Pivotal MCU Characters Robbed of a Solo Installment

When it comes to the MCU, multiple characters — some more well-known than others — have received their moment in the spotlight. The God of Thunder is about to receive his fourth solo outing, Iron Man made three standalone appearances, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are destined to appear as a unified force once again in Phase 5. However, not every deserving Avenger has received solo treatment. Several Avengers deserve a standalone movie, but they have yet to (and may never) get one. 

Marvel Studios MCU
Marvel Studios’ ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Avengers: Infinity War

While it goes without saying that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner deserves a solo film, legal issues with Universal Studios currently present an unavoidable roadblock; thus, the likelihood of seeing Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk “get angry” without the presence of his fellow heroes remains low. This list will specifically highlight characters who — for no other reason than someone said so — have yet to receive the spotlight. 

1. Hawkeye 

Hawkeye is an Original Avenger — one of the six primary heroes constituting the MCU’s foundation — yet he is not worthy of an origin tale? He’s not worthy of a narrative sidestep that dives into his dynamic with Natasha, his presence in the Avengers, and his secret wife and kids? 

Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton is full of movie potential, yet Marvel Studios has opted, instead, for a Disney+ streaming show — one that will likely focus on Kate Bishop’s journey to becoming Hawkeye. Meaning, the show may not even fully focus on Barton’s legacy. And, releasing a Disney+ show does send a message that the character cannot be trusted with a big-budget blockbuster, which most fans would likely disagree with. 

2. The Ancient One 

While the Ancient One serves a supporting role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the studio landed Tilda Swinton to stand beside Benedict Cumberbatch, and she can definitely hold her own as a Marvel hero. The character also boasts an integral comic book story preceding Strange’s existence. For centuries, the Ancient One served as the leader of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, and she protected the earth from various threats. Seeing the Ancient One’s journey pre-Strange — a saga spanning centuries — would be a spectacle on both a narrative and cinematographic level. 

3. Nick Fury 

Who doesn’t want to see Samuel L. Jackson take the reigns in a movie about Nick Fury? While Captain Marvel provided a glimpse into Fury’s early years — working as an origin story of sorts for the character, Fury has earned a movie title. He has earned a poster that features him front and center. 

Nick Fury has not received enough credit when it comes to assembling the Avengers; though the information has been presented over the course of the Infinity Saga, the manner in which it has graced audiences downplays the character’s consequentiality and essentiality to the group; spotlight implies significance. In other words, it’s as if the Guardians of the Galaxy are more important than Fury…can such be true? Are Ant-Man and the Wasp more pivotal than Fury and the Ancient One, or have Marvel Studios decided that certain characters “fit” within the solo framework better, and how are such judgment calls made?