Marvel Studios has enjoyed an unprecedented 10 year run of box office success as that began with 2008’s Iron Man. That film gave the studio the momentum it needed to build a cinematic universe around a few well-known heroes, take some gambles on a few others and tell a longform story unlike any that’s come before. That story, however, will come to an end with 2019’s Avengers 4 as will the tenures of several of the studio’s flagship heroes leaving fans to wonder what comes next. Some of the heroes and franchises will live on post-Infinity with sequels being developed for Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther; other new heroes such as Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau will be introduced before Avengers 4 and become a part of the story that comes next; new franchises, such at The Eternals, are being developed, showing that Kevin Feige and company are still willing to roll the dice on some lesser known characters even as their deal to bring home the X-Men, Fantastic Four and related characters creeps towards closure.
As exciting as the influx of new characters is for fans, Feige couldn’t have counted on them to shoulder the load going forward until the recent approvals to the deal. As a result, Marvel Studios has been developing dozens of properties for potential films and those dozens of properties probably stand at a dozen different stages of development. Some of those properties will feature prominently in the future of the MCU and others will never be known to anyone not lucky enough to be a part of the Marvel Studios brain trust. We’ve been fortunate enough to find out about similar projects in the past and today we’re happy to share another: Marvel Studios has developed and completed a script for an adaptation of Dark Avengers.
To be clear, Marvel Studios has many scripts for many projects, not all of which will make it to the big screen. It’s a smart move for the studio to commission as many scripts as possible knowing that at any time someone might come up with a take on an IP that blows people away while also knowing some of them will go straight to the bottom of the pile. We at That Hashtag Show don’t pretend to know where in that pile the Dark Avengers sits, only that a script for the IP was completed .
The Dark Avengers were created by Brian Michael Bendis and first appeared in their own title in January of 2009 in the aftermath of the Skrull Secret Invasion. With the people and the government having lost faith in the Avengers, Norman Osborn, who had been in charge of the Thunderbolts, was appointed head of the reformed S.H.I.E.L.D., now known as H.A.M.M.E.R.. Osborn took the opportunity to assemble his own team of “heroes”, including Sentry, Noh-Varr and Ares and to disguise some Thunderbolts as former Avengers. Osborn’s team included a Mac Gargan “Spider-Man”, a Moonstone “Captain Marvel”, a Bullseye “Hawkeye”, a Daken “Wolverine” and Norman in the Iron Patriot armor. The initial run of the comic lasted 16 issues and ran throughout the Dark Regin and Seige line-wide arcs.
Knowing that Marvel Studios has interest in developing the project could give us some indication as to some potential paths Feige and crew may follow post-Thanos. While we can expect an MCU-based team of Dark Avengers to have a slightly different composition than the comic-based team, it’s entirely possible that a new, government sanctioned team of heroes could replace the Avengers. In fact, the seeds have been and continue to be sewn. While we can expect the Avengers to save the day to some extent in Avengers 4, we can also expect that some of them won’t survive. We also know that with Captain Marvel set to introduce the Skrulls, a Secret Invasion story could definitely be coming in the MCU. Though the details of Sony’s deal with Marvel Studios have never been made explicit, we do believe that part of the reason Silver and Black was delayed was because Marvel Studios made an effort to gain access to Norman Osborn, who was originally intended to be in Silver and Black. A little arithmetic and little speculation and you can get from a post-snap universe down the road a bit where Osborn could be leading a team of Dark Avengers.
Of course this is all speculation and, at this point, the film is just as likely to not be made as to be made. Of course people thought the same about Black Widow and The Eternals, both of which now have directors on board and look to be headed to theaters over the next two years.
Disney reps did not respond to our request for comments on the story. Stay tuned to That Hashtag Show for more on this as it develops!