Five Comic Book Movie Franchises Begging For Another Shot

Given the overwhelming popularity of comic book movies today, it seems as though every property under the sun is being optioned for a big budget feature. Unfortunately, some perfectly great characters came in early on the wave of comic book blockbusters and failed to reach the same success of many of the latest films. These are a few characters that deserve a second (or third) chance on the silver screen.

The Hulk

Marvel has tried to make the Hulk work on two separate occasions to varying success, but the third time could be the charm with the green goliath. The first film, directed by Ang Lee of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, was just kind of mess. Even though it nearly doubled its budget, the movie was incredibly inconsistent in tone and all anyone seems to remember are the terrifying CGI Hulk dogs. The second attempt with Edward Norton taking on the role fared a bit better and helped to introduce the character to today's Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it still wasn't quite the Hulk movie we were waiting for. The character really hit his stride with the introduction of Mark Ruffalo as the jolly green giant in The Avengers, but he was also largely relegated to the sidelines. We already know that the Hulk will make a comeback in Thor: Ragnarok, but we can only hope that it will lay the groundwork for a much-needed second MCU Hulk movie.

Judge Dredd

We can all agree that the first attempt to bring Judge Dredd to the big screen didn't go well. Sylvester Stallone wasn't great and the use of Rob Schneider as comic relief was, shall we say, ill advised. However, the same can't be said for 2012's Dredd. Written by Alex Garland (of The Beach and 28 Days Later fame), the movie simplified the story into one big set piece that takes place in one building and is a remarkably effective action film. Dredd greatly recalls the breakneck action and pacing of Gareth Evans' 2011 action showcase The Raid: Redemption but was sadly a financial flop. Still, Judge Dredd remains a popular character today, as evidenced by his inclusion as one of many comic book-themed online games designed for casual audiences. An online slot reel designed for mass appeal wouldn't try to use a character nobody likes or is familiar with to attract players, meaning there's clearly a market for a Judge Dredd movie. The bigger issue is marketing it properly so audiences are actually aware of it. The home video success of Dredd has shown that there is definitely enough fan support to warrant a sequel and Karl Urban has said he'd be interested if it was done the right way. Here's hoping it can be picked up by someone like Netflix or Amazon to create the sequel this modern cult-classic deserves.


It's been nearly 20 years since the original Spawn was released back in 1997. The movie was a critical failure upon its release and while technically impressive for its time, the movie doesn't hold up well today at all. This is all the more reason why it's never been more ready for a comeback. With what can be accomplished with digital effects today, Spawn would be a visual showcase. Also, as darker and more mature comic book films have become more accepted, the character could finally get the treatment it deserves. Thankfully, it looks as though our unholy prayers have been answered. Creator Todd McFarlane revealed that he's working on a new movie that would have a much darker, R-rated tone. Of course, this is still early on and there's no release date yet, but a new Spawn is definitely a welcome prospect.

Green Lantern

What happened to Green Lantern just wasn't fair. He's a great character and didn't deserve the tragedy that was the Ryan Reynolds movie. The movie had a great director in Martin Campbell (Goldeneye and Casino Royale) but ultimately imploded under the weight of studio involvement and its own ambition. The best thing to come from this film was arguably introducing Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, which really says something about how far we're reaching to say something nice about this CGI catastrophe. Apparently they're willing to give it another shot though with the Green Lantern Corps planned for 2020, but if there was too much going on with the first film you'll have to forgive us for being a bit apprehensive.

Howard the Duck

Okay, we're sort of just kidding, Howard the Duck was terrible and is only fun when he shows up occasionally. That being said, the technology is finally at a place where they could probably do this right. With the success of the raunchy Deadpool movie, it could be perfectly primed as a weirdo offering. If they played up the mature themes of the comic, particularly from the 2001 series for Marvel's MAX line, it could actually work. We saw Marvel manage to pull off Rocket Raccoon, so who's to say they can make another wise-cracking anthropomorphic animal alien.