Marvel's Going to Their B-List Characters For New Movies. But Will They Choose the Right Ones?

Giddy with anticipation over their upcoming superheroic slate — Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers — Marvel Studios is eyeing mid-list characters for mid-budgeted films. But does anyone really want a Dazzler movie?

The news that Marvel is moving ahead with a plan to make films in the $20-40 million range is good. Very good, actually. It makes sense, from both a production and a marketing perspective. More Marvel movies in the marketplace, provided they're quality, means a higher profile. But the key phrase there is "provided they're quality."

The internets are rife with speculation at who'll be on the first roster of flicks, and the names most often bandied about are Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, Power Pack, Iron Fist, and Dazzler. Some of those make all kinds of sense. Luke Cage, done right, could be a savvy street-level thriller in the Richard Stark vein. The magical adventures of Dr. Strange could also work, though magic can look a bit hokey on screen, especially if you're trying to cut budgetary corners. As for Iron Fist, who doesn't want a contemporary kung-fu thriller starring a rich white guy?

Marvel's Going to Their B-List Characters For New Movies. But Will They Choose the Right Ones?

I guess Power Pack and Dazzler could find specific audiences — namely elementary school-age kids and tween girls — but I can't bring myself to work up any enthusiasm for either.

The movie I desperately want them to make is Nick Fury: Year One. Not Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, but Fury's post-war career, his introduction to espionage as a field agent and his eventual rise to the head of SHIELD. You could do that on the (relatively) cheap, without having to spring for Helicarriers and flying cars, by just focusing on the Bourne-ness of it all.