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This Mighty Marvel Character Could Be Disney's Next "Iron Man"

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting richer. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) scheduled three untitled Marvel Studios films shortly after re-signing Robert Downey Jr. to play Iron Man in the next two Avengers films. Marvel is also talking with Fast & Furious 6 actor Vin Diesel about an unspecified role.

Investors should love the aggressiveness. By announcing its intentions, Disney has locked up the first weekend in May 2015, 2016, and 2017 for Marvel films. History says they'll do well. Iron Man (May 2008) and Iron Man 2 (May 2010) each earned more than $300 million at the U.S. box office, while Thor (May 2011) earned $181 million. And, of course, we all know how big Marvel's The Avengers became in the months after its May 4, 2012, debut.

May is Marvel's money month, which leaves the rest of the year to experiment. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy, an August 2014 big-space epic that attempts to widen the MCU in ways that Time Warner had hoped Green Lantern would expand the DC Cinematic Universe. (An experiment that failed, sadly.)

Marvel's next try after that comes in an untitled July 2016 feature. Will the studio use the slot to beef up an existing character or introduce a new one, expanding the Avengers franchise? Fool contributor and longtime comic-book fan and follower Tim Beyers is betting on the latter, and offers a theory for who it might be in the following video.

Please watch and then weigh in. Do you agree with Tim's take? What characters would you like to see on screen. Leave a comment to let us know what you think about Marvel's strategy, and whether you're more or less bullish on Disney stock as a result.

It's easy to forget that Walt Disney is more than just the House of Mouse. True, Disney amusement parks around the world hosted more than 121 million guests in 2011. But from its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, much of Disney's allure for investors lies in its diversity, and The Motley Fool's premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. So don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (40) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 3:47 PM, Daarksurfer wrote:

    I Love the Idea of "Black Panther" getting his due.

    And yes the short lived animated series on BET was stellar.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 3:53 PM, hawkhell wrote:

    Can we please not have Vin Diesel in the Marvel universe? Also Black Panther would be cool to see, but just as many heros I think he should share the screen with other oddball heros.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:00 PM, cadena0429 wrote:

    I don't think Vin Diesel can lead a franchise. It was because of the rock that Fast,Furious was a success. I don't think he is a very good actor. Pitch Black was great but he didn't have to do much. Just my opinion. js

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:13 PM, Bigjerms3000 wrote:

    Black panther was also a member of the fantastic four, and he also had a love affair with storm from the x-men. Fox holds the rights to the fantastic four and x-men family of comic book characters. This could be a quicksilver/ scarlet witch problem for Disney-Marvel and fox!

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:16 PM, delfra wrote:

    I agree with Tim Beyers, it's time for "Black Panther" to get his own film. I'm hoping the rumors of him being intruded in "Avengers 2" turns out to be true and he get's his own solo film in that May 2016 slot. I'm also looking forward to "Dr.Strange" and I hope he foolows right after. But yeah since '08 when "Iron Man" was released, May has indeed been the month for 'Avengers' characters ever since and it should continue on that way. It would obviously be a wise move for Marvel to introduce 'Black Panther' & 'Dr. Strange', because if you keep using the exact same characters without ever introducing new ones eventually that theme will get old and run it's course. Do it this way though and it remains fresh. It appears to me that Marvel plans on introducing new characters as they continue on with the original characters, which is a very wise move. They brought 'RDJ' back for two 'Avengers' sequels which was definitely the right thing to do.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:19 PM, 4jackkirby wrote:

    While I would love to see the Black Panther as Disney's next big movie I don't want him to be a sell-out. However what would be cool to see is S.H.I.E.L.D. in it's original context with Nick Fury, aka flying cars, The barber shop with the chairs going down to the headquarters. But for a movie about a lesser known commodity such as Antman and Wasp, or Adam Warlock, and they need to seriously upgrade Thor power levels to what they were when he fought "The Absorbing Man" . Another good idea would be to showcase a really bad guy such as thanos showing it from his perspective. I have been a fan since 1963, I have a lot of ideas for movies. The first time the Fantastic Four ran in to the Hulk . Or to reintroduce a character already out there. Daredevil when he helps the Fantastic Four fight off Doom who was using their headquarters as a base of operations, also introducing the "Frightful Four" That would kick start one of my other favorite "The Inhumans" Oh there's a lot more ideas where these came from Guardians suck, always have Lets not forget Kilraven either.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:19 PM, Ravedger wrote:

    I feel that, in descending order it should be; The Vision, Yellow Jacket and Wasp (together), She Hulk, The Swordsman, The Black Knight, The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Black Panther, Wonderman, Captian Marvel (either one), and Spiderwoman. Cameo's by Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Ghostrider, Hercules (not Kevin Sorbo) and Spiderman would be great!

