Unfortunately, a few Marvel universes are too bizarre to ever make it to cinema.
The current Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU if you’re into the whole brevity thing) is a high concept, multi-movie franchise, that continues to make mostly good movies – according to both audiences and critics. The MCU shows no signs of slowing down, and has achieved a level of success that DC, Universal, and even Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm are desperate to achieve.
The latest Thor movie, along with Guardians of the Galaxy, demonstrate a shift from the handlers and their Supreme Chancellor Kevin Feige – a willingness to get away from the bland and generic superhero films, and to explore the weirder, crazier, and more fanciful aspects of Marvel.
But there are some Marvel universes that are too weird. And while Disney certainly wants domination, these storylines could not entrench such ubiquity, but hurt it.
Here are five Marvel universes that are so weird and crazy they’re unlikely to appear on the big screen any time soon.
(If you need Marvel’s multiverse explained before this, here’s a brief and simple guide).
1 – Marvel Noir (Earth-90214)
Any film to emerge from the Marvel Noir universe would largely appeal to the snobbiest of movie snobs – a far cry from Disney’s “fun for the whole family” market.
In this short lived Marvel universe, all the superheroes and villains lack superpowers. Instead, they are characterised by realism and darkness – a look that would be most fitting in the film noir era of the 1940s and ’50s.
That isn’t to say a filmic adaptation wouldn’t be amazing. Could you imagine Martin Scorsese directing a Marvel Noir Punisher?
Or perhaps hand over the universe to Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez (Sin City Rodriguez, not the Sharkboy and Lavagirl one please).
Sadly, because Disney like to merchandise things to little kids, it is unlikely this will be happening any time soon.
2 – Marvel 2099 (A.K.A Earth-928)
Imagine a Marvel/Blade Runner universe. Instead of blade runners hunting down replicants, humans have killed off a majority of superheroes.
After 2099’s purge of superheroes and villains, this universe begins with an apparent new heroic “golden age” of superheroes and villains trying to reclaim their right to exist.
And, like in Blade Runner, the whole world has gone to crap, and everything exists in a post-cyberpunk dystopia.
This is a slow-moving, thought provoking narrative – something that hasn’t traditionally been so successful in the realm of sci-fi cinema (Blade Runner excluded). Currently, this is far from Marvel’s tone, and we’re unlikely to see them dip into it any time soon.
3 – Marvel 1602 (Earth-1602)
As the not-so-original name suggests, Marvel 1602 goes in the complete opposite direction to Marvel 2099, taking place in the Elizabethan era.
In this short run series from 2003, the superheroes and villains must stop an evil force that threatens the world blah blah blah. It’s a standard plot, except everyone wears top hats and it features indigenous people.
Marvel 1602 incorporates people and events from our real history, such as King James the First and the colony of Roanoke. But it also can’t help itself by bringing in future elements, such as a Captain America, who fought against a dictator in the 21st century and becomes president for life and somehow sends Rodgers to 1602 because of reasons.
This universe’s complicated nature (and its slight absurdity) means Marvel are probably going to steer (very) clear of Marvel 1602.
4 – Marvel 1872 (Earth-51920)`
This is a Marvel universe set in the post Civil War West. Not Marvel’s Civil War, but the real American Civil War.
Marvel 1872 features characters like Sheriff Steven Rogers and Deputy Barns.
As cool as it would be to see our favourite heroes and villains duke it out with pistol duels, this universe would never make it to the big screen simply because Western films as of late have not been critically lauded or financially successful. While its novelty may work to reel in audiences, we’re unlikely to see Disney taking such a risk.
5 – Marvel Zombies (Earth-2149)
If there is one universe of Marvel that is antithetical to the current Marvel movie formula – and antithetical to the Disney brand as a whole – it would be Marvel Zombies.
Think of this as Night of the Living Dead or The Walking Dead, except also with superheroes, whose superpowers can’t stop them from becoming zombies themselves.
In this universe, most of the superheroes and super villains have become zombies, and the survivors team up to try stay alive for as long as they can.
Side note: Captain America is called Colonel America, because why not?
It gets so crazy and convoluted that even our beloved Ash from the Evil Dead series joins the party, along with an appearance from Howard the Duck.
I think the reasons why this is a Marvel universe unlikely to hit the big screen are obvious.
So there you have it, five weird, crazy, and just plain insane Marvel universes that will probably never make it to the big screen. Would you actually like to see these hit the big screen? Are there any other universes you would like to see? The multiverse is a big place my friends.
For more superhero goodness, check out these awesome animated superhero films.