Imagine A Different Kind of Marvel Cinematic Universe
I'm a pretty hardcore nerd/geek/whatever you wanna call it and I have been since about the age of four. I have a wide range of interests, spanning from pop punk to professional wrestling, and pretty much anything I enjoy, I get absorbed in. Not much surpasses my love for horror, okay, only one thing does: comics. When I was four years old, my mom bought me a copy of Uncanny X-Men #159, in which Marvel's Merry Mutants face off against the Prince of Darkness himself. I fell in love with both worlds that day but these spandex clad super-powered beings became my obsession.
Needless to say, Avengers: Infinity War came out this weekend and blew my fucking mind. It also got me thinking. What Marvel has accomplished is nearly inarguably the greatest cinematic universe in, well, history. Kevin Feige and team have mastered how to find talented directors to spearhead franchises and craft unique, colorful blockbusters. So I decided to pipe dream and think: what if Marvel applied the same logic to the more dark, mystical side of the MCU. It's been long rumored that a Blade reboot is just around the corner and recent reports hint that Moon Knight may be in development. We've had a version of Ghost Rider, albeit through Fox, and Marvel has proven they're comfortable handing off something like Doctor Strange to Scott Derrickson, the man behind Sinister. This is just a little taste of how I would launch what I call the MCU Midnight Sons line.
Blade needs to be first. It just does. It's realistically the franchise that saved Marvel out of bankruptcy so let's use it to usher forward the horror side. The original trilogy actually holds up extremely well, even the campy Trinity has its moments. (Looking at Reynolds in a pre-Deadpool comic book role as Hannibal King as a standout here.) So first we bring the Daywalker in. It should still be a horror movie, scary vampires, sweet kung-fu style fighting, but let's also start to embrace the weird of Marvel's horror world. Austin Vesely, upcoming director of Chance the Rapper project Slice, could be a great director to have as he knows how to showcase urban environments with neon lights, reds and blues, and is a clear fan of the genre. Plus, Marvel has always done a great job at trusting new directors and Vesely is an up and coming talent. Ashton Sanders has showcased his acting chops in Moonlight and is co-starring in the upcoming The Equalizer 2 and would be a perfect fit for Blade himself and let's embrace the weird but menacing with Blackout PLAYED BY STUART TOWNSEND. Grow that hair back out, Stu. In Marvel fashion, end the film with Blade hearing news about a "living vampire." That would lead us to...
Morbius, the Living Vampire. Sony has been kicking the tires on this project for a while now, as recently as earlier this year. The story of Dr. Michael Morbius is a silly one but could easily be redone for the modern viewing audience. A biochemist who looked to cure himself of a rare blood disease using vampire bats and electroshock therapy, it definitely needs a little bit of a touch up when it comes to origin. but what would be awesome is still see the movie embrace the scientific side of Morbius. He's a tragic character but if we can see him use his intelligence to reconfigure his ailment to become a more lethal protector, he could become a very interesting character. Again, the horror should be embraced here, but we should also get a good dose of medical thriller. I'm totally going to pitch a curveball but Niels Arden Oplev, who directed the original Swedish The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and more recently the Flatliners remake, could do this one some justice. Throw in Theo James, a legit Greek actor who has already played with vamps before in the Underworld franchise, as our protagonist and this could be a lot of fun. Morbius will meet up with Blade at the end of the movie, realize that something is happening with not just vampires but all creatures of the night (cue up a big bad) and they'll realize they'll need help. AND someone who can fight more than just bloodsuckers.
Enter Elsa Bloodstone. Elsa is a young British heroine who is part of a long line of monster hunters, drawing a lot of similarities to Buffy. Her father and brother are both in the biz and we should kickstart the movie with Elsa not wanting to follow her families lineage, instead partying in the club scene of England. After monsters strike out (remember, they're crawling out of the woodwork) and murder her family, thus forcing her to train for revenge. She leans on the family friend Adam (oh yeah, he's Frankenstein's Monster) and bring her to North America when she has to face off against the cannibalistic Wendigo. We want stark nature shots, some glitz and glam, and someone who can handle action. So let's put Coarlie Fargeat, rookie director of the mindblowingly great Revenge, at the helm. Sophie Cookson, a stalwart kick ass from Kingsman would be perfect for Elsa and at the end, of course, Blade and Morbius corner her to ask what she knows about the man they thought to be myth, Mephisto.
Lastly, before we wind up with our core Midnight Sons, we need our Iron Man/Batman analogue, so we're going to reach for someone who understands the occult and also has the resources to take this team up a notch. We're talking about Moon Knight. You could go a lot of ways with Moon Knight, and serialized he'd probably be best suited for a show similar to Legion that explores the more recent highly dissociative identity route. Since we're talking film here, I say we stick to a little more direct but still have him troubled by the presence of Khonsu in his mind (and sometimes have him appear on screen, I'm thinking played by Fassbender is his first MCU proper title.) Also, I know I said we are getting away from Legion-esque plot points but Dan Stevens proved in The Guest that he could own the shit out of this role. Give Moon Knight his main antagonist, the Bushman, who is a mercenary and former partner of Marc Spector (the identity of Moon Knight) and we'll do some movie magic and make Bushman the avatar of Ra earlier than he should, to really make him a menacing threat. Also, Mahershala Ali would KILL it in this role. We need someone who can down and gritty with action, so I'm saying Gareth Evans makes his Marvel debut behind the camera. By the end of the film, Moon Knight will discover Mephisto brokered the deal between Ra and Bushman which will lead him straight to our other...
Midnight Sons. With Evans having some experience with big budget but still in touch with his indie roots, he would continue from Moon Knight to finish this first arc of the Midnight Sons. The team will spend much of the movie conflicted, this is a lot of big personalities in the room here. These aren't the Avengers, they're on a hunt and although they have the same goal, the path to get their isn't necessarily the same. After fighting through hordes of underworld monster circles, and coming across a Doug Jones Man-Thing, they'll finally run into the man himself, Mephisto, Marvel's representation of the Devil. Played by none other than Nic Cage in a dashing three piece hot pink suit. Reigning it in here but riding the line of going full Cage at points, this a more human and Faustian version of the character, a man who plays on fears and deals. We'll see each of the Sons (a name Elsa will constantly make fun of) offered some sort of deal and have to find it within themselves to not barter with the devil. Eventually, the team comes out victorious, but not with the death of Mephisto, but instead a temporary defeat that has awakened even more supernatural unease. They decide they should probably stay together, for now, and then of course our post-credit is the group talking and walking while someone nearby listens. After they're out of range, a motorcycle revs up and fire ignites.
How much do I need to pay to make this happen?