The Marvel Cinematic Universe is hurtling toward yet another major crossover event in the back-to-back finale of the Multiverse Saga, which will see Earth’s Mightiest Heroes face off against Kang the Conqueror in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, both of which are set to release in 2025.
While the MCU has been incredibly successful in its fourteen-year run, many of Marvel’s extraneous projects have been less beloved. However, many failed adaptations of iconic superheroes can be redeemed through the use of the Multiverse, which opens entirely new avenues of storytelling for these characters.
10/10 Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage)
Nicolas Cage was the first actor to portray the Ghost Rider in live-action, appearing in the character’s self-titled solo film in 2007 and its 2011 sequel, Spirit of Vengeance. Both films were critically panned, with many Marvel fans choosing to forget their existence and hope for a rebooted version of the character to appear in the MCU instead.
Though the films themselves were largely despised, many fans are still warm to Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Robbie Reyes. As such, he has been at the top of many fans’ lists for desired cameos during the Multiverse Saga. If future heroes indeed return in titles like Secret Wars, many audiences would be ecstatic to see Cage’s version of the Ghost Rider finally done justice on the big screen.
9/10 Daredevil (Ben Affleck)
Daredevil may be making his first appearances in the MCU with Charlie Cox reprising his role from the Netflix series, but there was one live-action version of the Man Without Fear that appeared long before Cox took the role. Ben Affleck portrayed the vigilante superhero in 2003’s Daredevil film, which is considered to be one of the worst superhero films ever made.
In the years since retiring as Daredevil, Ben Affleck has proven his merit in playing a superhero, portraying Batman in several DCEU films. His recent surge in popularity makes it the perfect time for his return as the Man Without Fear, proving that it was the writing, not Affleck’s casting, that made 2003’s Daredevil a disaster.
8/10 Elektra (Jennifer Garner)
After her introduction in Daredevil, Jennifer Garner reprised the role of Elektra Natchios in her self-titled film, which was even worse-received than its predecessor, leading it to become widely-regarded as one of the worst pre-MCU Marvel films ever made and killing any future projects in the franchise.
Jennifer Garner is a bonafide star despite the failure of her stint as a superhero. With such a memorable filmography, the actress would be a perfect person to bring back for an extended cameo in future films. The MCU is currently revisiting many Darevil-adjacent characters, making it a convenient time to reintroduce the first live-action Elektra for a chance at redemption.
7/10 Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield)
Andrew Garfield was the second actor to take on the role of Peter Parker for a theatrically released film. He first appeared as the eponymous superhero in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, later reprising the role for the 2014 sequel. Both films were met with mixed reviews and smaller box office grosses than their predecessors, leading the franchise to be rebooted once more for the MCU.
Andrew Garfield recently returned in Spider-Man: No Way Home, causing many to rethink their opinions on Garfield’s version of Spider-Man. His resurgence has led many fans to call for Garfield’s return in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 or Secret Wars, which would go a long way in completing his yet-untold story and establishing him as a truly terrific Spider-Man.
6/10 The Hulk (Eric Bana)
Before the vastly superior 2008 film starring Edward Norton, the Hulk made his feature-film debut in 2003’s Hulk, with Eric Bana playing the main role. The movie was widely disparaged for its boring plot and poor special effects, leading to the character’s MCU reboot shortly thereafter.
Despite its low quality, many fans have come around to 2003’s Hulk, with some even calling for a reunion between Bana, Norton, and Mark Ruffalo’s versions of the character in a future multiverse film. Such an event could unite the Hulk’s fanbase in much the same way that No Way Home did for Spider-Man fans.
5/10 Morbius (Jared Leto)
The latest installment of Sony’s superhero cinematic universe, Morbius, has been ridiculed in recent months for its laughably poor quality and the performance of its lead actor Jared Leto. The film’s poor box office earnings have put the future of the character in question, as fans wonder if Sony’s franchise is finally dead in the water.
There is no denying the cinematic disaster that was Morbius, but the future could still be bright for the character. Sony would be more than happy to unite their universe with the far more financially stable MCU, which would almost certainly do a better job writing the Living Vampire than his first solo film did.
4/10 Blade (Wesley Snipes)
Though Wesley Snipes’s Blade franchise is largely credited with the surge in popularity of comic book films in the early 2000s, the third film in the trilogy left a stain on the entire series. Blade: Trinity is widely regarded as the worst film in the franchise, leaving fans with poor taste in their mouths regarding the formerly beloved series.
While fans prepare for Mahershala Ali’s debut as the Daywalker in future MCU projects, it would be quite cathartic for early fans to see a proper sendoff for Snipes’s version of the character. With projects like Secret Wars and Loki season 2 promising more multiversal mayhem, it wouldn’t be impossible for Snipes to make one last appearance as his iconic character before hanging up his sword for good.
3/10 The Fantastic Four (2005)
As fans await the debut of the MCU’s Fantastic Four, many are reliving the very first theatrically released film starring Marvel’s First Family. The 2005 Fantastic Four film was met with general dissatisfaction from fans and critics alike, with its 2007 film putting the final nail in the coffin for the doomed franchise.
Though the films themselves were disasters, many fans believe that the casting for the 2005 and 2007 Fantastic Four films was terrific, leading some to call for the cast’s return, especially Chris Evans’s Human Torch. With an alternate-reality Reed Richards already appearing in the MCU, Ioan Gruffud’s version of the character could even appear as a member of the Council of Reeds, a multiversal meeting of the many Reed Richards variants.
2/10 The Fantastic Four (2015)
In a desperate attempt to keep the Fantastic Four’s film rights out of Marvel’s hands, 20th Century Fox produced the infamous Josh Trank-directed reboot, Fant4stic. The film was universally despised, leaving no sequels in the works following its colossal flop at the box office. The movie has since been swept under the rug, with Marvel planning to reboot the series yet again in 2024.
Marvel loves redeeming itself for its past mistakes, and there are few missteps greater than 2015’s Fantastic Four reboot. If the company wants a true challenge, it would attempt to improve this version of the team in a future multiverse film. As fans continue to put this disaster behind them, no one would be expecting their surprise return, much less their redemption.
1/10 The X-Men
Though Fox’s X-Men franchise has had several successful films and character adaptations, the series nevertheless brought about its doom with a series of subpar films. With neverending plotholes, missed opportunities, and botched storylines, the mutant-led series is now better known for its missteps than its victories.
The X-Men are now en route to the MCU, but many fans believe that there will be at least one more appearance from Fox’s version of the team, most likely in Avengers: Secret Wars. One final appearance from these characters would go a long way in bringing Fox’s franchise to a satisfying close, perhaps even in a way that closes its many plotholes and does justice to a series that was so formative in the development of the modern superhero film.