Days after word comes down the line that ABC has ordered a full season of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," there's talk that Marvel will continue to expand its presence on the small screen.
Deadline reported that Marvel is quietly shopping around a package of four drama series and a miniseries to various cable and VOD outlets, including Amazon and Netflix, but like everything associated with the studio, not much else is known.
Since "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has been largely hit-and-miss with critics and audience sizes, we have a few suggestions for Marvel to choose from if they want a bona fide TV hit.
Here's the obvious choice and also the one that's probably going to happen. After the premiere of the latest Marvel One Shot on the "Iron Man 3" Blu-ray, which featured Hayley Atwell as Steve Rogers' WWII-era love interest as a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D., interest in continuing her story rose, leading Marvel to begin development on a series. While the story could veer too close to "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." territory, there's so much potential here that it's hard to say no. It would give Marvel its first lead female protagonist, and the show could feature Dominic Cooper as Iron Man papa, Howard Stark.
"Heroes for Hire"
Before "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." was confirmed as the first television series that Marvel planned, there were rumors — or more likely wishful thinking — that the program would follow this two-man hero team. Luke Cage and Iron Fist would make for a great small-screen hero duo since their powers can be recreated believably on a budget and the case-by-case nature of their work can create a more episodic pacing. Plus, like "Agent Carter," it wouldn't hurt to add a little more diversity to the lineup of Marvel heroes.
The current run of this teen-centric take on the superhero team written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Jamie McKelvie could make for a brilliant series, especially if Marvel is looking to cultivate a younger TV viewing audience. The series follows younger variations on the team that we know including Miss America, Hulkling, a female Hawkeye and a younger version of Loki, among others.
Along the same lines, Brian K. Vaughan's "Runaways" essentially begs to expand its awesomeness into another medium. The series followed the teenage children of a group of super villain that head out on their own once they discover their parents' double lives. Marvel once planned a film adaptation of "Runaways," written by "Iron Man 3" co-writer Drew Pearce, but "The Avengers" changed the studio's game plan for good and move in a different direction.
If Marvel is looking to get into the realty game, here's an out-of-the-box pitch that might work for them. As the two actors to previously play Bruce Banner on the big screen, Eric Bana and Edward Norton just missed the boat on the "Avengers" mega-hit. "Former Hulks" would move them into a house together as they deal with the near-miss and the throngs of fans who ask why they weren't in the movie. Things might get dark.