Does Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) failure to talk much about new additions to its Marvel movie slate at San Diego Comic-Con last month mean the studio is having trouble identifying new projects? Hardly, says Fool contributor Tim Beyers.
In a June appearance at Wizard World Comic Con in New York City, Stan Lee revealed that Marvel is working on a film starring the Black Panther. He also confirmed plans for a film starring Doctor Strange. Officially, Marvel's movie slate includes three untitled productions -- two for 2016 and another for May 2017. If Lee is right, and Tim sees no reason to doubt him, two of those properties are spoken for.
Putting the Black Panther on the big screen has potential, Tim says in the following video. But it also carries risks. Unlike Iron Man, which benefited not only from Robert Downey Jr.'s star power but also the character's long and successful run in the comics, the Panther has a scattered publishing history and only brief appearances in other media -- notably, a 2010 cartoon airing on BET television in the United States and ABC3 in Australia.
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX.DL) subsidiary DC Comics, too, is hedging its bets by developing TV and film projects for the Flash, a second-tier but still very well-known character with a history in other media. Black Panther is a third-tier Marvel property by comparison.
So why take the risk? Because Marvel and Disney need to develop more characters, and if done well, few are as likely to be as interesting as Black Panther, Tim argues. Stan seems to agree. Do you? Leave a comment to let us know what Marvel movie you're most looking forward to.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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