s not just that the depiction in Deadpool 2 was fun and gritty, and that Josh Brolin could wind up in a half dozen projects over the next decade, but that the actual Cable character is good fodder for a spinoff. His timeline origins, his Summers name, and his association to various villains all add up to the character being able to step off into his own story and step right back in without really missing a beat.
M. Enois Duarte
One of the best things about Deadpool 2, other than the R-rated raunchiness and meta-absurdity, is seeing the awesome Domino brought to life. Seriously, director David Leitch did the character phenomenal justice, quickly becoming one of the production’s most memorable highlights. A relative newcomer, Zazie Beetz is absolutely perfect in the role, practically stealing the spotlight from everyone else any time she appears on screen. It would be fantastic to see the mercenary with the mutant ability to manipulate luck on her own adventures before joining Deadpool’s X-Force, while also giving fans glimpses of her childhood, to see how she becomes the ultra-cool and confident badass. Fox needs to make this happen as a way to continue expanding the X-Men mutant universe.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Someone would have to mash the Reset button on the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make the Hawkeye solo movie I’m envisioning. After all, everyone’s favorite archer is already established as a decidedly-not-wacky family man who lives out in the boonies.
Still, I was a really big fan of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye comics from a few years back (endless delays and all!), and that’d make for a fantastic action/comedy, especially if that run were to be adapted for a short TV season. No one could accuse it of being more of the same, at least. Much of the series revolves around Hawkguy buying a tiny apartment building in Brooklyn, and the newly-minted landlord defends the building and its residents against the Russian Mob. Or, well, Russian thugs in tracksuits and “bro”-heavy broken English, anyway.
Hawkeye is hardly ever in costume. He’s not prone to squaring off against superpowered archnemeses. The guy’s generally shrugged off as a joke. Still, Fraction and Aja’s comics are outrageously funny (even if they run the bro thing into the ground), there’s some terrific action involving a very easily wounded protagonist, and the emphasis on a grounded, street-level hero and community feels like it’s conceptually in-step with what Marvel and Netflix were doing for a few years there.
That it’s frequently so low-key – revolving around barbecues, lending neighbors a helping hand, palling around with an adopted Pizza Dog, trying to figure out this whole romance thing – is chief to its appeal. Saving a teeny community can feel more impactful than saving the world because the scale is so much more relatable. They’re actual people you get to know, not nameless hordes of extras whose numbers are bolstered by CGI. It seizes hold of a not particularly remarkable character and, by celebrating his unremarkableness, elevates Hawkeye into something memorable and exceptional.
Make it happen! I believe in you, Marvel.
After two G.I. Joe movies of moderate success, a Snake Eyes spinoff (or perhaps a Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow buddy adventure) seems both obvious and, sadly, tired. The mute ninja is such a popular character that he basically took over the Marvel comic back in the day, with his name dominating the issue covers in a much larger font than the G.I. Joe branding itself. In toy form, there have been about 80,000 different versions of his action figure, far more than any other character from the line
As a longtime G.I. Joe fan, I think I’ve had enough of Snake Eyes. Since we seem to be moving into a period where female-driven action and superhero movies are being taken seriously, I’d rather see a Scarlett spinoff. The red-haired martial artist and counter-intelligence specialist is an interesting character who’s never really gotten her due, usually relegated to being a love interest for Snakes (in the comics) or Duke (in the cartoon). Even most of her action figures have, frankly, been hideously sculpted. (This one, especially, is a monstrous travesty.)
The only live-action version to date, played by Rachel Nichols in the dreadful Rise of Cobra movie, barely registered and didn’t fit the character at all. We’ll need a recast. Unfortunately, Scarlett Johansson might be a little too on-the-nose (she literally has the name already!) and I’m sure she’s tied up trying to get her own Black Widow movie off the ground. Might I suggest Ruby Rose from John Wick: Chapter 2 and the upcoming Batwoman TV series? She’d probably have to cover up her tattoos, but the prospect of Scarlett as a badass action heroine is definitely appealing.
Would you pay to see any of these solo movies? If not, which characters would you rather see get spinoffs?