Comic book movies are arguably the most popular movies today. They consistently rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, whether they are as well known as Superman or as obscure as Ant-Man. Both DC and Marvel are chomping at the bit to get their hands on any character to include in their universe, and because of this, every B-list comic book character will be in theaters, TV screens, or whatever else you use to watch movies. Soon, there will be no superhuman who is safe.
With the success of these movies and a list of future movies that include characters like Dr. Strange and Cyborg, there’s no telling where or when it may stop. Marvel has opened its cinematic universe up and fans have already found Easter eggs that may point to new characters joining in (such as Adam Warlock possibly being Starlord’s father). DC on the other hand seems to be hell-bent on forcing every character that they haven’t yet ruined (RIP Hal Jordan) into the same movie. Really, go watch the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad trailers and count the characters.
While DC and Marvel seemingly are both open to putting every decent character onto the screen, here are 15 beloved characters that will NOT be found in any movie.
A Namor movie was already supposed to have happened. The plan for a Sub-Mariner movie can be traced back to 1997. In fact, in 2001, David Self was hired to write the script, in 2004 Chris Columbus was named the director, and a release date was set for 2007. Since then, the rights to the movie have been used like leverage in a bitter divorce. Marvel thought they had the rights in 2012, but didn’t, then did again, but haven’t been able to move forward since 2014. Kevin Feige explained the situation in a 2014 interview.
“Let’s put it this way – there are entanglements that make it less easy. There are older contracts that still involve other parties that mean we need to work things out before we move forward on it. As opposed to an Iron Man or any of the Avengers or any of the other Marvel characters where we could just put them in.”
Long quote short: “Don’t get your hopes up.”
It’s no secret that Superman has some of the oddest villains of all time, but few seem to rank with Bizarro as the most bizarre. This “mirror-image” Superman has appeared in comics since the late 50s, winning over his fan base with his backwards speech habits and Frankenstein-like appearance. He has similar powers to Superman and has proved to be a favorite villain for the Man of Steel.
Bizarro won’t be in a movie because, well... he’s dumb. Like, actually stupid. Many versions of Bizarro haven’t been taken seriously because of his intentionally bad dialogue. In some renditions, Bizarro changed from antagonist to an unhelpful side kick who just doesn’t understand what he’s doing wrong. However, Bizarro is more likely to appear than other Superman baddies such as…
13 Mister Mxyzptlk
Most fans familiar with this little pest from the 5th Dimension still can’t pronounce his damn name. Considering the only way to beat the guy is to make him say his name backwards, this leads to some bothersome moments for Superman, or whoever is being terrorized by Mxy. Though Alan Moore attempted to show a side of the character that is actually quite terrifying, he has mostly been an annoying imp for the past 70+ years.
He has been a constant in the DC universe since the 40s, but don’t expect Mister Mxyzptlk to take part in any movie. This is partially because it’s really hard to write a 2-hour blockbuster movie that involves Superman making a flying imp say his name backwards. While no one at DC has confirmed or denied that Mxy is not going to be in a movie, it’s hard to fathom a storyline involving him or the 5th Dimension at all.
12 Damian Wayne
That’s right everybody, Damian Wayne will not be found on the big screen. Introduced in 1986 as the unnamed infant son of Batman and Talia al-Ghul, Damian took his time before rising to prominence, appearing as Damian Wayne for the first time 20 years later. Starting as a violent pre-teen trained by the League of Assassins, Damian has since grown both as a hero and as a person that now dons the iconic uniform as his father’s newest Robin.
He will not be in a movie for one reason: he is the 5th Robin. Dick Grayson is probably the most well known, so he would be the logical choice of the first cinematic Boy Wonder since Batman and Robin. If they decide to move away from Grayson, Jason Todd’s murder in "A Death in the Family" is one of the more memorable moments in the Batman canon. Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown are also potential Robins. Unfortunately for the young Master Wayne, there are just too many Robins in the way before he gets his shot.
After Killer Croc showed up on the Suicide Squad cast list, we’ve been hesitant to believe that any Batman villain won’t appear in a movie. Hell, even Victor Zsasz made an appearance in Batman Begins. However, Clayface will be the villain that misses the boat. There are just too many amazing villains, and the living piece of silly putty just will never see an opportunity. Fan favorites The Joker, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn have already been cast, while characters like The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, and Poison Ivy are waiting in the wings.
The Batman franchise is partly known for the gripping villains, and with each one of them being so captivating, it seems Mr. Face has the short end of the stick.
10 Eric O’Grady
For a newer character, Eric O’Grady has found his place in many comic book fans' hearts, but the short-lived hero won’t be appearing on any big screen. Eric O’Grady is the 3rd Ant-Man, and the second to have stolen the suit. While the first thief, Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) really has a heart of gold, Eric takes on the role of Ant-Man to basically get laid.
With both Lang and Hank Pym already involved, there isn’t room for this iteration, and now that it’s confirmed that the story of Wasp will be told in 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, adding another super-suit just won’t fly. So unfortunately, Eric will never make it.
9 Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing began as a scientist who was in a horrible accident. This clichéd plot got DC in trouble with Marvel, as it is incredibly similar to the origins of Man-Thing. However, when planning their lawsuit, Marvel stopped and realized both Swamp Thing and Man-Thing have a very similar origin as The Heap. In 1982, comic book icon Alan Moore recreated Swamp Thing for DC, making him more sympathetic and taking all the best parts of the past Swamp Things and putting them together.