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:19 PM, delfra wrote:

    I meant to say i'm hoping the rumors of 'Black Panther' being introduced in "Avengers 2" turns out to be true. Excuse a few misspellings on my last post, that's what I get for typing so fast without checking, LOL.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:26 PM, delfra wrote:

    @Ravedger - Not a bad list, but I don't know about Yellow Jacket, Black Knight and The Swordsman. I would rather see the likes of Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel & Namor, but we all goy our choices. 'Black Panther' is too far down on your list, but otherwise not too bad.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:29 PM, warhorse03826 wrote:

    micronauts! LOL

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:32 PM, chanslk wrote:

    I would like to see the Vision or Wonder man.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:36 PM, maineiacle wrote:

    First, Saying that Jack Kirby is "kind of a famous artist" is a slap in the face. Alongside Stan Lee he is responsible for the creation of many of marvels Charecters such as Spiderman, and The FF.

    Next, If the Black Panther is so popular why is it that he can't support a series of his own? There have been several short runs but nothing sustained. I think the panther is a BORING charecter personally.

    Although I like AStrange he is yet another hero that has never sustained a long run under his own title. In other words, he isn't that popular.

    My vote would be for Ant man. he has had several incarnations as yellowjacket, Goliath and Giant Man. there is a lot they could do with this charecter.. I will admit that he is yet another hero that has never really sustained a following for a book but unlike The Black Widow he actually was one of the original Avengers. And his impact on the Marvel universe towers over anything the Panther or Dr. Strange have done. Just one example The father of Ultron.

    BTW, someone stated that he was a member of the FF. he was in a few story arcs but was never really considered a member of the team.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:56 PM, stellar451 wrote:

    No black panther - he was never really well known. Power man and Iron fist if you are looking to put a black hero on screen. Vision would be a good choice.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 4:58 PM, stellar451 wrote:

    Ant man - omg no....thats a "see it at matinee prices only" for sure

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 5:04 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>First, Saying that Jack Kirby is "kind of a famous artist" is a slap in the face. Alongside Stan Lee he is responsible for the creation of many of marvels Charecters such as Spiderman, and The FF.

    True, and certainly not my intent. I shoot these with the presumption that most viewers aren't comics fans like myself. Still, you're right: Kirby is the King.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 5:24 PM, thepuniSSher wrote:

    Luke Cage and Iron Fist...'nuff said

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 5:45 PM, Lenny24 wrote:

    I'd like to see Namor: the Submariner

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 5:47 PM, FPSoft wrote:

    Power Man and Iron Fist, baby. Then you gotta go with Moon Knight and Alpha Flight.

    Black Panther is too politically-charged for white folks to handle right now. Disney needs to wait until we get another white president to spring that one on people.

    Micronauts, perhaps? That might be cool.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:04 PM, beasr40 wrote:

    If Marvel really want to explode onto the scene with a beloved marvel toon who has a seperate from a group side then the only logical toon would be Gambit. He has a story line that could without a doubt get at least a trilogy as a solo and then even more as an X-Man.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:19 PM, urizen1978 wrote:

    Any characters as long as they are close to the comics and also looking forward to Ultron

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 6:36 PM, FastbikeSuperfly wrote:

    Power man and Iron Fist! A black guy with superhuman strength who fights like a brawler and a white guy who fights like Bruce Lee. That would be the best of action and comedy for sure.

    Dare Devil for sure. So what if the first attempt bombed. Do it again.... see what happened with Superman, it can be done.

    For that matter, let's redo Fantastic Four. As long as Jessica Alba still plays Susan Storm of course! :)

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:02 PM, maineiacle wrote:

    I love the idea of seeing my personal favorite hero the Vision on the big screen. Unfortunately, the only way I see them staying true to the charecter is for him to be CGI.

