I know, I know, the Blu-Ray for the first Avengers movie isn't officially released until next week and here we are talking about who should be in the second.
However, Indiewire's The Playlist has already started the ball rolling yesterday with some comments from Marvel co-chairman Louis D'Esposito about the team roster for The Avengers 2, which will also be directed by Joss Whedon. "...we discussed it at the time and I think in The Avengers 2 we'll see some new characters," said D'Esposito. "We're currently working on Phase 2 and we have Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so we returned to those franchises to enlarge them, but I think in The Avengers 2 we'll see one or two new characters."
Makes sense if you think about it. One or two new Avengers could bring new story elements into the movie, add different dynamics between the characters, and of course, create a little more potential for merchandising. So with this in mind, which Marvel characters could end up on the sequel's roster?
Ant-Man and/or The Wasp -- As the only founding members of the comic book Avengers that weren't in the first film, Ant-Man and The Wasp seem like natural choices...even more so, considering that director Edgar Wright is helming an Ant-Man movie that may or may not arrive in theaters before The Avengers 2. Ant-Man brings another super-scientist character to the table, allowing Dr. Hank Pym to geek out with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, while The Wasp adds another female character to the team besides Black Widow. Besides, you could easily see Whedon approaching Janet Van Dyne as if she were Cordelia Chase from his TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Captain Marvel -- Primarily known as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers was abruptly handed the mantle of Captain Marvel a few months ago, along with a radically-different costume, and given a new ongoing comic book series. Carol also adds more female perspective just like The Wasp, but her power set essentially makes her the Avengers' version of DC Comics' Wonder Woman.
Doctor Strange -- Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme is rumored to be appearing in the upcoming Thor sequel Thor: The Dark World, which introduces him into Marvel's cinematic universe and sets him up as a potential Avenger. Also, Marvel has been trying to get a Doctor Strange movie going for quite some time, so The Avengers 2 could gauge moviegoer interest in the character to possibly spin him off in a solo film.
The Falcon -- Already slated to appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, played by Anthony Mackie, The Falcon is also set up for The Avengers 2 in the same way as Doctor Strange. The difference is, as mainstream comics' first African-American superhero, he brings much-needed diversity to the team. (No, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is not an Avenger, he's the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
The Vision -- I think a lot of fans would love to see android Avenger The Vision. Ever since S.H.I.E.L.D agent Phil Coulson was given the Joss Whedon Kills Beloved Character treatment in the first Avengers movie, fans have speculated that S.H.I.E.L.D. or Tony Stark could have somehow saved his brain patterns prior to his death so that his persona could be uploaded into the Vision's body. It's interesting to note that the Vision's original physical body, the original android Human Torch, is briefly shown in the background of the World's Fair sequence in Captain America: The First Avenger. Things that make you go Hmmmm...
War Machine -- A perfectly obvious but unlikely addition is War Machine. The character has been around since the first Iron Man movie and you would think Tony Stark would be inclined to say "Hey Rhodey, you wanna join my--errrr, this incredibly awesome group of superheroes?" And yes, War Machine brings the needed team diversity, but essentially he's just another Iron Man. As much as War Machine actor Don Cheadle would bring to the film, having two Iron Men around seems a bit redundant.
The Winter Soldier -- The character redundancy issue also applies to The Winter Soldier. Actor Sebastian Stan is returning to the role for (Surprise!) Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so Captain America's sidekick/crimefighting partner could potentially follow Cap right into The Avengers 2. However, as shown in the comics, the Winter Soldier is essentially Captain America with a bionic left arm and a mysterious Cold War past. As great as it might be to see the Winter Soldier interacting with Black Widow, there's not going to be room to develop a Russian espionage storyline with a big cosmic threat like Thanos as the film's villain.
The Avengers 2 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 1, 2015. Let's see which Marvel heroes make the cut...