Marvel is currently making films and shows based on characters such as Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and Morbius. DC is… well, taking things slower. They have some form of a shared universe, but they also don’t care about its continuity. Executives at Warner Bros. and DC Films have recently stated that quality over quantity will be their mantra moving forward and that each film will only be made if its got a good story, etc. behind it. We know DC isn’t afraid of taking some risks and giving films to lesser known characters (like the upcoming Blue Beetle film) or developing titles for its streaming service, HBO Max (like Batgirl). With that in mind, Sailor and I decided to raid the DC archives for more characters we think deserve, and would benefit from, a shot at box office glory.
Here are Ten DC Characters Who Need Their Own Solo Movie.
10. Nightwing (Logan Lerman)
Sooner or later, my favorite DC Comics character will get his own feature film. At one point, back when Batfleck’s DCEU future looked bright, I wanted Steven Yeun to play the character. However, with the consistent rumors of Dylan O’Brien making a cameo appearance in the upcoming Batgirl film as Dick Grayson, I knew I had to go younger. Logan Lerman is someone who has constantly impressed me as a performer. He broke out as a child actor, but hasn’t done much as an adult. I’d love to see him step into another major role (the less said about the Percy Jackson films the better) and absolutely own it. If Batfleck is out of the picture following The Flash then I’d love to see Leslie Grace’s Batgirl and Logan Lerman as Nightwing step up to protect Gotham City. But first, I want to see Dick Grayson / Nightwing in Bludhaven having stepped out of the Bat’s shadow and making a name for himself. Chris McKay was once hired to direct a solo Nightwing project back in 2017 and I’m perfectly fine with seeing him stay on to helm the feature. Just give me a Nightwing movie, DC, that’s all I’ll ever ask from you.
09. Mister Miracle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
I’m not going to lie to you, I barely know anything about Mister Miracle. I know he’s an escape artist with a giant wife (Big Barda) who’s technically Darkseid’s son and that’s about it. I’ve never read any of his comics and I’ve never heard a single thing about him from anyone on planet Earth. All I know is that handful of things and that was enough for me to instantly think of a reunion between Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie. I thought of a man tied to an evil family who isn’t evil (it could be argued that Jaime Lannister is evil but shut up) who’s in love with a giant woman and my instantly went to this two because of Game of Thrones. They were one of my favorite things about that show and I would love to see them as an actual couple in a space heist. My Mister Miracle pitch would involve him getting hired by the resistance to break in to and free some captives held at a space fortress run by Darkseid that turns into an action filled romp that involves his giant kick ass wife kicking a giant amount of ass while he escapes from shit, I guess. I don’t know what he’ll be doing during the action scenes since I don’t know what he can do besides pick a lock real fast but maybe he doesn’t need to do anything. Let him be the Princess Peach to Gwendoline’s Mario. Flip the shit and do something new. And get Jordan Vogt-Roberts to direct it. He makes fun movies and he hasn’t worked in a bit.
08. Plastic Man (John Mulaney)
John Mulaney as Plastic Man. Taika Waititi as director. Need I say more? Fine, I’ll add a few more words. I think Ben Schwartz once threw his name in the ring for Plastic Man, but I find his voice sort of annoying, so I wasn’t about to pick him. John Mulaney is someone that I didn’t originally find all that funny, but has slowly grown on me over time. I feel like he has the right sort of self-deprecating humor that would fit well with Plastic Man (he also sort of looks like Plastic Man). The only problem with a Plastic Man film is that the character really needs a buddy to bounce his jokes and remarks off of him. Waititi is no stranger to writing some excellent buddy cop-esque dialogue and I think he’d figure out who to pit Plastic Man against. Heck, just throw in the Elongated Man and have them constantly trying to out elastic the other. That could be fun.