You won’t see Swamp Thing in a movie partly because the failure his longtime ally, Constantine, has seen on the big and small screen. Guillermo Del Toro was attempting to make a Justice League Dark movie staring both Constantine and Swamp Thing, but he has since left the project. Without his allies, Swamp Thing just doesn’t have what it takes to carry a movie.
Also known as the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby, the sheriff of Fabletown, will never see time on the big screen. For those unaware, Fables is a Dark Horse comic about fairytale characters making a life in New York after being forced from their home. Bigby, arguably the lead of the series, is in charge of saving the community from threats including The Three Little Pigs, Geppetto, and Journalists who want to out the community as vampires - yes, those are actually some of the villains.
As beloved as Fables is by fans, the transition from comics to movies is highly unlikely. The origin story is complicated and the villains are normally swiftly handled when Bigby turns to his giant, hurricane-wind-creating wolf form. Following Snow White and the Huntsman, and shows like Once Upon a Time, its unlikely a major studio will be taking on a project with a niche following that pits fairytales against each other, with Snow White once again acting as one of the central figures. Fans will just have to settle for the Telltale games.
Please note that something called Galactus appeared in the movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This was a giant hurricane that traveled through space, NOT Galactus. Whatever CGI was included to make the hurricane slightly resemble the Devourer of Worlds, this is still not the Galactus that Marvel fans know and love. Even the novelized version of the movie spells the name wrong (Gah Lak Tus). The giant god-like monster will probably never be seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the same reason as The Silver Surfer: Fox owns him. The studio tried to make a sequel to Rise of the Silver Surfer which was eventually scrapped. Unless Fox has a drastic change of heart, don’t expect Galactus to show his face any time soon.
6 Plastic Man
Very few people went to see Miles Teller as Reed Richards. Very few people went to see Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards. Chances are that renaming the character and taking away his 3 sidekicks isn’t going to help ticket sales. Not to mention that if the iconic Marvel rivalry that is Mr. Fantastic vs Dr. Doom didn’t work in a movie, the much less known Plastic Man vs. Dr. Dome (you read that right) won’t really cut it. Basically, with the recent and memorable flops that were the Fantastic Four movies, no one will take a chance on Plastic Man.
5 Beta Ray Bill
This Hammer wielding alien will never appear alongside the Norse god. While many fans have called for him to appear in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, there just isn’t room in the movie to include him. The movie will already star Thor and Hulk as the lead heroes, it will feature Loki, Lady Sif, and now it’s rumored that Cate Blanchett will be cast as “a prominent female role.” They could still tie in Thor losing Mjolnir and Bill finding it, but after Vision lifted it in Age of Ultron, and the foreshadowing that Captain America will lift it in the next Avengers, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dangerously close to having everyone lift the unliftable hammer. Fans thought they saw Beta Ray Bill in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Director James Gunn tweeted that there was no such cameo.
Jessica Drew, the HYDRA agent turned SHIELD agent, is a powerhouse in the Marvel comics. However, when turning to the Cinematic Universe, Jessica is MIA. Some say that Sony won’t share the rights like they will for Spider-Man, but the fact that Spider-Woman really has nothing to do with Spider-Man really pokes holes in that theory as Sony only owns Spidey and his friends/enemies. Spider-Woman is neither. Many people may not realize this, so it is possible that those making the decisions won’t choose to put her in a movie purely to save the general population the confusion. As of now, it looks like Jessica Drew will have to take a backseat to the other spider-related hero. This is all speculation; Marvel has never openly commented on why Spider-Woman has not made an appearance.
3 Captain Britain
Brian Braddock, aka Captain Britain, has the same issue as Spider-Woman when it comes to getting a movie deal: he’s easily mistaken as a variation of a different, much more popular hero, in this case Captain America. There are significant differences between the two, but on a design level they look fairly similar. Both are in red, white and blue and prominently display their nation’s flag on their costume. With the Captain America character in line for at least 3 more movies over the next 10 years, Captain Britain may have to wait in the wing indefinitely.
Yep, Carnage - Spidey and Venom’s adversary who is best known for, well, being more evil than Venom. Cletus Kasady’s (aka Carnage) origin story is so gruesome that including it could lead to an R rating. Besides that red flag, Carnage’s problems are similar to others that have been pointed out above.
The first major issue is that there are just too many great villains. Both Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 found out that including too many villains might just ruin the movie. Another issue is that to even get to Carnage, they’ll need to first include Venom’s story. Seeing that Marvel is choosing to reboot Peter Parker as a high school student, again, they are at least 2 movies away before Venom could be introduced, and then another 1 or 2 before a possible Carnage introduction. However, Carnage is not the only character that the Spider-Man reboot prove we will never have….
1 Miles Morales
You knew this was coming if you paid any attention to the past 2 castings of Spider-Man. Fans have been asking for a different Spider-Man since Sony announced they were rebooting the franchise in 2010. Then there was hope once again when Marvel got the rights last year. As mentioned already, they chose to do the Peter Parker story - again. While Miles Morales is not the most well known Spidey, he has been beloved by fans since his first appearance in 2011.
Miles’ storyline is so closely tied to Peter that it wasn’t shocking that the Marvel Cinematic Universe felt they needed to tell Peter’s story first, but even though Kevin Feige hasn’t closed the door on the possibility, it may be a long, long time before Miles gets his big break.