    I keep reading under other articles that Deisel or The Rock would make a good Cage. Are you people out of your minds? Cage is as black as black can be and considering there aren't very many first tier black charcters I highly doubt they would go with a white or mixed race actor. If they're thinking about it they should stop Right now.

    Someone trashed my Antman idea, I don't think you know very much about the true Earth 616 Marvel universe.. He is such a multi-layered charecter I think he could easily carry a movie. AND be a lot more interesting then either the Panther or Doc Strange. Now that I think about it they made him pretty interesting in the ULTIMATE universe as well. If all you want is smash, bang, boom then direct to video flix are for you.

    I found a site recently that is working on the chronilogical order of the Marvel Universe since FF #1 in 1961. I'm about 200 books in so far and l'm only to about 65. I've been doing so through another site that I've found that has downloads for digitals for any comic you want to download past and current . I have a feeling it's gonna take me a few years . But I hope to be an expert by the time ive finished. I'd give the addys but i'm not sure what the rules are here..

    BTW Tim,

    Thanks for the feedback.


  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:26 PM, stellar451 wrote:

    I didn't "trash" your ant-man idea. Not going to respond as to what my history of comics is and appreciate the slide slap direct to video comment.

    Here's why ant-man the movie wont work.

    1. Only old school comicheads know ant-man and how he shaped the story lines in avengers - as a standalone hero his titles failed. Only in avengers / teams did he "play" well - thus you're suggesting making a movie about a virtually unknown (to most ppl) hero. Wont do well.

    2. Interesting. Hmm. A guy that talks to insects. Wow. Oh - and he later could grow giant sized. That'll hold ppl's attention. There does need to be some sort of action in a movie. as a side note - GL was a major character - yet look how poorly he was received in movies.

    3. The reason ppl in part like movies is, like sports, they can viscerally imagine themselves doing what they see on screen. Talking to bugs and growing aint gonna do it.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:32 PM, Allend406 wrote:


  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:41 PM, Jezter49 wrote:

    Black Panther would be cool, but while growing up and reading the DC comics, as well as Marvel's, two of my favorites always were The Flash and Swamp Thing... I would like to see either or in their own movie and not that cheesy, campy 80's version of Swamp Thing haha

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:44 PM, Richard233 wrote:

    "Teamed with"?

    Please. Jack Kirby is the creator of almost

    every significant Marvel character. Stan Lee is a glorified editor who was given credit so the company could maintain ownership and control.

    Stan Lee is a hack. Want proof? Look at what he "created" when Kirby and Ditko were not there, yet Kirby continued creating when he did work for DC. Kirby did team up with Joe Simon.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:54 PM, maineiacle wrote:


    Sooo, you're suggesting swinging a hammer and turning green are are things people "viscerally" imagine themselves doing? (maybe ten year olds)

    You convoluted your own point by addressing the fact that GL( A pretty well known charecter) didn't go over well.

    Simply put, If it's a good story it's a good story.. You can run the gammit from Pym becoming delusional and actually losing his mind . To the introduction of Ultron and through Ultron The Vision. Which could lead seamlessly into an Avengers 3.

    Did you want to see Ultron? If you do Pym is gonna have ta show up sometime., Unless of course they destroy more of the marvel mythos by giving Ultron another origin. Is that your prefference? Not mine.

    I realize they have to appeal to the masses but that doesn't mean they don't already have plenty of great stories to chose from without pandering to the ignorant.

    Smart movies are sexy. The same tired 3d crap is not. I'd like to think that they would already have a built in audience if a connection is made to the Avengers And any Ant man movie would be coming out after Avengers 2. A perfect place to set it up.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 7:54 PM, bunchofkidds wrote:

    I would love the see the Inhumans. Medusa, Black Bolt and the rest are awesome with tons of possibilities. But if they do the Black Panther DJimon Honsue would be great.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 8:33 PM, pseudodragon wrote:

    I would love to see the Inhumans get a movie. Dr. Strange could be awesome if done right. Micronauts would open up all sorts of merchandising possibilities.Black Panther and Luke Cage would be cool, too, but Disney would have to make sure they didn't come off as black exploitation characters. As for future Avengers, Ant Man could be cool, but not if he's done in a cheesy, parody style. Other Avenger possiblities might be the Vision, Captain Marvel, or Namor.