07. Martian Manhunter (Jonathan Majors)
I don’t usually like casting actors in superhero roles when they just got attached to a comic property (Majors is Kang the Conqueror in Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) but Majors in a Martian Manhunter movie directed by Jordan Peele is a more appealing combination to me than Reeves and Pattinson doing Batman and buddy, I love Pattinson. With each new movie he makes, Majors is getting higher and higher up my favorite actors list. The man exudes confidence like I’ve never seen. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Last Black Man in San Francisco but he kept me interested and he wasn’t even the lead. Even as the film’s back up, he can’t help but be the star of the show. He is blowing up and the right profile gig could catapult him into the stratosphere. Superhero movies create movie stars and great superhero movies garner Oscar buzz. If a movie about a dude dressing up like a cat to go punch another dude dressed as a cat can get nominated for best picture, I don’t see why a film about an alien posing as an African American man in the 70s couldn’t get the same amount of buzz. It’s essentially Brother From Another Plant as a superhero and I’m pitching Jordan Peele to direct it. That’s the kinda move that would have Marvel up their game and would grant the star and the director the freedom to do whatever they wanted next.
06. Vixen (Tati Gabrielle)
Vixen is a character I wasn’t too familiar with before she appeared in multiple series in the Arrowverse. The character’s power set seems like it would look absolutely amazing with big special effects. Using her Tantu Totem, Vixen is able to harness the spirit of animals, both past and present. These animals then appear around her in a shimmering aura/outline when she is using their unique powers. Strength of an elephant? Speed of a cheetah? You’d see the animal around her while she fights. I think that would be pretty cool. Now, I tried like Sailor to not cast actors that are currently playing superheroes, so a lot of my initial picks were not eligible. Finally, I remembered Tati Gabrielle, who has been building an impressive resume of TV performances and seems destined to break out on the big screen at any moment. Although she’s played mostly antagonistic roles in what I’ve seen of her work, there is a playful, yet serious side to her that I think would work well with the character. And let’s see Ava DuVernay direct. Maybe if Vixen is a huge success that’ll be all the push DC needs to get New Gods back in development.
05. Blackhawk (Bradley Cooper)
One of the many images that came to mind after watching Nightmare Alley, aside from how much better it was than the original and how great Willem Dafoe is as a carnival owner, was the visualization of Bradley Cooper as Indiana Jones. There’s many shots of him wearing a jacket and a fedora, and while they’re not identical, they’re close enough to use as evidence of how great he already looks in the part and his performance in the movie is the evidence of why he’d be better than Ford in the role. He’s five times the actor Ford is and has five hundred times the charisma. Have the next film be about the fountain of youth and have him drink some of that water and bada bing you got Bradley Cooper. No. I will never stop pitching this fountain of youth idea. It’s a perfect money making idea that will never happen and honestly should never happen because somethings need to end. So instead of that, cast him in an Indiana Jones inspired adventure starring Blackhawk, DC’s resident WW2 swashbuckling badass. He’s a pilot that has adventures similar to comics and serials that inspired Indiana Jones, so to close the circle, get Spielberg to direct it. It’s a crazy swing for what is essentially a DC movie but it actually almost happened about ten years ago, so maybe it could still happen.
04. Green Arrow (Tom Felton)
I’ve been hearing about a proposed Green Arrow film titled Escape from Super Max since 2008 and in that time since the character has only grown in popularity. Stephen Amell’s version of the Emerald Archer in Arrow brought the character to the mainstream public and its high time—especially with Black Canary already in the DCEU—for him to make the jump to film. Seriously, why has Super Max never been made? It’s got Green Arrow being framed for a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to a high-security prison, filled with A-, B-, and C-list villains and rogue superheroes, which he must escape from. This sounds amazing. So here’s what I want. I know everyone wants Charlie Hunnam as Green Arrow, and I agree that I think he’d be great in the role. But the dude’s in his forties and I want the Green Arrow to become a viable part of the DCEU. So, I’m going with Tom Felton, who is a bit younger and has a good relationship with both Warner Bros. (having worked on all eight Harry Potter films) and DC (he starred in season 4 of The Flash). He also doesn’t mind dying his hair blonde. With the main set being a huge intricate prison with multiple levels and unique floor plans, I’d love to see an action director go nuts planning the fight sequences. That’s why I want Chad Stahelski or David Leitch of John Wick fame to direct this. Honestly, either would be great and would really make this film stand out from the rest of DC’s upcoming slate.
