The Marvel Cinematic Universe is always expanding, constantly reinventing itself in order to remain the most successful franchise in the world. Though it primarily falls under the umbrella of the “superhero genre,” the MCU often borrows from other cinematic brackets in order to tell new and exciting stories.
With the MCU’s Phase 4 already well underway and every title therein seemingly announced, speculation has already begun concerning the inevitable Phase 5, which will likely begin in 2024. At that point, the MCU will be 16 years old, and in need of fresh takes on their superhero titles. Certain untapped film genres could be perfect for Marvel Studios to do exactly that moving forward.
One genre that always stands the test of time is crime. From television series like The Sopranos and The Wire, to some of the most classic cinematic masterpieces of all time like The Godfather films, following the lives of criminals, crime bosses, and those affected by them, this genre has always been fascinating for audiences.
Incorporating their own version of a pure crime drama could be a great opportunity for the MCU to give a villain their own spinoff series, chiefly if that villain is Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Fans have loved Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on the classic comic character, and are vying to see more of him now that he has been incorporated into the MCU proper. Giving Fisk his own series centered around his criminal dealings would be a welcome installment in the franchise.
Slasher films tend to see ebbs and flows in terms of popularity, with certain brands like Scream and Halloween typically leading the charge in regard to the genre’s resurgence every decade or so. It always seems as though audiences take a macabre enjoyment in watching character after character picked off by a mysterious killer one by one.
The MCU certainly has enough slasher killers to draw from in their vast catalog. For example, Sin-Eater could be a great villain for the next Spider-Man movie, as he goes on a killing rampage in New York, claiming his victims one by one. There even happens to be a villain named “The Slasher” from Marvel’s catalog that would perfectly embody the right villain in a slasher horror. Note: There Have Been Avengers That jJoined The Guardians In The Comics
Many have compared the MCU’s success in recent years to that of the Western film in the 1930s through the ’70s. Both subsets of film dominated the popular culture of their respective time periods, with the market becoming incredibly saturated with their genre.
Though the MCU was far from its debut in the days of the Western Golden Age, Marvel Comics was certainly around to experience its height, and was not unaffected by it. Marvel characters that fit the Western mold, such as the Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt, emerged during this time. Though these characters have gradually faded from prominence, the MCU already has all the material it could ever need should it desire to produce a Western.
The Kaiju film craze that began by predominantly following Japanese monsters like Godzilla and Mothra is back in full swing, thanks to recent film franchises such as Pacific Rim and the Monsterverse, which has seen a modern rematch between the two most popular kaiju of all time, Godzilla and King Kong.
With the success of last year’s Godzilla v. Kong, now is the perfect time for Marvel to capitalize on some of their own kaiju, such as the colossal dragon Fin Fang Foom. Giant monster battles are one thing that the MCU has lacked over its many years, though this is an omission that could be remedied now that Marvel Studios seems unafraid to toy with some of their larger-than-life characters, such as the Celestials. Note: With Plenty Of Speculation On Who May Appear Next
Road trip films hold an interesting place in film history, as they almost never seem to have periods of extreme popularity or general apathy. Rather, one or two films of the road trip mold emerge every year or so that seem to remind audiences of just how fun traveling with the right passengers can really be.
While a road trip seems like a low-stakes activity for the generally wide-ranging MCU, the franchise has already set up its perfect cross-country adventure in the Ant-Man franchise. Luis and Scott’s friendship in these films has been a highlight for audiences, who would seize on the opportunity to watch the two interact over the course of a road trip, perhaps with several superhero shenanigans thrown in for good measure.
Mysteries are always a great choice for audiences that prefer films that challenge their intellect and attention to detail, as they are allowed the opportunity to solve the case themselves as the events of the movie unfold. Mystery films are making a big return to the public interest, as Kenneth Branagh continues to adapt Agatha Christie novels for the big screen and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out enjoys its own popularity.
Many casual Marvel fans may not realize that the comics company has tried its hand at mystery stories before, even branding one of its titles as “Marvel Mystery Comics,” for a time. With the MCU now attempting some street-level stories, it could spare the time to deal with a detective, perhaps even Jessica Jones, attempting to unravel a peculiar mystery.