    For a non-Marvel character that I think would translate well to the big screen: Ghost (from Dark Horse Comics). She's supernatural, hot, and has a nice "noir" vibe to her.

    Thoughts? Criticisms? Witticisms? Suggestions?

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 8:43 PM, NovaRain wrote:

    I think the next iron man should be Jensen the one who plays dean on super natural or he would make a great johney flame boy

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 9:00 PM, caine6900 wrote:

    I think that Marvel should have a few more female heroes. Like Storm of X-men and Jean Grey to name some of those but what about Bruce Banner's cousin She-Hulk. The tech exists for a lady to be six foot seven in the film even if the female extreme fitness model or a good female bodybuilder takes the part. Hell She -Hulk was a part of the Fantastic Four for a while. ANd she have been an avenger from time to time.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 9:30 PM, stellar451 wrote:

    *waves arms, jumps up and down*

    Wasn't allend406, bud - was me.

    Did you seriously type i think ppl want to imagine "swinging a hammer and turning green"?

    I was more emphasizing the fact of ppl wanting to empathize with heroes. Don't think anyone imagines claws popping out of their hands either - but I'll be more specific for you in the future. Again, talking to bugs doesn't cut it. Don't know why the banner for Ant-man you have but i guess it takes all kinds. Next eBay statue that's in my price range I'll get it for you, kthxbye?

    And, yes you can Ultron without Pym. Just mention a one sentence throw away line about how he was created - and you're done. I do agree - a smart story is a smart story and i don't see how one can be shoehorned for a character that again is a virtual unknown to the general public.

    Inhumans and Deadpool would be interesting movies, but where would they go from there?

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 10:33 PM, maineiacle wrote:

    MY Apologies Steller.

    I don't think the general public was that aware or informed of Thor. And yet a sequal is in the offing.

    No see, this is what sux I KNOW they are going to make a lot of changes in these movies that are going to annoy me,. I don't think i'm prepared to let go yet.

    Hell, i'm still annoyed that Alfred is now a computer and that Fury is black (Yea, yea. I know all about the Ultimate Universe)

    I dunno, I have more to say but I'm trying to watch Dexter.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 10:39 PM, maineiacle wrote:



    Ehh, they all look alike.

  • Report this Comment On June 30, 2013, at 11:58 PM, Elshinare wrote:

    Even though he isn't really a hero...and there'd be some really interesting plotlines...maybe throw Legion in...ya know, the son of Professor Xavier? and not trying to rag on someone but...Wonder Woman is a DC character...unless they did one of the Marvel/DC cross universe comics...which might be interesting...would love to see what Batman vs. Wolverine fight would be like...but for Female characters I'd like to see Psylocke or one of Rogue when she fights Ms Marvel...though...I'm not sure I'd want the same girl playing rogue that played her in the X-men movies...

  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 12:04 AM, stellar451 wrote:

    Cant argue with you there, they always change stuff - still haven't seen Superman and refuse to - Superman doesn't kill, ever. (Except that alternate universe Zod - Doomsday wasn't killed just comatose til he recovered later)

    It seems to only criteria for a movie these days is the box office receipts. And then the writers break their arms patting themselves on the back for the "edgy" changes they've made - which perpetuates the cycle. Never mind that the only reason it was a hit was everyone remembered and wanted to see superman on the big screen again. I note the box office receipts have gone way down which kinda bears out my suppositions....

  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 12:12 AM, gabemrod wrote:

    Anyone else hoping for an Iron Fist/Luke Cage movie?

  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 12:34 AM, Themes wrote:

    I think if they do it right "The Inhumans" would be a great movie franchise to launch. Blackbolt as their leader.

  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 8:13 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>For a non-Marvel character that I think would translate well to the big screen: Ghost (from Dark Horse Comics). She's supernatural, hot, and has a nice "noir" vibe to her.

    I approve this idea. Love the thinking.

    Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On July 01, 2013, at 8:17 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    Also, I agree that a Power Man/Iron Fist film could be awesome. I'd love to see it.

    Even better (or worse, depending on your view): A flashback film wherein younger actors play them in the 70's to set up the conflict, which gets resolved by an older, wiser (though maybe not quite as tough) Luke Cage in the present.

    Thanks for all the great comments and ideas!

    Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

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