03. Blue Devil (Marshawn Lynch)
Blue Devil is kind of a ridiculous superhero concept. It’s convoluted in the way a child would conceive of a superhero. During filming on The Blue Devil, a demon is accidentally unleashed from within an ancient temple and, thinking the stuntman, who’s dressed as the titular Blue Demon, is an actual demon, blasts his ass with magic, bonding him to the suit. Not wanting to live forever in a suit made for a cheesy B movie, he seeks help from back alley mystics, one of which has actual magic on account of him being another demon. The demon tricks him and turns the stunt man into an actual demon. For some reason, this makes him turn to a life of demon hunting instead of jumping in front of train but you do you Blue Devil. It’s an insane origin story but there’s a nugget of potential comedy gold in there somewhere. I’m imagining a more comedic version of Hellboy where the joke is that Hellboy isn’t a demon but just a regular dude that looks like a demon who is also fighting real demons. If you’ve seen the recent Netflix show Murderville, you’ve seen how naturally funny he is and how adept he is at improv. Maybe make the film like that. Don’t even give him a script. Just put him in a room with weird looking monsters with the only instruction being “shoot whatever comes through the door” to get his natural reactions. Or you could hire the kings of spinning gold from garbage ideas – Lord and Miller to make the best possible movie. I’m open to either alternative.
02. Clayface (Nicolas Cage)
Clayface is a character that will never appear in a live-action Batman movie because he’s too unrealistic. Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy are about as far into the fantastical as I bet DC is willing to go right now (especially in the new The Batman universe). But that’s okay because I have a standalone Joker-esque horror take on the character that will surely win over both mainstay DC fans and the horror community. My pitch: Nicolas Cage stars as Basil Karlo, a former Hollywood A-lister whose career fell apart after a car accident left him permanently disfigured. After taking too much of an experimental healing salve, Karlo becomes Clayface and uses his newfound shapeshifting powers to get his revenge on everyone who did him wrong (his agent, his manager, his co-stars, the driver behind the wheel of the other car, etc.). Although Karlo seems like the obvious suspect, security footage never catches him because he’s always disguised as the person he is about to kill. Give this a low budget ($60-80 million), cast Nicolas Cage who will bring an authentic, maniac energy to the role, make it R-rated, and hire either David Cronenberg or his son Brandon Cronenberg to direct. You can’t lose with that recipe.
01. Lobo (Stephen Farrelly)
The only reason I didn’t pick Jason Momoa was for the sake of variety, not because he’s already in the DCEU. I know he’s perfect for the role. You know he’s perfect for the role. We ALL know Momoa is perfect for Lobo. Ruining your chance at a perfect piece of casting for a character as lame as Aquaman, is dumb fucking dumb, it boggles the mind. He is Lobo and if they ever make this damn movie, they better cast him because he’s perfect, end of argument! But if they’re cowards, they should cast Stephen Farrelly aka Seamus.
Roman Reigns may look more like him, Brock Lesnar may have his physique, and Steve Austin might have his attitude but my gut is telling me Seamus would be the perfect choice (outside of Momoa.) First of all, he already has his complexion; they’re both whiter that ghosts. Secondly, the first two wrestlers I named can’t act and the third is too old. And thirdly, I don’t think any of them have the right charisma for the role. I’ve only seen Seamus in two roles and both were little more than bit parts. He was slightly more than an extra in The Escapist and the second (or fourth, depending on your ranking of the villains in that movie) bad guy in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows but in those handful of minutes, I saw a star on the level of a John Cena in the making.
Call me crazy but he’s one of the most memorable things about The Escapist in he’s in it for less than two minutes. There was something about his screen presence that stood out. That same presence was in that Turtles sequel. That movie is surprisingly decent and Seamus is surprisingly memorable in it. Casting him and Gary Anthony Williams as Bebop and Rocksteady sounds like a real dumb pairing but I thought it worked. They had chemistry and their voices matched the characters.
Maybe I’m just automatically grading on the wrestler curve every time I need to cast a wrestler for one of these lists, so a modicum of a personality automatically puts you in the upper tier in my mind and I’m over selling his abilities by projecting a an imagined set of criteria to every wrestler performance I see or maybe I’m just trying to sell myself on the idea because I’m a hipster douche who has a compulsive need to cast outside the box but I really do think he’s got something. He’s got personality in those YouTube videos he makes, so that’s also something. It’s not a hipster douche pick! He’d be great, I’m telling you.
Oh, and get James Gunn to direct it. He seems to be the only comic book director who remembers to be funny and violent. And he’s like a horse whisperer or some shit when it comes to getting great performances out of wrestlers.
What DC Comics character are you hoping will get their own solo film in the near future? Share your picks down in the comments!